let’s face it

By Judith Rasband

Remember those people you always watched in high school? You know, the girls and guys who looked just right, as well as the few who looked like a fright.

And now there’s your neighbor who’s beautifully groomed and seems so secure, and the fellow whose high-water pants cause people to snicker and sneer.

Let’s face if, people are continually noticing one another, forming impressions and making
judgments based on appearance. So why not do it with a purpose once in a while?

Purposeful “people watching” can help you become more aware of specific dress and grooming practices. And as you become more aware of your own appearance, you can then make a change for the better if it’s called for.

“People watching” may help you avoid altogether some of the most common mistakes.

Life is too short to make and correct all of the mistakes yourself.

Anyplace where large numbers of people gather is a good place to ‘people watch.’ The people in the library, grocery store, cafeteria or movie theater are often more interesting than what is in the books, on the shelves, the menu or
the movie screen.

My favorite place to “people watch” is at the ballet. I go early, find my seat, relax and just watch. The pre-curtain show is great! A large metropolitan airport is an ideal spot for people watching. You’ll see people with total
variety in lifestyle, cultural and geographical backgrounds, values, attitudes and interests, as well as the random assortment of sizes and shapes.

Pick your place, clear your mind and just watch. The most convenient place to “people watch” is in your local mall, particularly on Saturday afternoon. Take a few moments out of your own shopping time and plant yourself on a bench where you have full view of the comings and goings. (And don’t panic if they notice you’re watching—just smile and turn your attention elsewhere.)

Watch what people are wearing and how they’re wearing it. Is the clothing appropriate for the occasion, the weather and the person’s age, personality, figure, and personal coloring?

Try to become aware of your own reactions to those you see. Catch your first impressions. If you don’t like the way someone looks, try to figure out why. Maybe her skirt pulls tight over her fanny and the hem hikes three inches shorter in back than front. Or maybe his plaid pants fight with his striped shirt and bright colored tie.

Perhaps the 50-year-old matron and the 15year-old schoolgirl look like they’ve worn one another’s clothes by mistake, or the bank president looks like a fugitive from a floating crap game.

Maybe the huge hairdo is walking away with the woman or the high platform-heeled shoes outmaneuver the man.

If your first thoughts were “sharp,” “looks terrific,” or “I’d like to look like that,” try to figure out how the various parts to the outfit have been put together and how the grooming details contribute to the harmony of the total look.

You’re sure to pick up some pointers. Observe the reactions of others to one another. Reactions will differ according to personal frames of reference, and they’re all well worth noticing.

Your appearance can bring you compliments or criticism, respect or ridicule. Most of us prefer to be the object of a compliment, respect and the positive reactions of others.

“People watching” can be a fun, fascinating and informative pastime. It’s a never-ending adventure in expanding your awareness, sensitivity and objectivity. Use it to your advantage.

©2000-2017 Judith Rasband, Conselle L.C.

Institute of Image Management • 7052 University Station • Provo, Utah 84602 • (801) 224-1207 • FAX (801) 226-6122
• www.conselle.com • judith@conselle.com