This is a guest post written by the lovely Ellemenoh. Follow her on Twitter @ellemenoh_us
I wear makeup to the gym… And to work, when I’m making a quick grocery run, having dinner with my parents, and even out on an impromptu my-neighbor-just-called-to-see-if-I-can-take-her-dog-out-because-she-flew-out-for-an-interview-this-morning-and-her-return-flight-is-delayed walk (true story).
OK, so I don’t wear a full face of makeup to sweat it out at the gym, but I never leave my house without at least some mascara and lip-gloss. Most days, I wear high heels to work. I’m in skirts and dresses far more than I’m in pants or shorts. I reserve a messy bun for working out or hanging out at home.
I don’t necessarily do these things to impress other people. I do these things because they (1) give me confidence and (2) project the image of a put-together, feminine woman. Of course, femininity is much more than outward appearance, but if a girl can’t even bother to adorn the package with pretty wrapping, who wants to open it and find out what’s inside?
Outward appearance is a projection of how you perceive your own value and how you expect the outside world value you. If you dress like a slob, you are subconsciously letting people know it’s okay to treat you like any other slob walking the streets. If you dress like a high value woman, you’re letting the world know you’re better than ahem basic. I hate that word, but it’s very accurate. If you think outward appearance has no influence on your daily interactions, try donning a flirty dress and heels next time you venture out to run errands. Gauge your reactions from people and compare them to when you walk out wearing “athleisure;” I guarantee you will be treated better – even if it’s just someone making eye contact and smiling when they would normally look down at their feet or phone.
And it’s not just interactions. Your outward appearance can also influence your confidence. Wearing heels to work makes me feel like I can accomplish anything that day. I literally stand taller. On the weekend or days that I work from home, I make sure to put on “real clothes” because I know it directly affects my productivity and motivation levels for the day.
You don’t have to look like a prom queen every time you leave the house, but, as my prim and proper grandmother says, “it’s always better to be the best dressed person in the room.” (Spoiler: my grandma is right about everything.) I stand by the belief that these days it’s easy to stand out as an American woman in the best way. Simply swapping your yoga pants, sneakers, and messy bun for fitted jeans, a blouse, and some pretty jewelry will put you a step above other women the next time you leave the house.
Americans are quick to sacrifice style, class, and modesty for comfort, but if you think proper clothing can’t be comfortable, you’re buying the wrong clothes. (“How to Shop for Clothes” is a topic I think young women could REALLY benefit to hear.) The next time you hop up to make a grocery run, visit a friend, or even take the dog for a walk, think to yourself “how can I improve my look in five to ten minutes?” and then DO IT.
You’re worth that. And if I see you at the gym with mascara on I’ll give you a knowing smile 😉