Stylin’ and Profilin’: Personal Image


Lena Williams

Lena Williams, Columnist

My column is not to just inform you about the latest trends, but it is to encourage you to care about your personal image. When I say image, I am not referring to body type or physical features, but to the way we present ourselves. Image is everything, and it is the first thing that people notice. You are your most important asset. Your personal image represents who you are. Now, I know it’s an overused saying, but it’s true: You only get one chance to make a first impression.

From high school and all the way through college, we are conditioned to think of ourselves as a brand. We are branding ourselves through our grades, test scores, extra-curricular activities, and community service in order for us to get the careers we dream about. However, in order to successfully continue taking those steps towards that career we must make the effort to care about image. Presenting a positive personal image is crucial to succeed at future interviews and networking events. In this day and age in which technology, visual communication is as important as verbal communication. Appearance can be the deciding factor for an employer who is considering whether he wants a person to represent his business. Think of it like this: If you were an employer, and a potential employee came to the interview dressed very haphazardly and looking as if he did not wash his hair in a month, would you hire them? Hopefully your answer is no! What that applicant communicated is that he is sloppy, lazy and careless. Employers want to maintain a positive image – and that is the responsibility of the employees.

Let’s step away from the professional and discuss personal, everyday image. Whether or not we are conscious of it, our attire indicates how we feel or how we want to be perceived. Personally, I choose to dress nicely on a daily basis because it makes me feel confident, and I firmly believe that image is very important. On the opposite end of the spectrum, other people choose to dress casually because they want to be comfortable. But personal image does not equate to dressing to the nines. We can simply look well put together for the occasion. Most importantly,  image should coincide with personality. Surprisingly, the way in which you integrate your personality and interests with your image could potentially help you determine your career path. Because I would like to work in a profession that revolves around fashion, art, and music, I tend to reflect those interests in my style selections.

A huge misconception is that we must wear the trendiest and most expensive clothing if we want to be stylish. This is far from the truth. Thoughtful consideration of our clothing–not cash– will reflect the reputation that you are planning to build. Do you feel that you did not get much from this article?  I will leave you with a very important quote that I live by, and it was written by American author Emily Post: “Your outward appearance is not only an important aspect of how you present yourself — it reflects the importance you attach to the situations and people around you.”