What does your appearance say about you?

Too much for a Monday?
Too much for a Monday?

The smallest detail can speak so loudly.

Without sounding like June Dally-Watkins, I spend a lot of time paying attention to people’s grooming.

Case in point: teeth. White, straight teeth can say rich parents, healthy childhood, American or acting profession, just as loudly as crooked, damaged teeth can say English, poor parents or smoker.

Your hairstyle says so much about you. Well-maintained fake blonde hair means you have a reasonable amount of money to pay a hairdresser, dreadlocks say rasta or hippie, and a number one all over says very different things about a man versus a woman.

There are no absolutes but these things provide clues.

I look at shoes and bags, not because I am particularly interested in them but because I am curious about what that choice says. Shoes especially tell you a lot about someone’s profession, status, workplace and personal taste.

The way you speak screams class, education and self-esteem. The polished, rounded vowels of the upper-class are worlds apart from the colloquialisms of the housing commission class. The words you choose, the way you pronounce them and the volume and pitch of your voice says a hell of a lot about how confident you are.

Jewellery and watches tell you how much money someone has (or would like people to think they have), whether they are married, whether they work in a white or blue collar profession and also what their tastes are; conservative versus ostentatious, known brands versus vintage or antique.

The way you stand, the way you sit, the way you walk. All of these things communicate.

Makeup (or lack thereof) speaks volumes about fashion, profession and gender stereotypes. A man wearing makeup is almost as rare as a woman without it.

Weight is a battleground of class judgement. Skinny is rich, fat is poor (unless you’re a businessman or Tongan). Fit is the ultimate. Muscle-bound says something else again.

Everything from the shade of brown you dye your hair, to the types of colours, cuts and fabrics you wear, to the way you maintain your nails says something.

If you could choose costume that best reflected who you are, what would you wear? How would you sound? Who would you emulate?

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