We’ve all heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but I think each one of us falls victim to being judged by our appearance. As nice as it is to get compliments on the way we look, judgement can also be very harmful. Recently, I wore five extremely different looks for five consecutive days, just to see how others would react to the way I presented myself. Here’s what happened.
Monday: I Woke Up Like This
I quite literally woke up like this. This is how I look. There is zero makeup on my face, my unbrushed hair is up in a bun, and I’m basically wearing pajamas. Mondays are typically my weekend, so I never like to dress up. When I did errands looking like this, I noticed that I did not get as much customer service or attention as I did when I looked “put together” at other points in the week. It was almost like being invisible. When I arrived at a group project meeting, my team members didn’t even acknowledge me. I’m perfectly comfortable in my own skin, but it is disheartening to know that whether or not I wear lipstick determines how others interact with me. Favorite comment of the day: “Wow, you must have been short on time this morning.”
Tuesday: Punk B*tch
After a boring Monday look, I decided to have an extreme Tuesday. As I’ve said previously, I LIVE for bold lips. This dark purple lipstick is NOT a crowd pleaser, but it is the most “me” makeup item I own. Pairing this with combat boots, black cutoffs, and a tee featuring Star Wars’ angstiest bad boy, I felt like I could kick some serious butt. This is the most similar to what I wear on a day-to-day basis, so people in my usual social circle didn’t really have any commentary. Strangers on the street sure did though. Favorite comment of the day: “Your lips are scary”.
Wednesday: The Color Purple
This is not a daytime look I would recommend, nor is it a makeup look I wuld recommend in general. I wanted to do something that I don’t see every day, and drew inspiration from my favorite color. Aside from packing on way too much purple eyeshadow and eyeliner, I went overboard with some cartoon-ish brows. I didn’t feel very confident with this look, I felt a lot like a clown. Surprisingly, this look didn’t get any wild reactions! I actually got a lot of compliments on the eyeshadow. Favorite comment of the day: “I wish I could pull off a makeup look like that!”
Thursday: Professional Princess
This is my most “princess-y” and professional look, I pull it out for almost every job interview, group project presentation, and audition. How approachable do I look? One step past a “no makeup” makeup look, I felt confident and polished, and knew that my look would not overpower my big personality. With two interviews within two hours of each other, I needed to feel confident. I got ZERO comments about my appearance this day, which was refreshing.
Friday: Lovely in Lilly
The alternate title for this look is “The Ghost of Maddie Past”. As much as I enjoy bright colors and cute animals, the Lilly Pulitzer brand image isn’t one that I identify with at this point in my life. This is a people-pleasing look. My friends were shocked to see me in such a preppy style, even if the silhouette wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for me. When I first got dresssed, I didn’t feel like myself, but a little red lipstick helped me find my sparkle. Favorite comment of the day: “Its weird to see you in so much color.”
So what have we learned? As nice as it would be to not be judged by the way we look, we live in a very judgemental world. No matter what we wear, how we do our makeup, or style our hair, we are going to be judged. There is no way to please everyone, but why should we want to? The way we look on the outside should be a reflection of who we are on the inside, and we should dress for ourselves. So go on, do your thing, and don’t ever apologize for being yourself.