McIntosh Trail Online
Take the effort to look presentableTuesday, March 06, 2012 By Jessica Roberson
We live in a lazy world. We take offense to the point that nothing is professional anymore. This applies especially to personal appearance. As a society, we have been taught to never judge books by their covers and to always look under a person’s skin. So, if someone introduces themself and the first thought you have is, “What a mess,” you are supposed to suppress the negativity and build a relationship based upon other things, like intelligence and morals. But deep inside, we are all still silently judging each other. For the sake of being politically correct, it is not important what you look like or how you present yourself. But, honestly, looking appropriate does make a difference. Many teenagers and adults, whether they are entering the business world or just looking for a steady babysitting job, will tell you how important it is to look nice in any situation where you may be judged by future employers. An employer wants to see that you are responsible, respectful, and capable of getting a job done. How you dress and behave is a direct indication of your potential. Two types of people will make an impression on a future boss: the sloppy, poorly-behaved person, and the put-together, respectful person. But, only the latter will get the job. Once or twice a month, I work at the school store. The mornings are a prime time for people watching, and I am often surprised and embarrassed by what I see. Flip flops and sweatpants are not appropriate for a competitive environment where your success depends entirely on how you participate before an audience of your peers and mentors. When you show up to school looking like you rolled out of bed two weeks ago and haven’t showered since, you are presenting yourself to everyone at school as someone who is not willing to put any effort into his endeavors. It is not necessary to wear the latest trends every day; in fact, I usually get along better with the people who avoid trends than the people who follow them religiously. Being unique and still looking appropriate is a skill that will get you far in the world. I understand that some people just don’t care about how they look, and they probably never will. But to be one of those people, you better have an amazing personality and evoke a certain amount of respect to successfully pull off the I-don’t-care look. That is not to say that nice clothing and superb hygiene can make up for lack of personality: far from it. But if you are a quieter sort of person, the way you look may give others an excuse to get to know you better, and then you can develop that deeper relationship that doesn’t rely on image. Another noteworthy factor of appearance is following dress code. On page 15 of the school-issued agenda is a list of inappropriate clothing for school. This includes holes above the knees, hems above fingertip length, leggings worn as pants, and hoods or hats of any kind. Unfortunately, it seems like these rules are broken more often than they are followed. The current style of clothing may make it difficult to follow dress code, but this problem, too, can be fixed with a little creativity. The way you present yourself is a display of the respect you have for everyone around you, but most of all, the respect you have for yourself. Dressing professionally and still creatively shows that you have a sense of decorum and self awareness that leads people to see you as a mature person instead of just a good-for-nothing teenager. It is a way to get ahead of the pack that doesn’t involve too much ability.