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Appearance and Presentation is Everything, Or is it?

Updated on September 4, 2015


Appearance and Presentation; A Big Part Of It.

It has been said throughout the centuries that ''A person's appearance and presentation says a lot about who they are''. Even before one opens his/her mouth, people look at you and form certain opinions; these opinions may be positive or negative, fair or unfair.

I have always operated under the assumption that ''in order to be successful, you have to dress for success''. I cannot tell you where I first heard that line, whether it came from my mother , a teacher, a magazine or the news; the one thing I know for sure is that I embraced it ,and it subconscously governs my preparation and choices.

Is Appearance and Presentation everything?, maybe not, but it is an instrumental component of living; it cannot be denied. Only a select few (if any) are exempt from the ramifications of poor appearance; they make up for it however with a strong intellect or physical presentation.

What is appearance? Appearance is the way a person looks, including what they wear. Your appearance tells your a story. A person's appearance can give hints about a persons ethnic background, belief systems, health, level of education, temperament and social status. Appearance can be masked, but is often interpreted accurately (you are often who you appear to be). Nobody wants to be associated with someone who looks ragged, unkept, dirty or smelly. We all want to have family members, friends and co-workers who dress well, are well kept, hygienic, smell good and generally appear stable.

What is presentation? Presentation is a combination of your appearance, the way you talk, conduct your self and relate to oothers. Life is all about presentation, and you may often go as far as your presentation allows. A person will likely succeed if they look good, talk clearly and appropriately (in whatever language they use), relate well, and behave with civility at all times. Well presented people often get ahead and enjoy good attention. A person who does not have these qualities on the other hand, may unfairly so, be met with obstacles on the part to success; they may have few business and/or social loyalties.

People make the claim, that as independent people with freedoms and rights, they can look the way they choose. They also claim that they can present the way they choose. This is the case according to law, but you have to realize that employers and others we meet on a daily basis equally possess the right to think and feel the way they choose to.

Another claim that I hear often, is from wives, husbands and partners who claim that love is unconditional; good luck with that. People have a responsibility to maintain good appearance and presentation during the course of a relationship. Poor appearance and presentation has been responsible for many a divorce, love is not guaranteed. Love is a privilege that should be respected and nurtured, in part by self maintenance. We should not expect to keep our partners to accept and love us if we choose to let ourselves go.

Laws exist to protect people from discrimination because of race, gender, disability etc; most employers honor these laws. It gives an employee an edge however, to maintain a clean and professional presentation at all times. Even when we casually go about our social lives, one should always take the time to attend to ones looks.

So, what is missing today in the way people appear and present? People have become somewhat complacent when getting ready to step out. Ironing has almost become a lost art. People step out in wrinkled, ripped or misfitting clothing; people appear frumpy, sometimes dirty and unkept. It is no longer out of place to see people in pajamas at the malls. Some people, especially men do not take the time to groom themselves anymore, shaving is becoming a lost art. People do not take the time to brush their hairs, get regular hair cuts, polish shoes and wear appropriate body accessories.

This lack of caring is also reflected on the kids, as many of our kids are sent to school looking ragged, unkept and frumpy-not a recipe for alertness. Kids often wear clothing with inappropriate language printed on them. Kids take off shoes and they clear the room. Adults, show the example, throw your clothes in the wash once in a while; it may not fly that you are a construction worker or painter and need to look the part.

It is no secret that American and much of the world is overweight; this is also an indication that we do not really care about our appearance and presentation. Despite the availability of recreational and exercise resources, obesity persist. Lots of people, including Doctors and nurses who smoke and drink, sometimes to excess; this is all bad presentation. Priest and pastors who steal church money and lie to us, all bad presentation. Parents and others who do drugs, lie and cheat on their partners, and the list goes on and on. Appearance and Presentation is mostly a factor of personal choices. You do not have to be rich to appear well; you do not have to have too much time to present well. Poverty should not equate dirtiness. I grew up around people who did not have much, but swept their yards with brooms each morning by hand, and washed laundry by hand everyday. We were compelled to do these things ourselves as kids. Today, kids are sitting around waiting for someone to do everything for them.

Our generation, all generations currently have societal problems that are resultant of this apathy to our appearance. The younger generation is struggling because we have not shown great leadership in balancing of work, schooling and activities of daily living in the last few decades. We owe our kids the responsibility for modeling appearance, presentation and life choices.

Whether you shop at Walmart, AJ Wright or Kmart, or you wear the contemporary stylings of Josef Addud, Tom Ford, Silvia Venturini, Fendi or Yves Saint Laurent, you should always look good. Take the time to iron your clothes, groom yourself and take care of your body. When your physical appearance is good, your morale will be high, your confidence level elevated, and you will feel happier. Oh by the way, do the same for the kids; it will boost their confidence level in school.


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  • Powerpoe1 profile image

    Powerpoe1 6 years ago

    Appearance does matter especially in a business environment. When potential clients are coming to you for information on your products or services. They are seeking an expert. How can your opinion or views influence when you lack in the basics, "grooming"?

  • profile image

    ngantrieu 7 years ago

    this article lacks of post date

  • profile image

    Greg F. 7 years ago

    I dress nicely and always like to slick my hair back. This guy who dresses like a slob and god knows he doesn't take showers driscriminated me on my hair and clothing. He said my hair was from the 50's and the "Fonz" hair due was bull$hit!. He then told me I needed to quit acting like I was in a league of my own by dressing all fashionably. It was my actual first day on the job.

  • Mrs. J. B. profile image

    Mrs. J. B. 7 years ago from Southern California

    I do not worry about appearances. I just look at what's inside.

  • Cyrsti Hart profile image

    Cyrsti Hart 7 years ago from West Central Ohio

    So true! As a transgendered girl, I can tell you in our community we spend a great amount of time wondering why so many women don't seem to care about their appearance.

    So true it goes for guys too!

    We just happen to have gone in an opposite gender direction!

  • Betty Reid profile image

    Betty Reid 7 years ago from Texas

    I don't worry to much about appearances. Luckily I live in a town where casual attire is the norm. Now I have a sales job, however, and I am becoming more conscious of making a good impression. You have a great point about love relationships. People do prefer a good-looking mate.

  • profile image

    DexiSpecs 7 years ago

    It is all about how you present yourself. When you look good you feel better about yourself. Dressing well doesn't mean being trendy and keeping up with fashion either. It's more about taking pride in ones self. I grew up with a stay at home mom who always liked to look nice. Right before my dad was due home from work she would take time to fix her hair and put on lipstick. I was always impressed that she took that time to freshen herself up and make sure she looked good. It carried over to all of her children.

    Because of the type work I do, I see people of all ages and backgrounds dressed for job interviews. I cannot believe my eyes when I see someone wearing a messy t-shirt and jeans for an interview. We were taught it didn't matter the job you were applying for, you never wore jeans.

    If jeans are all you have, make sure you wear your nicest pair and that they are clean. Same goes for the top you choose.

    You can have very little money and still present well.

    I do believe that parents still need to set examples for their children. If you teach them from a young age about appearance and presentation, it sticks. Personal style will develop and play a factor (as it should), but the basic hygiene lessons will hopefully always remain.

  • drdspervez profile image

    drdspervez 7 years ago from Pakistan

    It's a very good and useful hub.You are right, dressing is very important for a person, as it's an old saying " First impression is the last impression."


  • Rogochuks profile image

    Dray Chukis 7 years ago from USA

    Wow Nellie, your comment is a Hub all it's own. I am impressed with all your commentary; even though I was raised in Africa, I relate to you. My mother was a Home Economics teacher and English teacher, and my dad was a French teacher who later became a High School Principal; my mom and my dad were always well dressed and encouraged us to do the same. I am proud of my upbringing. Thanks again.

  • Nellieanna profile image

    Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

    I was lucky to have good examples of personal attire from both very conservative (father) and very artistic (mother). It's good to have a "wide vocabulary" of good personal attire to fit the occasion and mood. But it needs always to be neat and clean, whether formal and conservative or bright and sassy. My Dad was a rancher. His "uniform" was khaki pants and coordinating shirt -always laundered and pressed professionally, since Mother burned out on ironing when ironing her way through college in the days of the "flat irons" which were heated directly on top of a wood-burning stove, fraught with weight and cooling off rapidly; plus the clothing she had to iron for female classmates was fluted, ruffled, tucked, lacy and complicated. She learned to get by without ironing when that ordeal ended at graduation. If Dad required starched, ironed clothes, even for wrestling livestock and other ranch work, it was up to him to see to it, and he did, without complaint. He took his clothes to a professional laundry.

    Mother was an talented designer and maker of clothes, though, and her skill and taste came across. She "invented" many styles long before they hit the pages of Vogue or the racks of - well - that was pre-Walmart - but any clothing sellers.

    Others of my family members were good example of good habits, too.

    But it was when I was in college that I was indelibly imprinted with a need to take pride in appearance. My college was up-scale, so the main student body all dressed well, but it was not long after WWII, and there were "quonset huts" on campus, back out of sight,- for families of veterans going on with their education. I had a class in home management and infant care and an assigned project was to go to the rows of those huts and work with the families. What I saw was eye-opening. The women were sad-eyed and sloppy, the huts were unkempt and the babies were also unkempt - at least in those huts I had opportunity to see or work with. I decided then and there that I'd never let myself or my home, when I got one, go like that.

    Then when I was a new bride, I saw another person who inspired me. She was pregnant - quite showing - but she was neat, well-groomed, well-dressed and carried herself well. Both of us commented on her outstanding appearance when we saw her. I then knew that I would be the same way if I became pregnant, which I did. We didn't have a lot of money but enough that I could buy lovely cotton fabrics and design and make a really pretty maternity wardrobe. I just didn't want to slip into that careless mindset, and never did. Nor did I want to take on a "poverty mentality" - which is another deterrent to taking care of one's appearance.

    It's a little like the argument about the need for good vocabulary and good grammar. Those will not a good writer, speaker or story-teller make, certainly. For that, there is another dimension of creativity and mastery of both language and demographics. But good usage does NOT detract and poor usage does detract from a presentation, except when a story is about people who use the poorer language, which calls for their dialog to be authentic. Same with dress. One should try to "behave in Rome as Romans do" to a certain extent. But it doesn't mean defying one's own standards or individuality. Better to "stick out" due to good habits, rather than to bad ones.

    This is a good hub, well done and timely, Rogochucks. I see in your profile pic you are immaculately dressed, well-coordinate and wearing a red shirt rather than a more traditional white or pale blue one, with a suit. A good example of observing good standards but using personal pizzazz in the process! :-)

  • Wonder Referrals profile image

    Wonder Referrals 7 years ago from Chicago

    Great Hub !

    My aunt always told me that you should always

    look your best even if you are just

    taking out the trash !

    I was just 13 at that time of this great advice.

    Thanks for following me on hub pages !

    Now, I am following you !

  • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

    Wesman Todd Shaw 7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

    My Mom always tells me, "dress for the job you want, not the job that you have."

    I know what she means, but I can't wear a suite when I'm repairing someone's home heating or air conditioning equipment!

  • Darlene Sabella profile image

    Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

    Yes it means everything, at least in the beginning...I comme from Southern California, and the way I looked and dressed I knew if I was to have an interview I would land it on the spot. As I got older and gained weight, I still dressed nice and looked good but could never get the job. It depends are where you live but where I come from the young and pretty people rule. NOT a degree...Great hub