Should anyone in your life have input into how you style your appearance?

Jump to Last Post 1-8 of 8 discussions (10 posts)
  1. Jennifer Mugrage profile image86
    Jennifer Mugrageposted 5 years ago

    Should anyone in your life have input into how you style your appearance?

    In a class on a cultural differences, I once heard an Asian woman (a grown woman!) say that if she were to change her hairstyle, she would have to get her mother's permission first.  As an American, I found this rather shocking.  However, it's obvious that we Americans have swung to the OPPOSITE end of the pendulum.  We tend to think NO one - not even our spouse - should have a say in how we dress.

    So ... how much should we consider others' wishes or opinions when choosing a look, clothing, hairstyle/facial hair, tattoos, or makeup?  Whose? Might we owe even strangers a thought?

  2. Michaela Osiecki profile image68
    Michaela Osieckiposted 5 years ago

    I think this is most definitely a cultural difference - majority of the western world consists of Individualist societies - we're socialized from birth to be individuals, to be our unique selves, to think for ourselves. (I guess this can be argued, but in comparison to Collectivist cultures, we have a lot of social freedoms). So we're encouraged at times to own our bodies and our looks - as long as those looks conform to prescribed beauty standards of course.

    In Collectivist cultures, like much of Asia, the focus of a society is on homogeneity and harmony. Being part of the group is prioritized over being an individual. "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down" is a well known proverb for these kinds of societies. So often, people who make changes without notifying or getting approval from others can result in confusion and chaos within that society. This extends from major arenas like politics down to personal levels like something as simple as a hair style.

    Neither are wrong, just different ways of organizing a society.

  3. Fatimaaa profile image67
    Fatimaaaposted 5 years ago

    I am an Asian. Speaking as one, I attest to the accuracy of the fact that we are culturally expected to obey at least our parents with respect to their thoughts about everything under the sun, even our own appearance. Yet I have deviated from my culture, and that I do anything with my appearance as and when I like is the consequence of my liberal western education. I think what you want to look like is purely personal to you, just like religion or who you are sleeping with. Thank you for posting this thought-provoking question. smile

    1. Jennifer Mugrage profile image86
      Jennifer Mugrageposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Fatimaa,  for sharing your experience.

      If I may ask, how do your parents react to your newfound freedom?

  4. Annsalo profile image83
    Annsaloposted 5 years ago

    I'm not sure if my view is common any more, but I believe a spouse should have input. Input doesn't have to mean it is the final say though.
    Personally when it comes to clothing, my hair length, tattoos or my hair color I always ask my husband's opinion. After all he is the one who has to look at me every day.
    I also feel I should have a say if my husband decides to grow a 10 inch beard or suddenly decides he is going to shave his head bald.
    My appearance is about keeping myself happy, but when I got married, things stopped being just about me and became about us.
    So yes, I believe if we have a partner their opinion should be considered. Parents should lose that once their child is old enough to consider the possible consequences for an appearance change.

  5. dashingscorpio profile image87
    dashingscorpioposted 5 years ago

    Life is a (personal) journey.
    Each of us is responsible for our own happiness.
    There are plenty of things to be concerned about without having to (worry about what clothes or hairstyle) to wear to please others.
    Seeking/needing the approval of others reduces your self-esteem.
    I wouldn't invite people to manipulate or weigh in on my personal choices. Adulthood is having the freedom to live on your terms.
    I never offer my wife an "unsolicited opinion" on personal items.
    Ultimately it's impossible to be happy if you're not being yourself!

    1. Jennifer Mugrage profile image86
      Jennifer Mugrageposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I voted up on your comment because it's well-expressed.
      Considering the impact of your choices on someone else is not necessarily approval-seeking.  It might just be simple consideration.
      You are wise not to offer your wife unsolicited input. smile

  6. Jennifer Mugrage profile image86
    Jennifer Mugrageposted 5 years ago

    Good answers, everyone.  I love that so far we have 4 answers with 4 different perspectives.

    I do agree a spouse should have some input (though I would probably feel indignant if my husband ever volunteered such).  But ... if the person was attracted to you before you were married, presumably they like the way that your taste leads you to dress.   Unless you RADICALLY change your look.

    Speaking of radical looks, what about personal appearance choices that DON'T conform to societal standards of beauty?  People that ...
    -wear clothing with obscene or violent pictures on it?
    -intentionally style their appearance to look like a Viking or a vampire?
    -Have so many piercings in sensitive parts of their face that your eyes water in sympathy when you look at them?
    -Or what about that guy who got spikes surgically implanted in his head and tattoos of scales so that he could be a human lizard?

    I personally kind of enjoy looking at people with creative makeup and cool hairstyles.  (I like costumes.)  Still, is it possible that some forms of self-expression are also a way of saying "screw you" to every stranger who claps eyes on them?

  7. profile image0
    RTalloniposted 5 years ago

    Looking at the main question from the other side of the coin, wouldn't we want our perspective to be well-received if we felt the need to give it to a relative or friend?  Of course, kindness, respectfulness, and all the things that make relationships civilized would be required of a person approaching another about their appearance.

    I do think we owe each other, strangers included, a thought.  American independence has led to an in your face attitude about appearance even toward those we love.  That attitude divides people rather than unites, leaving people feeling lonely, sad, and worse. 

    Everyone dressing alike, as we've seen in some religious communities or communist regimes, is not the answer, nor is it necessary to keep up with the fashion world's ideas of what our appearance should be.  We should feel free to wear styles we like no matter what people who want to sell us something say, but too often people judge others because they are not in step with a movement's philosophy or popular trends.

    We can be original as well as respectful toward others in our appearance.  I always think that those who want to be frightening, vulgar, seductive, abrasive, grim, bleak, heartless, and severe in appearance are indicating a desperate cry for help that is buried beneath their own pain, anger and/or bitterness about something that has happened to them.

  8. yecall profile image78
    yecallposted 5 years ago

    Well, I am not married and so it may be different for the married folks.  I do think that perhaps what one spouse chooses to wear does reflect upon the other spouse to some degree, whether for the good or bad.  I think one shouldn't make a spectacle of oneself or attract negative attention.  People will stare if so and that is a sort of social disapproval thing that happens automatically.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)