Some really critical elements of one’s psyche get formed in early childhood. For example, I learned in grade school that “cool” (or popular) and “smart” (or educated, competent, etc.) were opposites.
So I saw a gal today whose T-Shirt caught my eye. Not just because it was nearly skintight and bright yellow but because I habitually and unconsciously read things. It said “You would be cooler if you were me.”
My brain, of course, came back with “Probably. But you’d be smarter if you were me.” All of which got me thinking back on grade school. Hell, for all I know she’s actually smarter than me. Still, that’s certainly not the impression I got.
Which comes back to selling yourself. How you present yourself to the world is going to effect how other people see you. It’s also cultural. Glasses make you look smart. Blonde hair makes you look ditzy. Skintight clothing makes you look — well, there’s no polite way to say how skintight clothing makes you look, and it will vary from person to person based on body type anyway. As I said, though, it’s cultural. This is all in the context of my 80s-90s American upbringing. If I were from a radically different culture, glasses might be the signal of a prostitute, platinum-blonde hair might signal high intellectual refinement, and skintight clothes might scream “practical.”
Then again, maybe not.