You Are Judged by Your Appearance
Like it or not, you are being judged by how you look, how you dress, and how you carry yourself—and, if you’re lucky, how you do your job.
I had lunch yesterday with an old friend. I’ve known him for over 30 years. In fact, he introduced me to my wife. Unfortunately, we don’t see each other very often and hadn’t sat down across the table from each other for several years.
Let me preface what I’m about to say with, “I’m comfortable with my jeans and sneakers.”
Dave is a corporate attorney. He entered the restaurant immaculately dressed, although he wasn’t wearing a tie. I was dressed as I usually am (I did wear what I thought was a nice button-up shirt—it was even tucked in). Dave hasn’t changed much since we knew each other in our early twenties, while I am decidedly more rotund, sporting gray hair and a nearly white beard. He could pass for 10 years younger than me, although he’s actually a couple of years my senior (it must be all the time he wastes at the gym).
As we left the restaurant together I made an off-handed comment about how I appreciated that he got “all dressed up” to have lunch with me. He didn’t miss a beat, “I guess I just take our friendship more seriously than you do.”
Like it or not, every day we are judged by such things. Earlier this month I read something published by Aaron Gouveia that lists seven ways your looks affect your pay. Falling short in more than one of these categories, I hope all is not lost for the frumpy, 50-something, gray-hairs who wear jeans and red sneakers to lunch meetings with old friends.