Monday, March 2, 2009

Looks Matter

Someone on a private email list I belong to mentioned something about how you look is very important, that people really judge you on appearance, clothing (style, cleanliness,
condition), body odor, hair, etc.

I forget the exact topic but we talked about personal appearance and cleanliness- things such as washing your hands after using the bathroom- the very first time I want to an aspie support group. While it was all stuff I had already learned by trial and experience, I remember thinking it would have been nice to have paid better attention to that stuff when I was a younger adult.

My mom tried to teach me proper grooming and etiquette, but I didn't see how connected that stuff was to my lack of friends. It was just extra work, and stiff scratchy clothes (instead of my favorite soft cozy smelly (to others, not me) sweatshirt). And since, in my mind, taking better care of my physical body wasn't connected to any other goals I had, I couldn't be bothered to do it. It wasn't until I got out into the workplace that I learned the importance of presenting yourself in a good way.

As I began to take better care of myself, I discovered that opportunities to interact with others (friendship and employment) have opened up more. And I've also noticed that being clean-cut (well groomed, smell clean, clothes professional looking and ironed) really helps me get the assistance I need when I go somewhere. I'm sure there's more to it than just appearance, but I think appearance really helps.

Hope that helps someone...


Jeff Deutsch said...

Hello SavedAspie,

Thanks for sharing your personal experiences. You've made an excellent point - things like personal hygiene, cleanliness, diet and exercise, even fashion all shape how others judge us. It may or may not be fair, but it is the reality.

Have a great rest of your day!

Jeff Deutsch

SavedAspie said...

Thanks, Jeff, for the comment. One of the problems I think for Aspies in this area, is until we realize looks and hygiene are necessary to achieving our other goals. How do we make this more important to younger Aspies before they experience so much heartache?