22 April 2018 - Power Dressing

Here's the last of my tryptic posts from Eve Poole and her workshop I attended back in February. If you remember dear reader it was all about women in work and Eve used everyday items to represent a key message. Today I touch on the remainder pieces; the mascara, lipstick and nail varnish.

Mascara
Women, and some men, will use Mascara to accent the eyes and make them seem bigger. In conversation, the art of holding eye contact with the other person shows they are listening to what you are saying. The longer and deeper the eye contact then it is perceived this person is more intelligent. 
One of our basic functions is to blink and some boffins have researched the typical person's blink rate. If you want to come over as professional then hold your eye contact longer and reduce your blink rate down. Of course, its OK to blink; never blinking might come over as being a psychopath. 
A quick blink rate could suggest to the other person that you may be nervous, or lying or flirting with them, or possibly that you have an unhappy contact lense. 
So essentially, if you want to come over as more alpha and authoritative, then blink less.



Lipstick
They say that women who wear red lipstick get promoted quicker, earn more money and are generally more successful. Just look at Taylor Swift, she seems to be doing well.
Back in our world, Eve suggests that for a women to wear any lipstick it will help her audience, especially men, to be drawn to the lips. If they are looking at the lips and not your other assets, then there is a chance that he is lipreading and concentrating on what you are saying and you might just be heard. 
When it can take just a few seconds for someone to form an impression on you then making an effort could help to make or break a deal. And using a little makeup to help 'concentrate their minds' can't be a bad idea too.



Nail Varnish
Now, stay with me on this one...Eve then talks about Cinderella and how she got into the ball. Yes, the fairy godmother did her stuff and got Cinders looking the part but she didn't have an invitation, yet she sashayed into the Palace and stole the Prince. This must be one of the oldest stories of 'fake it till you make it'. Cinders used dress code to fool all the other guests that she belonged and totally owned it. 
Wind forward to reality, and we use how we dress, as a code. We are told to dress for the role that you aspire to but we also gravitate to brands and clothing that are worn by others we want to associate with and want to fit in; whether that be a suit in the city or jeans and hoodies in our world of Salesforce. Modern dress code is an unconscious bias of the tribe we calibrate towards. 
As for me, I wear what I like and like what I wear. I live in a fortunate space where dress code is not dictated to me. Its not imperative for me to wear city uniform, nor do I feel that I need to conform to deep technical apparel of the hoodie. I mash it up between dresses, trousers and jeans but when I speak at a conference I will wear a dress to present. For me, there is something about dressing to impress and feeling good in what you are wearing that adds an additional spark of confidence. I add lipstick too. I look good and I have the gravitas to deliver well. Its all part of the package and could be seen as 'getting your armour on'. 



I feel its important to say that women should feel comfortable in their own skin first and dress how they feel want to, for themselves and not to impress or conform to others. The fact that these tricks are shared to 'help us' improve our chances do seem a bit mad, especially in more recent times. And then you hear comments from industry leaders, who should know better, telling us that some Execs will decline to hire a particular female into their business because they are deemed too attractive and the Exec, frankly, can't keep their sh*t together. Sadly, it seems we are not fully through this so we might as well armour up with the battle dress on and play them at their own game. 




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