OK, first up, I’m just going to say that I don’t believe in the concept of flaws. I believe our bodies are beautiful just as they are, that everything is an asset. Now sometimes we may want to hide some of our assets, but they are all assets none-the-less.
But, I see comments here and get emails all the time from women who want to hide some of their assets and have the perception that everyone is noticing them all the time. That they couldn’t possibly leave the house in a skirt for fear that their ankles will be the source of derision, or their thighs will be all that people notice.
I’m currently reading the brilliant book Presence by Amy Cuddy and in it she mentions the research on The Spotlight Effect which I think really applies to so many of us who feel that we are much more noticed in a negative way than we really are.
The Spotlight Effect was studied (you can read about it here) and what was interesting in the findings is that very few people are really noticing particular aspects of your clothes or body (those things you think of as flaws and you think are so super apparent to everyone, all the time).
In fact, we may think when we are wearing a certain garment that everyone is staring at us (and about to ridicule us), but the studies have shown that they are not. In fact it’s likely that less than 15% of people will notice much at all!
Think about how much you noticed what all the people you came into contact with yesterday were wearing? Can you pull up a picture in your head and list every item? I bet you can’t. You won’t remember what everyone else is wearing and everyone else just doesn’t remember what you were wearing.
Yes you’ll get an overall impression (and that can be good or not-so-great) of an outfit or someone’s appearance, but most of the time we just remember or notice if someone is put together well or not.
We may remember a colour that they are wearing, or a hero detail (and the study showed that wearing a really obvious Barry Manilow t-shirt has only half of people who saw you wearing it will even remember! And if you wear a Vanilla Ice t-shirt only around 15% remember it). But most people are not focussed on you to that amount of detail. So they are certainly not noticing your ankles, hips, arms, or tummy, that is, unless you keep pointing them out to everyone you meet.
I read an interview with The Body – Elle Macpherson, and she said that she has never pointed out her assets that she prefers hidden as she knows that nobody notices them – and isn’t that true! She said that if she ever did, all anybody would ever look at would be that. Elle is a smart lady and you should take her lead. Don’t verbally point out to anyone what you prefer hidden and we just won’t notice it.
Sure you can learn tips and tricks to hide your assets (and I’ve written lots of posts here to help you do that) so you feel less self-conscious. But do remember that others just aren’t as focused on you in the way you are on yourself.
Give yourself a break, highlight those other assets that you want people to notice and then flaunt them. Remember to be that magician and take control of your image, but don’t spend all your time worrying about flaws. They really aren’t as noticeable as you think.
So wear that dress again and again, you don’t need to buy a new outfit for every wedding or function you attend.
Don’t believe me? Well prove me wrong – take my Evolve Your Style challenge and discover that you either only get positive reactions or people really don’t notice much at all! But you will become more confident and stylish in the process of doing your own research! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.