How to Use Your Projected Image
No matter where you are in this World: a town, a village, suburb, Amish settlement, city, country, back woods farm, or jungle hut gathering, what you project is what people will inject. Their interpretation of you, their overall understanding of who you are, come not only from the “first impression,” but from your image as well. There are many aspects of an image; Your social status, your hygiene, your class, your confidence, and your basic personality are some examples of what it conveys. And those aspects are shared with others through how you dress, how you act, and the people you surround yourself with.
This idea has been around forever; relevant not only to the present, but historically as well. Every culture had (and still has) it’s own method of personal symbolism. In some it is tribal tattooing. In others it is what you wear around your neck. Sometimes it’s the color of your clothes–pastels, neutrals, earth tones–or maybe it is the type of garb. Head wear has represented religions, hierarchy, and fan base. Materials have symbolized wealth, and weapons signified rank.
For us, modernly, we use a mixture of some or all of those above. As we interact socially, our clothing, accessories, colors, ‘personal touch’, and flock is what becomes our outer game. In this article I will be speaking mostly about fashion and style, but also discussing general perception as well. An image is who you are to other people; those who have yet to know the entire you. Through it, you can display who you are politically, intellectually, spiritually, and you can give them a small insight into your workings. My goal is not to dictate or change your projected image, but to bring awareness to it, and allow you to decide for yourself: “is this what I want to be expressing, and is this how I want to be viewed?”
Some of you may already be saying “Well it’s just clothing, and what you wear doesn’t define you. It can’t do all of that….” But yes, it can. It certainly does not define you, but who you are will reflect in your style and appearance. I’m sure you have heard many women talk about their “instincts” when it comes to others. Those instincts are computations of your variables; and without knowing you, the only variables they have are the ones they can take–your appearance and surface traits. Through these, people will make their pre-judgments and initial impressions of you.
Most of us have always been told to never judge a book by it’s cover. But if you are walking through a book store and don’t know what is in any of the books, how are you going to make your decision of which to pick up and page through? The insta-judgement is not always a bad thing. Once you understand, mold, and accept the image you project, you can use it to your advantage. For if you know the variables you are giving them, and the instinct you are triggering, you can control their perception and use the image to your advantage.
Onto what makes up that image; simply put, your style. Fashion is the product of a similar general style of attire. But style is not just attire. It is also attitude, motivators, accessories, hygiene, and body art. With a man purse you can be labeled ‘metro,’ with a wing tip type of shoe you can be considered hipster. In a suit you can be classified as classy and elegant. With a 5’O’Clock shadow you can be seen as scruffy or rugged. With two lip piercings and studs you could be called a Punk. With a Tetris shirt you’ll be thrown into a nostalgia corner. With a fancy watch you might be seen as wealthy. With a certain brand name, trendy. You could come off as outgoing, fun, unpredictable, wild, crazy, sexy, silly, slutty; pretty much anything you want. Fashion combined with personal style creates your image.
You can share many things about yourself without actually sharing them, and the only way to do this is through attention to detail. The details of said fashion and style. There are three things that women look at even before they go into the stage of investing a minute to make a judgment. They look at the shoes, the nails, and the general appearance. Are your nails clean and trimmed or are they chipped, long, or dirty? Do the shoes match the outfit, are they clean, and what type are they–dress, casual, boots? Is your general appearance put together, did you put time into it, or is it just thrown on from the laundry basket?
From there they move on to a more detailed inspection. What type of clothes the person is wearing, and what clique does the person fit into? Is the persons hair trimmed and done up, or did they just roll out of bed? Is the person well groomed, or is the facial hair ragged; are the eyebrows maintained, or are they bushy and uncontrolled? Are the ears and nose clean of ‘stuff’? Are the teeth taken care of or have they lived a poor brushing schedule? What does this person smell like?
And as it appears, the initial impression does revolve around hygiene and groomed aspects a lot. But those just tell them whether you care, or haven’t put in any effort. And if you have not put effort into the things people see, then what is the rest of your body going to look like? They conclude that if you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of them–and you’ll be nexted. It’s very important that you pay attention to these minute things.
After they make that snap decision, then the remainder of the time will be spent gathering information from your image to get an idea of who you are. This is where my opinion of peacocking comes in, because this is where it can get people into trouble. If you are going to do it (peacock), make sure it is congruent with who you are. What is the items purpose? Do it compliment you and make you stand out, or is it completely out of place? Will it draw attention, or is it seeking attention? There is a fine line between using it to accentuate your “interesting,” and being try hard. Just make sure that if and when you peacock, you peacock with your own feathers.
This is also where we begin to focus more on you. While she is scanning and computing, and taking in variables, you can sit back and let her. Because she is trying to put together an equation that you have already solved for her. What you are wearing is what you consciously chose to wear for a purpose. I’ll give an example (as there are infinite combinations to convey yourself): before you went out you put on baggy jeans, a hoody, dirty worn out skateboarding shoes, a dab of got2be stylish in your hair, and a Gucci watch. You shaved and your nails are neat and trimmed. You approach a girl with your hoody sleeves pulled up. The watch glistens and catches her eye; she starts her judging. She looks at a neatly groomed you, with trashy clothes, shoes that are falling apart, a nice watch, and a carefree attitude.
What do you think she interprets this as? I would say this person is someone who has a very well paying job but likes to embrace his hobbies and passions. He might have to dress up all the time, so now he is choosing to dress down. His shoes are falling apart because he is truly a skateboarder, so he isn’t trying to fit in with something he is not. And since the watch is on, he might actually be going to, or coming from, something important. But the truth of the matter is, this person is wearing a knock off watch that cost 15 dollars, works as a Pizza delivery driver, and bought the shoes that way. But I wouldn’t know those details until I got to know the person; before that point, all I have are my assumptions.
By steering your style in the direction you want it to go, you control those assumptions, and you can ensure they are positive ones. People (for this, women in general) have certain standards they want met. A business woman who likes gruff men isn’t going to be attracted by a guy with a boyish appearance.
But if you grow out a little bit of facial hair and have callused hands, you can draw attention to those and give her the things she seeks.
As I don’t advocate being something you are not, I won’t say portray yourself through a false image, but again, clothes don’t define you. Just because you wear something particular to a fashion group, doesn’t make you that person. The interpretation is of their own doing, not yours. So understand what you are portraying, but also know why, and make sure it truly fits.
You can chose to go with your current style; it is obviously a current style for a reason, or you can create a new one with your new awareness. Since you now know what they look for, you can decide what they get to see. Each item from your belt to your socks can say something. Take long hair for example. That long hair pulled back in a pony tail accompanied by a goatee can convey biker. But that same exact long hair let down, tussled, with a hemp necklace will put you as “surfer.” A pair of Type Z boots with jeans can be seen as rugged; but the same pair of boots on with a suit over top can give off an extremely masculine but classy look. A torn t-shirt with a tie can make you look “alternative.” That same torn t-shirt without a tie can make you look homeless.
After creating a style or choosing to go with your current one, use it to get into the social frames that it works in. If you look elegant, you are seen to be elegant. You are categorized; and now you can use that to go at an interaction in a sleek manner, more suave and proper. If you look rugged, people will see you as more gruff. Socially, use that to your advantage. Be alpha, be a little crass. If you look metro, you are seen as more ‘in touch.’ Use that to embrace a more emotional standing in the frame. You are using your physical appearance to highlight your traits. So don’t throw those traits aside, embrace them and be congruent with them–women seeking men with those traits will be that much more drawn to you. And the ones that are not seeking those traits? When it is time, accentuate the ones they are looking for, and change your flexible style.
This all may seem a little redundant. But what I am trying to stress is that it’s not just about putting on a Blazer, or tying up dress shoes. It’s not just about putting on nice dark and creased pants, or donning an expensive Ed Hardy t-shirt. It’s about finding a way to have good fashion and style that is congruent with you, but still be done in a way that allows you to share with the world what you want to share. Your image will clearly express a message that you have yet to get across. What do you want that message to be, and who do you want that message to reach?
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About Locke Star TSBMag followers! I present to you myself, through the alias of Locke. I am a member of the pickup community, an avid self developer, growth promoter, and a robotic ninja pirate. I just became a contributing author to this wonderful land of knowledge; I hope that through my words and the words of everyone here, we can all help to build naturally attractive and socially adept men and women.