• Christopher Hopkins

Authentic Expression — Looking Right For YOU

There is something magical that happens when you look right. When you say, “That’s so me!”

You stand taller, your best self seems to come out naturally. You laugh easier and are less self-conscious. The problem is, as we age, it is more and more difficult to define “you.” Sure, we are supposed to have increased wisdom, inner peace and self-confidence. But it is often just not that way. It was easy to be “you” when you looked like you. But “you” have changed. And with that change may come uncertainty. To look right, you need to know what right is for you. And what is right is what reflects who you are now-your best self at the moment.

Maybe you can’t slip into size eight jeans, throw on a cute blouse and be you anymore. That sleeveless dress might not be you anymore, because those aren’t YOUR arms anymore. Perhaps you use to brush your long hair, fluff it, and go, but now you keep pulling it back, frustrated because you don’t look right with it down. It makes you feel frumpy. Consequently, it is more and more difficult to say “That’s me,” because what used to be you just doesn’t work. Defining Your Inner Image

One of the first questions I ask a woman who sits in my chair is, “What do you want this haircut to say about you?” I want to know how she sees herself. Is she more natural and sporty or more romantic and feminine? Casual or elegant? Does she want people to perceive her as a free spirit with a unique sense of style, or does she prefer to look put-together and sophisticated?

I have discovered something in this questioning process. Many women just do not know for sure. They want my opinion on what will look best. That gives me about three minutes to determine who they are. I glance at their shoes, handbag, nails, and makeup for an impression, but can be misguided. What I know will look best is not necessarily what will feel best to them. Many women are not giving the message of who they are, because they have not, for various reasons, sat down and figured it out. More likely, they just haven’t changed their style to match their growth as a woman. Revealing Whom You’ve Become

We all want to express our individuality. When we are young, it is easier to be an individual because we can experiment more with our look and get away with it. We can give

out messages about who we are by our choices of clothes and how we wear our hair and makeup. We have more color. We have more definition. Our individuality shines through naturally.

But as we age we begin to see signs of change. We begin to redefine ourselves as we mature. We’re more experienced, seasoned, and hopefully our image reflects that. We don’t want to go back. We also don’t want to look outdated, matronly, or “out of the loop.”

I often hear women say, “I like who I am, just as I am.” Ok, great. But do people see who you are when you walk into a room? Being who you are is one thing, but letting others see who you are takes a little more thought. If I took a photo of you right now and passed it around asking for words that describe you, would they be the adjectives you’d want to hear? If you could list five qualities you’d want someone to know about you, what would they be? If you want to be appreciated for who you are, it helps to present those qualities in how you look.

I have several long-term clients, but one stands out. Attractive and vivacious, I remember Candice telling me casually, “Oh I became invisible long ago.” I about fell to

the floor. She was beautiful, sexy, witty, interesting, and magnetic-five qualities. Yet, she saw herself as invisible. When she first came to me, she was a polished professional, a slim and sexy “business woman in heels.”

When the opportunity presented itself for her to leave the corporate world and become a lady of leisure, she started to fade. She didn’t have the information or motivation to reinterpret who she had become in a way that kept heads turning. I see her now, and she still has all those qualities, but hides behind self-deprecating humor and a “that was then” attitude.

No matter how our lives change, or how unimportant it seems to make the effort, people who see us deserve to appreciate us without having to spend hours figuring it out.

#authenticexpression #innerimage #personalstyle

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