I have always struggled to comprehend how and why quotes like “don’t judge a book by its cover” and “appearances are deceiving” are so often praised. I suppose it is all about the way you perceive them – but as an artistic person, I am naturally observant. I strongly believe every single mannerism reveals so much about someone – from the way one walks, talks, sits and holds their cutlery at table, to the choice of attire. If you’re observant enough, if you look beyond what first meets the eye, you will find there’s a lot you can learn about a person through just the way they carry themselves – before they ever utter a word. If I believed otherwise, I probably would not be writing, drawing or photographing today… and I certainly would never have taken a liking for fashion and the thought process leading up to putting together an ensemble.
Appearances do matter. Perhaps a controversial opinion, but I still believe the way a person chooses to dress is very indicative of their personality. I recognise that there are exceptions, and I suppose that is why these sayings were first brought to light – but I believe they are only relevant to very particular circumstances. However, my point is, we live in a time when people are so quick to call out fashion for simply being a shallow industry, completely ignoring the psychological impact it has on its wearers. And it is not just about fashion, either – I staunchly believe the way one presents themselves reflects their personality. Here’s the thing: Many argue appearances are not what matter, but the personality beneath the surface. I think both do.
I mean, truly, I believe a person’s character is what makes them beautiful, but I also believe that inner beauty reflects on physical demeanour. I’ve never been one to note beauty in its traditional form, but I do believe a kind person’s character is revealed through their gestures, their mannerisms. That all forms part of someone’s appearance. Elegance always comes from within, and the ability to dress impressively relies heavily on good taste; not on what brands one can afford. There is more to a person than what you first see, but words are not needed to pass that message across.
I was raised in a disciplined household, which I ought to mention was littered with observant painters who analysed every surrounding detail. I was taught one’s appearance and overall manners – be it their walk, posture and table manners or choice of attire – formed a huge part of their personality and the message conveyed. I would likely not pay as much attention to detail now if it had not been for my upbringing. The way a person subconsciously acts – every tiny and seemingly insignificant action – reveals far more than most can imagine, and that is something I find to be inspiring. Acknowledging appearances matter does not equate to being critical of them, yet I do believe being aware of the above is necessary to get by, and the way you present yourself is in your control.