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Avoiding any kind of judgments, at first meetings people usually classify others by the way they look, more precisely, body shape, facial features, hairstyle, clothing and all the other details which may influence the actual truth. We need to make a first impression before beginning to interact with someone, and stereotyped images influence the first encounters, inevitably. Anyway, investigators have been inconclusive regarding the body type and how it affects our attitude because the shape of our bodies cannot determine our character.
We may say that physical attributes are not very essential, but psychological studies show that we respond much more favorably to physically attractive people regardless of their gender. It is said that attractive people, in a job interview for instance, will tend to be recommended for the job instead of the less attractive ones. In social interaction, the face is the most important visual focus which is why we do our hair, we use make-up and style the beards.
By making a little effort to improve the physical attractiveness, people can cause great differences to the ways in which others see and judge them. Aristotle said over 2.000 years ago that “beauty is a better recommendation than any letter of introduction”. I cannot totally agree with this because in my opinion beauty comes from within; when someone has a good heart and personality, their eyes will shine and the room will be filled with positive energy when they walk in. There are also experiments about the way someone looks, more exactly the way that person dresses.
Clothes are a very important factor into personal characterization. It is proven that people who wear clothes associated with high status, tend to have much more influence than those who wear low status clothes and it is said that comber colors reveal ambition and bright colors the opposite. Initially, clothes have two basic functions, one is to protect our bodies from temperature, wind and rain and the other is to cover our body parts with a degree of modesty. The situations we find ourselves in influence the way we should dress, it would be awkward to go to the swimming pool in a super-fancy dress instead of a swimsuit. We should remember that clothes have a first impact when we meet someone, that is why we should wear appropriate clothes and a more casual and personal style should be adopted, which represents us. Some ways of temporarily changing appearances which also communicate messages about ourselves, would be make-up, shaving and hairstyling while a more permanent commitment would be tattoos but of course we should be very careful about the kind of messages we want to transmit; we can exercise this by trying to see other people using our style and also by trying to see ourselves as others may see us. Anyway, this is a great topic with many good and bad parts and in the end we are free people and we can choose to dress or to look however we want. There are just some major lines that should be taken in consideration in order to avoid being ridiculous. Nowadays people are so diverse and appearances can be so tricky that we cannot trust an angel-face and a fully-covered in tattoos and piercings can be the funniest and the most honest person we will ever know. I consider that the way we look should be as beautiful as our inside because if it is beautiful only on the exterior, it is all in vain. Body adornment should be a bonus. A great quote by Margaret Thatcher explains it all: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” Another representative factor is the body posture. Since childhood people are thought to stand straight unless they want to get a humpback later. It is true that a straight body looks taller and slimmer than stooped ones and more than this the posture creates an impression of the attitude. A correct one will show confidence and self-esteem but anyway these communication tools can be used skillfully in our favor. This fact is validated by experts who say that the way we hold our body can reveal feelings about events and about people, it can show how interested we are, it can reveal if we agree with an idea or if we truly like something. Generally, when people disagree with ideas or facts, they tend to have “closed” postures like folded arms and crossed legs, while an agreement posture is more “open” with uncrossed legs and relaxed body. In any case, the head orientation is more important than the body orientation because the direction we turn our heads shows who we like or respect, who has the attention. The signal is reinforced if we turn the body as well. When our postures match our head direction, the devotion is clear but when they don’t match, it is just about dominance and respect. Similarity of posture, also called “postural congruence” or” postural echo” can signal liking and appreciation between two people. It is a mirror-image when one person’s left side is equivalent to the other one’s right side. With these being said, the postural congruence can be used as a means of furthering a relationship, establishing a feeling of togetherness and common identity.
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