Of course, we love to pretend that first impressions don’t impact how we view each other much, that the personality of people always shines through their appearance, that we are better than this natural instinct of judging each other at first sight. But the reality is that we live in a society that values first impressions and outer appearances more than what’s under the surface, especially upon first encounters.
Growing up, I never felt very comfortable in my skin. It always felt like my exterior clashed my interior, and there wasn’t much within my power that I could do to change that. There was a weird sort of disconnect, and the only way I could try to solve this was through my clothes. I worked on my exterior as my interior was rebuilding, and crafted the image I had always wanted to embody, and letting that image sit there long enough even helped me believe that my interior was the same. I tell this story because it helps me contrast how people who first met before I embraced my exterior more saw me as opposed to how people view me now, upon first impressions.
Nowadays, I am told that I scare many people away, that they just assume that I am rude and intimidating and some don’t even bother to find out whether that’s true or not. Now, that may not be the image everyone wants to project, but I find very little wrong with it. It may not be exactly who I am, but it’s an impression I know sticks and is significant to someone after they walk away. My point is that never really used to be what I looked like- I used to be ok with people not noticing me, them walking away already having forgotten what I looked like. But I know my worth and I am no longer willing to accept blending into the background- I am worthy of the foreground.
In the end, sure, we can frame many arguments about why first impressions are useless and why we shouldn’t dress up and care about our appearances, but they matter so much and we are often reluctant to admit that because it ‘makes us shallow’. They dictate our everyday interactions, how people react to us and how we let ourselves react to them- they can make or break your day, and as long as you always keep yourself and the love you feel in mind, you can’t go wrong.