Every single day we are slapped with the lure of the fountain of youth; ads after ads of so-called promises of attaining longevity to our precious youth. Seems like going against the hands of time is the latest fad that has sent in throngs of men and women to the latest treatment rooms or running to cosmetic counters for the latest potions they can get their hands on.
In my line of work as an Image Branding Consultant, I often meet with men and women who want quick fixes. I have a client – young and attractive 25-year-old wanting a facelift because she sees a droop on her chin that I do not. A little statistic from South Korea, the Asian capital of plastic surgery, 20% of men and women in Seoul alone, have had something invasive done to some parts of their body and this number is ever-growing. As much as I do not have anything against those who choose to keep themselves up this way, I am also not one who condones having my face or body sliced-up, pulled-up and sewed-in while being highly anaesthetised and knowing the next couple of weeks I am going to be faced, no pun intended, with immense discomfort while trying to do the simple act of yawning, for example.
Why are men and women so desperate to turn the hands of time; and in the case of my young 25-year-old client, ‘correcting’ a flaw which is not even there? Does this stem from the insurgence of so-called influencers on social media; their perfect body, immaculate face and taut skin makes us feel that we are all less than? Most often than not, we put these influencers, who we do not even know, on the pedestal, just by connecting or following them on social media.
I am a great believer that beauty is just skin deep. As much as its been proven time and again, better-looking people will have a certain edge, we should never discount other factors like looking presentable, wearing colours that suit you and sporting a hair-style that uplifts you; and whatever happened to etiquette and a great personality?
For clients who want quick and expensive fixes, I usually have the same approach. I will start off with suggesting a few tweaks in their daily lives that might make them feel and look better without having to spend tons of money or endure nights of discomfort.
My first take will always be posture. I am sure all of us at some point, have met an attractive person who seems to get everything right from head to toe, only to be marred by a rather bad posture. Correct posture not only makes you look leaner, but it also has the power to make a person look years younger. It projects better body language which in turn make you look more approachable and with that, the good hormone starts to kick in and acts as a mood booster. Though it might sound trivial, good posture actually is the one single thing that could make or break a first impression, which usually happens in the first 7 seconds of meeting someone. So there you go, never discount the power of a good posture. Good posture, almost guarantees top spinal health, as you grow older. As it is often said, you are as old as your spine.
Etiquette is something I always refer to as the magic of yesteryears, gone. Loosely translated, etiquette simply means adhering to the culture of speech, common courtesy, neat appearance and control over your emotions. All these bring out the look and feel of a gracious person. Be consistent with good etiquette and you will be revered; and we all know that reverence will automatically make someone look attractive, no matter what class of society you belong to.
The power of good eye contact is underrated. Eye contact is yet another non-verbal communication which is imperative in projecting confidence and we know that confident people are oh, so attractive! Good eye contact is one that gives focus on an imaginary triangle; across the eyebrows right down to the centre of the nose. While speaking to another person, break the eye contact between 5 – 15 seconds because you do not want to be labelled as ‘The Starer’.
What does a genuine smile do? Your smile makes you a more memorable person and people find it easier to remember smiling faces. Science has actually shown that it is easier to remember smiling faces than angry ones and memory goes beyond just your face: people are more likely to remember your name. That being said, a happy, smiling person almost always gives that youthful vibe, their serious-faced counterparts do not.
More often than not, people dress by emulating others and in most cases, this turns pretty disastrous. Whatever looks good on Victoria Beckham or Idris Elba will not necessarily look good on you. Our size, body shape, personality and style differs. You need to establish your personal style; even better, get an Image Branding Consultant to work on your Style Personality, which in a nutshell, means establishing the head to toe ensemble that is uniquely you; the results of studying my clients, their preferences and personality. Establishing your personal style not only helps you dress better; it also helps to take a few years off your age, when done correctly. Please note that dressing well does not in any way mean in an expensive fashion or items. A twenty-dollar clutch will look good if carried with conviction, topped with the right ensemble.
Gone are the days when the longer hairstyle is said to be good only to a younger person. I have met people who decided to chop off their mane because of naysayers who claim that longer hair will only age you. To this, I say – no, no such thing! Your hair only age you if it is shapeless and drapey. Get an experienced hairstylist, listen to his or her advice and do accordingly. That being said, for the ladies, I always love a good layering. It never fails to frame and soften a face, which also means making you look a few years younger.
Last but not least, always remember to hydrate yourself. Drink lots of water because water invigorates, refreshes and gives your complexion a youthful glow!