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Your image is completely within your control!

“The way we dress reflects the way we feel,” says my guest on the Little White Lie Show, Lauren Solomon.  She has known and lived this subject every day on every level imaginable for many years. She is the trusted image advisor to high-profile CEOs, corporations and individuals worldwide.  In addition, she is an internationally renowned speaker, author, coach, and media personality. So you can imagine my thrill to have her on the show (here’s the link), and to share her wisdom with you here. Enjoy….

ImageLauren went on to say that this is true for those who have actually taken the time to think about who we are and how we feel, and then to make an effort in that direction. She sees another side of the coin, “people who are dressing in other people’s image of them…reflecting the way others see us and how old others see us to be….”

It is certainly her goal – and the mission of the Little White Lie Movement – to encourage women to show up NOT as they imagine others see them, but rather to show up as they are, looking amazing because they feel amazing. That’s what this movement is all about – how your outside reflects how you feel on the inside!

So, this question is really about image, isn’t it?

What image do we have of ourselves, and what image do we (and do we want to) project? Lauren’s personal definition of the term ‘image’ is ”a very holistic view. Who you want to be and how you want to be seen in the world. So, image is completely within your control.” Yes!

Reflecting our own image might be easy if we lived in a vacuum. But instead, we live amid the noise of a very active media, telling us how to dress, how to look, how to do just about everything. As Lauren wisely points out, it’s their job to sell information and content. And that’s driven by headlines to attract as many eyeballs as possible. “When you consolidate that kind of information, you lose the true answers,” she says.

Not sure if this will make you laugh or cry, but here’s a quick sampling of what that looks like:

Refinery29: Rites of Fashion – Dressing for Your Age by decade – Oy Vey! Cleverly written, but making it clear that you don’t want to wear heels or skinny jeans when you’re past 60…

Harper’s Bazaar: The rules for looking ‘appropriate’ are not what they used to be. Sounds promising, right? Well, the article focused on those poor women hitting their (horrors!) mid-30s. And the article titles are perfect examples of what Lauren is talking about – sound bites to tell you how, where, when, why to dress: ‘The New Trench Coat,” “Your Guide to White Denim,” “Bella Hadid Wears Chanel with Her Sweats,” and my favorite: “You’re Going to Want to Copy North West’s Latest Outfit” (the best style moments of the 3-year-old daughter of Kanye and Kim…REALLY??).

From the New York Times, Don’t Dress Your Age: “As we ascend the ladder of wisdom and maturity, we are cautioned to adopt restraint, to be “classic,” “sophisticated,” to eschew skin in favor of prim. And with every passing year, to occupy less space and be more demure — and dull.” Well said, author Julia Baird. She goes on to say: “All this nonsense is why I adore the funky grandmothers you can find on Instagram who dance about in baubles and proudly sport turbans. They refuse to fade, hide or match their attire to the wallpaper.” While I love this, I wonder if that’s another stereotype we’re fighting – is this our future image?

How do we turn around the mindsets around image and aging?

Image“I check those opinions at the door with my clients,” replies Lauren Solomon. “We’re not dealing in alternate facts; we are dealing in the reality. We’re dealing in your life, your lifestyle, your dreams and your goals. And, amazingly, if I ask my clients what any of those are, no response comes back a size 4 or a particular garment!” I love this – Let’s keep our eyes on what’s important to us, and allow that essence to inform who we control our image.

Lauren uses clothes as a tool (and I would add other aspects of our appearance, say, our hair…) to be an outside reflection of who we are inside – to match the inside and the outside. She wants us not to think twice about what to tell the world today, what parts to manufacture that we want people to see, or worry about what we are hiding today.

Instead, as we go through life and achieve bigger things, we want to – in fact, have the responsibility to – live our life as fully as we can, to show up as we are, our truest and most authentic reflection.

I couldn’t agree more!

And as I’ve said before about the Little White Lie, this is not about making judgments around whether or not someone chooses natural hair color or dyeing it, false eyelashes, plastic surgery, Botox, a ‘new’ trench coat or an ‘old’ one, or “dancing about in baubles and proudly sporting turbans” — whatever reflects who we are inside, then fly that flag high when we step out of the house each day!