Are You Being Judged By Your Appearance?

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Are You Being Judged By Your Appearance?

Category : Uncategorized

The English idiom Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a phrase which means “you shouldn’t prejudge the worth or value of something, by its outward appearance alone”. Wikipedia

What’s that got to do with dieting?  Sadly – a lot – as any overweight person is painfully aware.  We are negatively judged for our weight, our clothing, and our demeanor.

The other day a friend and I decided to go on an impromptu shopping expedition to buy her some new clothes.  The impromptu part of the outing was that we were both dressed very casually (okay, we could have been working in the garden in our outfits).

We arrived (somewhat disheveled) at a boutique and we were completely ignored – even though we were the only customers in the store. No clerks approached us, no one offered to help; we were invisible. Later another woman came in – very well dressed – and two clerks rushed right over to her.

We were negatively judged based on our appearance.

My favorite scene from the movie Pretty Woman was when Julia Roberts (in her Vivian prostitute outfit) went into a boutique and was rejected by the snooty sales clerks.  She returned a day later in a stunning outfit and here was the dialogue:

Shop assistant: “Hello, can I help you?”
Vivian: “I was in here yesterday, you wouldn’t wait on me.”
Shop assistant: “Oh.”
Vivian: “You people work on commission, right?”
Shop assistant: “Yeah.”
Vivian: “Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”

Obviously my friend and I did not present like Vivian in Pretty Woman, but … we were ignored because four sales clerks assumed we would not buy anything in their store based on our appearance and attire.

For overweight individuals, that judgment can be even harsher. There is a bias against those who struggle with weight and don’t fit the Hollywood/Madison Avenue norm.

I experienced it many times during my heaviest years (okay decades).  The more pounds I had on me, the more invisible I felt. Add to that the heavier I became, the more my self esteem dropped. I made myself an easy target for those who judged my book by my obese “cover.”

All of us (no matter what our sizes or shapes) owe it to “the public” to wear clothes that are clean, neat, no holes and not ill fitting. Don’t invite being ostracized because you present in a slovenly fashion.

Note to sales clerks who pass judgment based on appearances: “Big mistake. Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”