Thank you to my business consultant, Gary Ralston, for suggesting the name for this series of posts. To tell you the many ways in which Gary improves my life would take a long, long time. Sanity, clarity, vision, relationships, processes, graphics and numbers, getting better on a bigger scale. We have worked together for 6 months that I would not have believed if I had not lived them.
Two posts about improving appearance can be found on Linked In. The first post was written with analyst Shahna McNally in Edmonton, AB (and check the left column for upcoming Calgary dates), with suggestions for the RIGHT first impression. The second post is entitled, Digital Self Forward: Improving Your Profile Image.
Click Post Picture
Think about the first time you were going to post your photo online. You look through your pictures. Two or three are decent. They might fall short of being exact images of you today unless you’re a selfie expert, but you figure they will get the job done. Think again.
Today, your digital representation is the stand-in for the real you in more and more interactions. The virtual world is already merging with ours.It’s not just coming. It’s here. Have you seen the kids running around holding their phones in front of them? They’re playing Pokemon GO.
Now you want to enter the scary world of finding a mate. Maybe someone told you that more couples meet online than any other way. It’s true, as Peter Diamonds puts numbers to the next sexual revolution, here at Linked In.
It makes no difference if we feel that it’s socially respectable or not – including the statistics about pornography. It is happening. The motivation is to be desirable. I wish many of the criteria in this Huff Post article about online dating pictures were not true. While I believe that nobody should be allowed to touch everything they see, the world is not as it should be.
The Real Me
Wouldn’t it be great to voice over your pictures while others are scanning them? To be able to say, “That’s not really who I am!!” Nobody wants a simple picture to be the reason that Mr. or Ms. Right dismisses them.
Imagine being able to hear their thought processes when they view our pictures. Maybe folks believe that others won’t make snap decisions from a picture. Yes, they will and they do. Profiles with pictures get 9x more communication, from this eHarmony (eH) post on their most successful dating photos.
A whole conversation happens in the viewer’s mind. Some pictures will get ignored over and over, others visited over and over. The pictures that get written off didn’t feel good to look at. We tell ourselves that we rejected a person because we felt no connection. While partly true, if the person had posted a different image, we probably would have made different decisions about letting them into our lives.
For Dad, dating again is daunting enough. Now, he has to re-learn it on a computer that doesn’t care about his great social skills or the sense of humour that worked for 30 years. Could we put some lucky charms in his pocket? You bet we can.
Of course it’s unfair. Both poster and viewer become victims of wrong beliefs about another person. The control is only in Dad’s hands before he clicks the Post button, when appearance choices were made.
Personal colour analysis (PCA) puts you out in front of the competition. A recent client used the world astonished to describe her peer group’s reaction to her PCA photos. This is when we get to see what our appearance is capable of – and what Dad’s is still capable of. My first client was my then-87-year old Dad. Big improvement.
Harmony and presence are fine for professional pictures. In the wild world of finding a mate, we can look like a better version of ourselves than we would create, left to our own appearance devices.
Don’t we already know our colours?
No, we don’t, including all age, gender, or other group that exists.
The following advice applies to everyone:
1-Put a mouth on your face. Thinking it’s easier to buy nude lips is wishful thinking. Most often, we are painting someone else’s skin tone painted on ours.
“Wear your flesh tone.” works you know your flesh tone. It might be brown, mulberry, or coral.
Solution: Choose a sheer lip colour in a pink, red, burgundy that looks belonging on your face, using reds that are flattering in clothing as a guide. Try to roughly match the intensity of your eyes and hair.
2-Notice the background. It will have a strong influence on how well you are defined and focused, extending subliminally to character as pictures always do. Blending into the background gives the impression of weakness, poor stamina, and ‘one of the crowd’.
Solution: To photographers, surround the person with the colours in their natural pigmentation. Don’t overthink backdrops, complements, and colour schemes. They are handed to you when the client gives you their palette. If you’re the subject, bring your palette and have some say in the choice of backdrop. A photographer who has had a PCA would be valuable. If the background is an outdoor setting, have colours that you might be flattered by in clothing.
3-Wear red or pink. Nothing come close for expressing desirability. The right red/pink/purple say all the great things about a person.
Solution: Choose a version that feels good, neither flat nor conspicuous. Wear a small area if you like, the effect will still be noticed, in the way we see lipstick instantly. Look at your own photo and decide if the colour wears you or looks too candy. Ask for an opinion, preferably from a teenager who has been reassured that you want truth over comfort. Take some pictures and objectively ask yourself, “If I saw this person on the bus, would I even notice the red? Is it taking over? Would I be thinking that they should get home ASAP and change? How do I react?”
Most appearance advice out there is Anyone Advice. It has to be. What would apply equally to everyone? When we try to work with it, the effect is satisfying for about a month. Then we either go back to who we were and hope for the best, or we decide to get this figured out once and for all.
To have access to it, you need a Key Tool: your personal colour palette.
PCA is an elite instrument to discover true personal identity. The result is to give people the right way to focus on you. Nothing works as well to energize appearance, in person or avatar.
To put that palette in your hands, you need a colour analysis. There is no other way that works. Choose a real, modern testing system, the same as you would use for any other information you could trust.
Guessing at your best colours by looking at you is like guessing what’s going on under the hood of your car by staring at the stationary vehicle. PCA turns the key.
PCA from photographs? I would save my money. Cameras do not see, adjust, or interpret what human eyes and brains do.
1-Know your white. Its influence on the colour of teeth, hair, skin, and white of the eye is huge.
Pure white only looks clean and sharp on some colouring types. On others, it looks like they closed your eyes, got puffed in the face with flour, and opened their eyes back up.
Silvery hair looks dishwatery in the wrong white or gorgeous and glistening in the right white.
Solution: If you don’t know your white, don’t wear white. Or get a PCA and know.
2-No. Blur. The features have to be in focus. When most everyone else’s face is fuzzy, you want yours on a Hi Def screen. The wide, flat face of a child happens automatically when colours conflict. A slim, defined adult face is automatic when colours harmonize. Why choose the look of a robber with a nylon pulled over his face?
Solution: Wear the colours that you are. Aim to look at the photo and have your gaze bounce from the big picture right to the eyes, especially if you’re hoping to attract a woman.
3-The focal point is the eyes. Always. It should be physically harder for the viewer to look away from the eyes than to keep looking into them. Even if the background is the Grand Canyon, the focal point is the eyes. In room décor, it might be a pillow or a couch or a painting. In human décor, it is always the eyes.
The eH staff discusses the importance of eyes in this post. A good PCA will perfect the eyes in several ways. If the analyst doesn’t know how to talk about eyes, they won’t be able to do it. Find another analyst.
In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell examines how certain people come to be extraordinarily successful. He decides that it was not all up to them.
Neither is e-dating or any system that operates based on decisions made about you when you’re not present. When a picture stands in for you, the only control is in the Before filters.
PCA is a chance for you to try on different versions of ourselves. Winter and Spring coloured people need to wear those colours to pull them up to normal. If they and others have only seen themselves wearing softly coloured clothes, the washed out impression may be a self-image that could be improved.
Every person’s appearance holds incredible gifts. Invest in a PCA before buying one more item or service, and discover yours.