A former model and style consultant who's now a psychotherapist shares the advice she gives clients about self-esteem and confidence.
Why should I get all dressed up if I’m just staying at home? This is a question I received from a reader on Facebook recently. My response in short is this: Personal grooming, and whether we practice it or not, is related to a kind of self-esteem, which is just as important at home as it is out in the world.
When I talk about self-esteem, I’m referring to the personal self-care that all people need to give themselves to stay healthy and show up for others.
I work in the field of psychotherapy and before practicing this profession I was dedicated to professional modeling and image consulting with banks, businesses, and government. Thanks to these years of experience, I can say that I’ve developed a special ability to identify almost immediately the state of self-esteem of the person I have in front of me. It doesn’t matter if it’s a prominent corporate executive or a stay-at-home mom taking care of her children.
Self-esteem, confidence, personal power, gestures, and movements determine the perception you have of yourself, as well as your spiritual “pulse” — whether or not you feel you are a beloved son or daughter of God.
The way we practice grooming and personal care changes as we age. If you take care of yourself starting when you are very young and learn to bring out the best in yourself, it’s very likely that you will become an adult who, as the years go by, will become an example for others.
Here are some of the reflections that came to mind when I read the reader’s question:
1YOU ARE A MIRROR FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND FOR OTHERS
For many years I have worked with my patients using a mirror to help them improve their self-image, self-esteem, and personal acceptance. (At the time of writing this article, research and laboratory tests are already being done using mirrors to help people go beyond the image they see in it.)
This is particularly important because many of our readers have young children, and they imitate you in everything or almost everything they see in you.
Habits, vices, ways of looking and moving—in short, you are a mirror for your children and therefore it’s important that when you look in the mirror you like what you see, you love yourself as you are and you accept yourself. This will unconsciously transmit a healthy self-esteem to your children.
2YOU SHOULD BE PRESENTABLE BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHO WILL KNOCK ON YOUR DOOR
In addition to a job we may have outside the home, we also do laundry, cook, and (if we are parents) drive our kids back and forth to commitments and activities. We end up exhausted.
However, not only do we never know who will knock on our door; it’s important that we take care of our personal appearance because it’s a way to connect with the great dignity we possess as a human person.
3WHEN YOU DISCIPLINE YOURSELF IN YOUR PERSONAL GROOMING, YOU DEVELOP A STYLE THAT IS CONSISTENT WITH YOUR PERSONALITY AND LIFESTYLE
Just as becoming an excellent cook takes practice, it also takes practice to perfect our makeup, find clothes that best suit us, and find the right haircut that flatters our face.
4PERSONAL PRESENTATION INFLUENCES THE MIND
In my practice as a psychotherapist, I also apply what I call “grooming therapy” with my patients.
This means that with women I teach them how to choose a good make-up base, and how to properly apply the colors on their face. I also use a color chart that helps us find out which colors suit them best. Finally, we go shopping and choose a wardrobe that’s not only coherent with their body but with their lifestyle as well.
After a few weeks of experiencing this process, not only is my patient’s smile wonderful, but her whole presence says, “I feel happy and full of energy!”
Her mentality has changed, and so everything else does, too.