(FYI: I had written this post about five years ago in one of my newsletters. I just found it again while going through old articles. But I still have the same sentiments. So I'm reposting it again).
International Image Consultant Day is coming up. I could post something on my Facebook page to tie myself to that day. I am, after all, certified as an Image Consultant. I’ve had lots of training, both traditionally and self-taught, on image, style personality, body shapes, and so forth.
But I don’t like to call myself an image consultant.
Here are my main reasons for resisting that term.
First, I consider myself, first and foremost, a Color Analyst. It is my specialty. I analyze everyone I see, instantly. Someone I just meet can be telling me their name and that goes right out the window since I’m trying to determine their best season. It is an obsession.
Color Analysis is what I focus on almost exclusively. Of course, there is overlap in other areas of expertise, like makeup, hair color, clothes, style personality, etc. And I do find the areas of overlap quite interesting and try to develop my knowledge so it is applicable to color analysis and how to best wear your palette of colors.
But I definitely prefer the term Color Analyst over Image Consultant.
There is a second reason I don’t identify with the term, but before I explain, let me first say this: I have nothing against Image Consultants as a profession. I wanted to be one so bad when I first heard the term. This was most likely due to my own insecurity with my looks growing up.
Learning how to dress better makes a huge difference in how you are perceived. Fair or not. Information about how having an image management plan was life-changing for me as I was trying to network and move ahead in a career I thought I wanted at the time.
So I watched all of those ‘makeover shows’ and read lots of books on the same subject. The books were fine, but shows like “What Not to Wear” I didn’t like. I honestly only saw one of them, and maybe it was not indicative of the rest of the shows, but I found that before they made over the subject, they really knocked her down. It was in a mean way, too.
The same things happen on shows like “American’s Next Top Model” and even talent shows like singing and dancing competitions. I just don’t like it and it’s not necessary but it is the norm in society today to trash others for entertainment.
I was once told I “need to dress like an image consultant” by someone I really respected. I still do respect this person, but that comment really stuck with me.
She said it to me as I got off a 3-hour plane flight still groggy from Dramamine, the only way I can fly (major motion sickness, otherwise). I also wear whatever is the most comfortable when I fly. Bottom line, I hate to fly, and what I look like is the last thing on my mind.
I was also told by another I had met in person that I was not glamorous like my website suggested I was (I didn’t know I was suggesting I was glamorous). She said that she was giving me a compliment, meaning she found me very down to earth. I wasn’t sure it was a compliment but I accepted it as one anyway.
These are a few of the reasons I don’t want to identify myself as an Image Consultant. There are expectations from others as to how one should look if I would declare myself one. I don’t match those expectations most of the time.
I don’t wear the latest fashions. I like to thrift store shop.
I do try to find things to flatter my body shape, which at this time, is not in its ideal size. But finding flattering things that fit AND in my right color is extremely challenging.
And I’m over a ‘certain age’ and still have long hair. "Rules" say you are supposed to cut it above shoulders past age 40 or so.
I do my own nails, color my own hair, don’t carry a designer purse, and lots of other things that do not fit the mold of an image consultant.
I don’t take a lot of
selfies (nothing against those who do, though). And I’m quite introverted,
although in a very small group I can talk your ear off.
I do know that there are lots of great image consultants out there and they do a great service to their clients. It’s just that I myself have had more than a few unpleasant experiences with some judgmental and snobby consultants (I have many more similar stories I could tell you!) It has, unfortunately, put a damper on my enthusiasm for the term.
Besides, as I stated, I am laser-focused on color analysis and finding a person's correct season. So Color Analyst is still my title.
PS: It's been five years since I wrote this article. I might try to get over my aversion to that title, because I am hoping to offer more information regarding style and personality. I do know that it is an important tool in looking and feeling your best. So we shall see. I still have long hair, though and still shop at Thrift Stores ;)