I came across this TEDxTalk a while back and wanted to share it. Part of the reason i wanted to start this blog is because I want to dispel the myth that it is vapid or superficial to care about how you look. Caring about your presentation is a highly intellectual endeavour. Moreover, it is a very human thing to do. It is not “girly” or silly.
One of my intellectual heroes (and fellow countryman) is Erving Goffman. One of the things that he is well known for is his book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. In it he explores the idea of understanding life like a stage performance. The way that we act and present ourselves communicates our role. Conversely, we understand others’ role by interpreting their presentation.
If we understand fashion and makeup as an extension of communication, it seems absurd to suggest that caring about our presentation is vapid or silly. Discussing whether your pants make you look fat is less silly than worrying about where a comma or semicolon goes. Yes, it is irksome when grammar is so poor that it hinders your reading, but it is far more irksome to deal with the prejudices inflicted on overweight people in your daily life. Many people have jobs where they are not dependent on their writing technique, but few people have lives where their appearance is irrelevant to those around them.
We are biological creatures that are driven by visual understanding. Please respect that reality.
Not engaging in ignorance is wisdom – Bodhidharma
Goffman, E. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Penguin Books Ltd: New York