MonthSeptember 2016

What People Mean When They Say “I Dress Well for Myself”

I hear a lot of people say “I dress well for myself, because I like to look good”. This has come up especially when people talk about certain things they find look nice, but one of their friends will say “hey you know girls don’t really find green shoes to be attractive” or something to that effect. The fall-back answer is “well I don’t care, I dress well for myself”. I think that’s kinda bull.

Most people do most things for themselves, most of the time. So it would be hard to argue that people don’t dress well because they want to. The distinction I want to make though, is that people don’t actually understand what they’re saying when they say this. In reality, people want confirmation and want to feel good, and they get that through other people. Someone will dress in a certain way (or see people on TV or in the media dress that way), get confirmation from friends, family and strangers (via compliments, looks, attention, etc.) and they will be happy. They’ll then continue to dress in a way that repeats this feeling, until the point where someone says that something isn’t attractive to others and they have to defend themselves. They defend themselves by saying that it’s not for other people, it’s for them. They think that the choice of clothing or behaviour is for them when in reality, it’s the positive feedback and acceptance that they need, so dressing a certain way is just the middle step between the positive feeling and their choices.

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I’m not even entirely sure why I’m writing this, I guess it just bothers me when people are stubborn about things that they don’t understand, and have come to believe (as in this case) that it’s a conscious choice that they make that has no connection to what other people think. Another defense might be “but I don’t follow the trends”. Well, that’s another way of differentiating yourself and making yourself more attractive to potential mates by choosing a certain style. It’s for you in the sense that you will get something out of it, but not directly.

Then you might say “Oh but I’ve always thought this dark lipstick looks good even though everyone says it’s bad.” Well, that’s also not you. You weren’t born with the opinion that dark lipstick is nice, attractive, or even suits you. You saw commercials for makeup and hair, beautiful TV show hosts, paintings of noble women, and your gorgeous aunt wearing it. You then formed the opinion, over many many many years, and have come to accept it. Those people aren’t doing it for them. They’re doing it because it’s considered attractive, and that in turn promises a dream of good relationships, attention, and more.

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I’m not asking or suggesting that anyone change the way they dress, I’m simply suggesting that behind the choices you make there are bigger, more substantial drivers that people often ignore. I like to think that being aware of what drives your decisions, in general, will lead to better decision-making abilities in any walk of life.

Why Europe is Better than North America, and Why It Isn’t.

I just came back from Germany a couple of days ago, and while I was there I noticed a few things. Well I noticed a lot of things… I should hope. But there were certain things that they do that I realized seemed just backward or silly, and thought of how much better we have certain things in North America. On the other hand, there were a bunch of things that we don’t do nearly as well, and I wanted to share these random thoughts with you.

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What does Europe (or Germany, at least) do right?

  • Not censoring too much
  • Letting people drink in the street / park
  • Eating dinner at the right time
  • Style – everyone just seems well dressed and like they put a little bit of thought into what they wear.
  • Putting prices on things in store windows – though I imagine it would be better to trick people into walking into your store before revealing your inordinate prices.
  • Tipping – mandatory tipping is just effing stupid.
  • Being laid back about language (but maybe that’s just Quebec being stupid and me noticing it)
  • Letting dogs be everywhere – they’re allowed in stores, restaurants, the metro (subway), busses, everywhere! So much better.
  • Maintaining / not maintaining parks – they have parks with actual green areas with ponds, bushes, weeds, whatever and it makes it 1) better for the environment and the animals that can actually live there and 2) feel more wild and more “not the city”.

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What does Europe do not so well?

  • FREE WATER AT RESTAURANTS, DAMNIT PEOPLE COME ON. I get it if it’s a place where you can’t drink the tap water but… Germany? Grr.
  • Free bathrooms – they really really don’t like these. Like, really? Basic human need here!
  • Being open on Sundays
  • Smoking everywhere (or almost everywhere)
  • Being nice when people actually bump into one another – though this is likely just the cities I was in / German thing.

Pictures from this article were taken during the trip, and you can find them all here. Anyway this doesn’t speak for all of Europe or all of North America, but I’ve been to quite a lot of places on both continents and it seems like my opinion wouldn’t change much about these things. That’s ma rant. Hope you enjoyed.