Monday, 15 March 2010

What Does Your Image Say About You?

Being a Sisterhood candidate is proving to have many benefits for me, but I suppose if I had to choose, the most important would be thinking more about the image I’m portraying. From early on when we first learn about Sisterhood, we future candidates and pledges are encouraged to start thinking about the image we are portraying and whether or not, it matches the results we want to achieve. If you ask me what I want my image to say about me, I’d say I want it to portray confidence, command respect and reflect God’s light in me. But, I’ll be honest and say that this wouldn’t always be evident in how I dressed. Before Sisterhood, I always used to think that if I’m confident inside, and commanded respect and shone God’s light by my actions alone, it would be enough. But, I now know that this isn’t true. It’s unfair to expect people to know what’s on the inside when all they get to see is the exterior. Truth is, that’s where their opinion of me begins. Sure, someday some of them might get to know me long enough to see the inside, but the majority will only make do with my exterior. So, if I want their opinion of me to be high, I’d better make sure that my image leads them to that direction.

A while back, I went to someone’s office to request their services and at the end of it all, confusion arose with the payment. I was sure I’d paid him, he was sure I didn’t. I won’t bore you with details, but it all ended with him calling me a thief and insisting that I pay him for his services. I of course was appalled. No one had ever called me a thief before, let alone believed me to be one. I remember at first trying to reason with him politely, telling him that I wasn’t a thief, even offering to pay again, trying to placate him. But, he wouldn’t have it. He was convinced he was right about me. I even went as far as telling him that I’m Christian, at which he yelled at me, asking me how dared I mention the word Christian and try to trick him. I don’t remember ever feeling so baffled by something. Even after I had paid him, he still maintained I was a thief. I walked away crying, disappointed, having failed to show him my true nature. Mind you, I have never stolen anything in my life.

Looking back at that disappointing day, I’m no longer disappointed in the gentleman for calling me a thief. I am however greatly disappointed in myself. Thank God self-criticism is a NO-NO for all Sisterhood candidates, otherwise I’d be beating myself to death over that one. I have had time to learn about the importance of image, and when I look back at that day, I realize that everything about me cried out ‘NEEDY’! No wonder the poor man thought I’d steal anything and everything I could lay my hands on. Where was the elegant, polished, well-mannered, worthy of respect woman I wanted him to see? Judging by my appearance alone, all that he had to go on, she was non-existent. In her place was a shabby, poor, needy tomboy. Of course, I was comfortable, which was my motto, dress for comfort. But, comfort didn’t earn me the gentleman’s respect. I’m sure, had I been dressed differently, I would have had different results. For sure he would have given me the benefit of the doubt, but, sadly, my image didn’t encourage him to do so.

I learned the hard way that, like it or not, our image speaks for us. We decide how others view us, whether they view us as women who can be taken seriously or easily dismissed, whether they see us as friendly women, or flirtatious women, welcoming or rude, our image speaks volumes about us. And of course, how people view us will determine how they treat us. Take it from someone who was perceived to be a thief and treated like one, you’d don’t want to make the mistake of underselling yourself. You will definitely not like the results. So, my suggestion to you is, take a look in the mirror. What is your image saying about you? More importantly, is what it is saying what you want it to say? If not, it’s time for a change.


Chris said...

Ah Moti. I so look forward to your blog posts. Sometimes, it takes learning the hard way for us to really change. I love to feel comfortable in my clothes, and if I could, I would walk around in my loose pyjama bottoms all day! But what we don't realise many times and as you've highlighted in your post so well, dressing the part benefits US, and it benefits us is so many ways. So it's not about looking pretty to take photos and showing everyone how nice we look. It's about portraying a good image, it's about portraying the image of God. Why shouldn't we shine? PLEASE post more often. I love what you write. xxx

Anonymous said...

I was amazed by the words the Bible uses to describe God's image,
e.g. Words like Majestic, glorious, even beautiful. These words led me to a realization that I serve a Beautiful God, and if He has such an image, why shouldn't I? So that's why I always strive to be always presentable and it has been rewarding!
I know it sounds spiritual but I am inspired by God's beauty! My conclusion is: if the Father ain't sloppy, no sloppy children!
Great article!

Rianna said...

Since sisterhood I took have been learning that our appearance speaks louder than anything. Your experience is a learning point for all of us. Thanks for sharing it.

Melody Habla said...

Thank you maam for the message. This is so true. our image is got to be from the perspective of an outsider, not how we think we look like, which means an objective assessment of whether or not we really present ourselves well through the way we dress according to what we want. And Sisterhood teaches this valuable lesson!-Melody, UCKG PHIL

diana bolumbu said...

It's my first time on this blog, and I must say that I was impressed! The truth is, in the world we live in people will judge us by what we wear. Therefore, we need to be careful with the image we portray to others. Plus, if we want to that our lives glofifys God by what we wear, we must dress in a way that people can see God. Not our comfort zone.

Va'Nessah said...

I really like this blog post Mrs Moti. Right now i'm in rush month for sisterhood and many of my friends in the church watch my image especially the boys, before coming to church i spoke alot of slang and spoke in a way that wasn't lady like & i can say that i have converted but sometimes when i speak people will say 'why are you talking like that?' and i will get really upset because i don't speak in that way on purpose. & like you said one of the rules on the NO NO List is no self criticism. So for myself instead of putting myself down i put myself up by saying I'm going to change the way i speak.

Anonymous said...

i have to really say, this blog post remindes me of something that we(at this moment) are looking forward to: the 12 of February which is the day of being Transformed. It may not necessarily mean transformed appearance wise but spiritual wise, leading to how we are outside, reflecting the inside (i hope that makes sense). but yeah, very interesting. The message on being transformed is in the book of Romans 12 verse 1 and 2; we really should be seperated and different, especially if God lives in us. Thank you Mrs Moti