Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Let's Talk About Dignity and Self-Respect

In today’s article, I will attempt to drive home the idea that the way we dress, groom and carry ourselves is a reflection of the level of dignity and self-respect we have.

A couple of days ago, an older man who lives in my co-op saw me and said you always look so beautiful. He always compliments me so I said thank you per usual and smiled. This time he went on to say, “you know in America if you are clean people respect you and if you are not people have no respect for you.” My neighbor is an older Haitian gentleman and his choice of words may not represent what he means but I knew exactly what he meant. This does not apply only in America, it is the same everywhere in the world. People will treat you with respect and dignity if you carry yourself with respect and dignity. We all know the line, “respect is earned.” Have you been followed at the a store? I have. I now know why because I no longer get followed but instead I get compliments from the sales associates, they go above and beyond to get me exactly what I want and the security guards greet me while opening the door for me when entering and leaving a store. Save me the pity party song of “I was followed because I am XYZ race.” Look in the mirror and understand why you were followed. I am well aware of people who think their race is superior than others but if you look like you have dignity and self-respect even the orange man may treat you with dignity and respect. (Hint, hint Omarosa or whatever her name is). [That was a joke, I hope it landed] Lol

According to Wikipedia, dignity comes from the Latin word “dignitas” meaning worthiness. Meriam webster online defines self-respect as a proper respect for oneself as a human being. I found my favorite definition of self-respect  from etymonline and it reads, “proper regard for and care of the dignity of one’s person.” This definition ties self-respect with dignity.
 The level of one’s dignity and self-respect is often reflected outwards in the way we dress, groom and carry ourselves. Most people live their lives on auto-pilot and allow what is trendy/cool on TV or online to determine what they will wear, how they groom and how they carry themselves. Also with the rise of social media, a lot of people confuse what gets likes online with real life values and etiquette. I am here to help you because I was one of those people and from time to time I still struggle with this on my journey.

There is a time and place for everything. I was in the Hamptons at a very nice party, I saw a lot of ladies in their Zimmerman dresses, LoveShack Fancy and all sorts of beautiful dresses. There was a small group of ladies who just looked out of place in blue denim shorts and a T-shirt, some in clothes that are meant to be worn at night but the party was in the day time, etc. It hurt my soul. I really wanted to walk up to them and ask, what in the world are you wearing? Did you look at a mirror before leaving the house. Do you live with anyone who loves you and cares about you?  It may sound harsh as if I am some sort of a mean girl but I think a lot of people need the hard truth. I am allowing myself to be used as a mirror to reflect back to some of you what you can’t seem to see for yourself. (Shoot me) Lol

Something was trendy online and on the news earlier this summer, there was a woman who was asked to leave an airplane because of what she was wearing. When I saw the shenanigans about it online, I thought here we go again another one fighting for her right to look unkept. But my curiosity led me to research the woman and I found out that she was a doctor. When I saw her photo online before I knew who she was, I instantly made up in my mind on who she was, where she may live, what she may smell like just based on the photo and I was wrong. A photo is a captured version of you and people will interpret a photo automatically whether they are wrong or right it doesn’t matter. We all know the line “a picture is worth a thousand words.” You may be thinking, Deb you’re so superficial, don’t judge a book by its cover yet we all do this whether we speak on it or not. You’ve done this a few times today and may not even be aware of it. We are humans, we are visual creatures and we all judge books by their cover and titles.
When you walk outside, each person you walk by that looks at you takes a mental photo of you and interprets what they see in that image, all of the thousand words that it is worth. Being the control freak that I am, I like to be in control of those thousand words and tell them exactly how I want them to interpret that photo with the way I dress, groom and carry myself. This article is meant to shine light into this phenomenon and serve as a mirror for us to see what others see when they see us. Are you happy with the way people treat you because a lot of it is a reflection of what you are projecting from the way you carry yourself. I believe that the saying, “the way people treat you is a reflection of who they are is flawed.” If the law of attraction and manifestation is real, the way people treat you is a reflection of how you treat yourself. Before you leave the house, always look in the mirror, be honest with yourself and make sure what you see in the mirror is a reflection of who you are. A lot of women think of themselves as a queen, they call themselves queens online daily but do they look like royalty in the blue denim shorts and T-Shirt at a party in the Hamptons. When I see denim shorts and a T-shirt, all I see is I am only worth a McDonald’s happy meal even if the Shorts costs $5000 and the T-Shirt $10,000. Denim shorts and a T-Shirt in the streets screams no dignity or self-respect. Gym clothes while running errands screams no dignity or self-respect. A bonnet on one’s head while taking her children to school screams no dignity or self-respect. It doesn’t take much money to dress like you have some dignity or self-respect. The same way you spent $5 to buy those denim shorts at the Salvation army is the same way you could have easily bought a pencil skirt or a pair of trousers at the salvation army for $5, wash it and iron it.

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