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Why is it so hard not to judge people based off of their looks/presentation?

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    Well it depends what you're judging. For example, in the work place, if you look like a slob in a dirty shirt with your hair everywhere and wrinkled pants, I'll probably judge you for that, because my assumption would be that if you don't take care in your appearance, you won't take care in your work. Because generally I find that things like how you look and how you act in the business world are connected.

    In terms of dating and all that, it's because our initial reaction to someone is based on whether or not we find them attractive. It's called an "animal instinct" for a reason. Yes, in time you can fall for someone you didn't initially find attractive, but your initial reaction to someone in a chemical one based on looks.

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    Because its human nature. Birds and monkeys do it... its natural. Attraction is important. However if you won't be friends with somebody because she dresses a way you don't like... not really cool.

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    Why wouldn't you? The way a person presents themselves to the world says a lot about them. Social status, class or lack of it, group and ideology belonging, laziness, professionalism, style, self care...I could go on and on.

    Judging someone by something they have no control over, like age, color, height, a disability or even weight, is obviously wrong and presumptuous, but anything else in their look that stems from a matter of choice is subject to judgment.

    I find it so curious, this condemnation of "judgment" and thus being judgmental. When we like and compliment someone, we are being judgmental -even if in a positive way- so why all the fuss about judgment comes only when it's negative? I never understood that.

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    Now, I fully agree with Bee: one thing is to form judgment, and a whole other one is to act just as a consequence of it.

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    Carly wrote: Well it depends what you're judging. For example, in the work place, if you look like a slob in a dirty shirt with your hair everywhere and wrinkled pants, I'll probably judge you for that, because my assumption would be that if you don't take care in your appearance, you won't take care in your work. Because generally I find that things like how you look and how you act in the business world are connected. In terms of dating and all that, it's because our initial reaction to someone is based on whether or not we find them attractive. It's called an "animal instinct" for a reason. Yes, in time you can fall for someone you didn't initially find attractive, but your initial reaction to someone in a chemical one based on looks.

    I have been interviewing applicants all day and it seems like the applicants with the most experience gave the worst physical presentation. While the less qualified applicants gave the best presentation.

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    anonymous wrote: I have been interviewing applicants all day and it seems like the applicants with the most experience gave the worst physical presentation. While the less qualified applicants gave the best presentation.

    Well there are two answers for this:

    1. This is the exception and not the rule.

    2. The ones with less experience are trying harder and the ones with more experience are complacent because they think they've "got it."

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    Keka wrote: I find it so curious, this condemnation of "judgment" and thus being judgmental. When we like and compliment someone, we are being judgmental -even if in a positive way- so why all the fuss about judgment comes only when it's negative? I never understood that.

    I agree with this about a million per cent, and I believe it comes from the absurd lengths that political correctness has taken us to. The idea that all opinions, all ways of life, all "facts" must be given equal weight as valid.

    As for the question, it depends on what you mean by "looks". Judging someone for the way they dress is stupid, because fashion is arbitrary, and following the trends has to be learned. Many of the most brilliant and creative people in the world are too busy actually improving things to worry about their tie widths, hemlines, or even laundry.

    Also, it's transitory. Some days I go to the grocery store in pajama bottoms and a hoodie, and sometimes I go in full make-up, a dress and heels. I'm still the same person.

    If you are judging by skin color, height, weight, facial characteristics, then you are probably basing your conclusions on false information -- since there is no true information correlating physical traits with spiritual or psychological ones -- and you will make mistakes in who to trust and who to avoid.

    The only snap judgments we should pay attention to are the gut ones that say "safe" or "danger". Anything else is superficial.

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    Keka wrote: Why wouldn't you? The way a person presents themselves to the world says a lot about them. Social status, class or lack of it, group and ideology belonging, laziness, professionalism, style, self care...I could go on and on. Judging someone by something they have no control over, like age, color, height, a disability or even weight, is obviously wrong and presumptuous, but anything else in their look that stems from a matter of choice is subject to judgment. I find it so curious, this condemnation of "judgment" and thus being judgmental. When we like and compliment someone, we are being judgmental -even if in a positive way- so why all the fuss about judgment comes only when it's negative? I never understood that.

    I never understood that either.
    I guess we judge people everyday whether we know it or not.

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    Carly wrote: Well there are two answers for this: 1. This is the exception and not the rule. 2. The ones with less experience are trying harder and the ones with more experience are complacent because they think they've "got it."

    Yes!

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    Carly wrote: Well there are two answers for this: 1. This is the exception and not the rule. 2. The ones with less experience are trying harder and the ones with more experience are complacent because they think they've "got it."

    I completely agree. I know someone who's been out of work for well over a year and has the skills but not the presentation, and probably never will. She is judged on how she looks.

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    anonymous wrote: I have been interviewing applicants all day and it seems like the applicants with the most experience gave the worst physical presentation. While the less qualified applicants gave the best presentation.

    Okay, now that I wrote a whole philosophical treatise, you are talking about how people dress at job interviews? Why didn't you just say so?

    Also, how are you judging "best" and "worst"? Do you mean clean, neat, pressed? Or are you talking about fashion? Keep in mind that if the most experienced people are looking for a job, chances are they have been fired or laid off. Some of them may have been looking for jobs for as long as a year, and are depressed.

    Young'uns just starting out are quite possibly living at home while Mommy and Daddy pay the bills, which leaves them more money and energy for dressing up.

    I'm not saying that's how it should be, but it's something to consider before you hand a job to a raw kid in the new suit Mommy bought because the most qualified person didn't iron their shirt.

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    Robynne wrote: Okay, now that I wrote a whole philosophical treatise, you are talking about how people dress at job interviews? Why didn't you just say so? Also, how are you judging "best" and "worst"? Do you mean clean, neat, pressed? Or are you talking about fashion? Keep in mind that if the most experienced people are looking for a job, chances are they have been fired or laid off. Some of them may have been looking for jobs for as long as a year, and are depressed. Young'uns just starting out are quite possibly living at home while Mommy and Daddy pay the bills, which leaves them more money and energy for dressing up. I'm not saying that's how it should be, but it's something to consider before you hand a job to a raw kid in the new suit Mommy bought because the most qualified person didn't iron their shirt.

    Ok come on, that's not fair to make assumptions like that. I dress just as well put together and pressed today as I did when "Mommy and Daddy paid the bills" now that I pay my own bills. As do most of my friends. As do most people I know who are out of work and come into my office to interview.

    I don't think it's unfair to make an assumption about someone based on this. If they knew about the interview in advance (which is likely since anon has been interviewing them all day, I assume they were set up and not at the last second) then you have time to iron your shirt the night before and look presentable, no matter your current state.

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    Robynne wrote: Keka wrote: I find it so curious, this condemnation of "judgment" and thus being judgmental. When we like and compliment someone, we are being judgmental -even if in a positive way- so why all the fuss about judgment comes only when it's negative? I never understood that. I agree with this about a million per cent, and I believe it comes from the absurd lengths that political correctness has taken us to. The idea that all opinions, all ways of life, all "facts" must be given equal weight as valid. As for the question, it depends on what you mean by "looks". Judging someone for the way they dress is stupid, because fashion is arbitrary, and following the trends has to be learned. Many of the most brilliant and creative people in the world are too busy actually improving things to worry about their tie widths, hemlines, or even laundry. Also, it's transitory. Some days I go to the grocery store in pajama bottoms and a hoodie, and sometimes I go in full make-up, a dress and heels. I'm still the same person. If you are judging by skin color, height, weight, facial characteristics, then you are probably basing your conclusions on false information -- since there is no true information correlating physical traits with spiritual or psychological ones -- and you will make mistakes in who to trust and who to avoid. The only snap judgments we should pay attention to are the gut ones that say "safe" or "danger". Anything else is superficial.

    I'm judging how well they speak, if they are clean, neat and groomed, posture, dressed appropriate, etc. I have no idea what the applicants look like until they arrive for the interview. And it seem that I've been let down by the presentation of those who had the most experience. Not sure why but it may have something to do with what Carly mentioned.

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    Carly wrote: Ok come on, that's not fair to make assumptions like that. I dress just as well put together and pressed today as I did when "Mommy and Daddy paid the bills" now that I pay my own bills. As do most of my friends. As do most people I know who are out of work and come into my office to interview. I don't think it's unfair to make an assumption about someone based on this. If they knew about the interview in advance (which is likely since anon has been interviewing them all day, I assume they were set up and not at the last second) then you have time to iron your shirt the night before and look presentable, no matter your current state.

    First of all, I am not making that assumption across the board. Obviously, not every young person who dresses well is getting money from their parents -- my daughter has been buying all of her own clothes since she started working at 14. ALL I said is that it is one possible scenario.

    Second, you have never been a man in his 50s who has worked hard his whole life and is suddenly out of work with a whole family to feed. Sometimes, after a full year or even more of being turned down, ironing a shirt the night before is simply too much. That is reality, and it should be taken into consideration.

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    Robynne wrote: First of all, I am not making that assumption across the board. Obviously, not every young person who dresses well is getting money from their parents -- my daughter has been buying all of her own clothes since she started working at 14. ALL I said is that it is one possible scenario. Second, you have never been a man in his 50s who has worked hard his whole life and is suddenly out of work with a whole family to feed. Sometimes, after a full year or even more of being turned down, ironing a shirt the night before is simply too much. That is reality, and it should be taken into consideration.

    I'm going to make a guess that if ironing a shirt is too much, then going on a job interview is too much. If they can't iron a shirt, then I'm guessing they can't handle working a job, and I think that says a LOT to an interviewer. Just saying you can't make assumptions either way, you can't assume that a young person who is well put together is that way for a reason jsut like a slob isn't necessarily a slob because they are depressed. Some people do just care more than others.

    And if she's referring also to how someone speaks, presents themselves, interacts in a meeting on top of looking neat, well then those are personality traits.

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    anonymous wrote: I'm judging how well they speak, if they are clean, neat and groomed, posture, dressed appropriate, etc. I have no idea what the applicants look like until they arrive for the interview. And it seem that I've been let down by the presentation of those who had the most experience. Not sure why but it may have something to do with what Carly mentioned.

    And depression. You have to consider that the ones with more experience may have been job hunting for more than a year. It is simply not humanly possible to keep up the same level of enthusiasm in the face of constant rejection. How actors do it is beyond me.

    Why don't you do an informal survey and ask them how long they have been looking for a job? How many interviews they have been on? Because in this economy, I can't believe ANYONE walks into an interview believing they already have the job. That's flat-out delusional.

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    Robynne wrote: Okay, now that I wrote a whole philosophical treatise, you are talking about how people dress at job interviews? Why didn't you just say so? Also, how are you judging "best" and "worst"? Do you mean clean, neat, pressed? Or are you talking about fashion? Keep in mind that if the most experienced people are looking for a job, chances are they have been fired or laid off. Some of them may have been looking for jobs for as long as a year, and are depressed. Young'uns just starting out are quite possibly living at home while Mommy and Daddy pay the bills, which leaves them more money and energy for dressing up. I'm not saying that's how it should be, but it's something to consider before you hand a job to a raw kid in the new suit Mommy bought because the most qualified person didn't iron their shirt.

    Well, while going through this process I started to think about judging people based off their looks, is it really all bad and if it is why is it so hard not to judge others. Like Keka said, "When we like and compliment someone, we are being judgmental -even if in a positive way-"

    Of course I don't mean in a racial, age, weight, height, or sexuality way because I'm a minority myself. But I mean how one presents themselves in certain environments and situations. I know I would never show up to a church or religous place that is conservative in a mini skirt and cut off tank top with a bunch of make-up but would more than likely judge someone who would.

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    Carly wrote: I'm going to make a guess that if ironing a shirt is too much, then going on a job interview is too much. If they can't iron a shirt, then I'm guessing they can't handle working a job, and I think that says a LOT to an interviewer. Just saying you can't make assumptions either way, you can't assume that a young person who is well put together is that way for a reason jsut like a slob isn't necessarily a slob because they are depressed. Some people do just care more than others. And if she's referring also to how someone speaks, presents themselves, interacts in a meeting on top of looking neat, well then those are personality traits.

    Yes, I understand that, Carly. I was offering alternatives that go a little deeper than mere appearance.

    Also, WTF "I'm going to make a guess that if ironing a shirt is too much, then going on a job interview is too much."

    So, what should someone in that situation do? Stay home and let their family starve? You have no idea what it's like to be an adult with helpless mouths to feed and no safety net. Being out of work, in foreclosure, watching your dreams and all of your hard work fall apart through no fault of your own has an absolute effect on people's "personality traits".

    Any employer who does not have the intelligence and compassion to take the personal effects of this economy into account is not living in reality.

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    Robynne wrote: Yes, I understand that, Carly. I was offering alternatives that go a little deeper than mere appearance. Also, WTF "I'm going to make a guess that if ironing a shirt is too much, then going on a job interview is too much." So, what should someone in that situation do? Stay home and let their family starve? You have no idea what it's like to be an adult with helpless mouths to feed and no safety net. Being out of work, in foreclosure, watching your dreams and all of your hard work fall apart through no fault of your own has an absolute effect on people's "personality traits". Any employer who does not have the intelligence and compassion to take the personal effects of this economy into account is not living in reality.

    Exactly Brynne, and that is why I am torn and feel guilty for judging them based of their looks or rather presentation.

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    Robynne wrote: Yes, I understand that, Carly. I was offering alternatives that go a little deeper than mere appearance. Also, WTF "I'm going to make a guess that if ironing a shirt is too much, then going on a job interview is too much." So, what should someone in that situation do? Stay home and let their family starve? You have no idea what it's like to be an adult with helpless mouths to feed and no safety net. Being out of work, in foreclosure, watching your dreams and all of your hard work fall apart through no fault of your own has an absolute effect on people's "personality traits". Any employer who does not have the intelligence and compassion to take the personal effects of this economy into account is not living in reality.

    Nope I have no idea what it's like to be 50 and taking care of other people because I'm 24 and don't have a family. However, I can be damned sure that if my dad lost his job when he was supporting us, he would do whatever necessary to work, even if it meant being a barista in Starbucks while looking for another job. And I'm pretty sure his shirt would still be ironed, ESPECIALLY if he was looking for work, because most people know that looking neat and put together is the FIRST thing a potential employer would see when considering you for a job.

    However I'm not going to sit here and fight hypotheticals with you. You gave your opinion and I gave mine. That's what this site is about, different opinions. This Anon can take what she likes from it, but at least she has different perspectives.

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    anonymous wrote: Well, while going through this process I started to think about judging people based off their looks, is it really all bad and if it is why is it so hard not to judge others. Like Keka said, "When we like and compliment someone, we are being judgmental -even if in a positive way-" Of course I don't mean in a racial, age, weight, height, or sexuality way because I'm a minority myself. But I mean how one presents themselves in certain environments and situations. I know I would never show up to a church or religous place that is conservative in a mini skirt and cut off tank top with a bunch of make-up but would more than likely judge someone who would.

    The assumption you make when you judge someone on how they dress is that they know better, and have the energy to do better, they just don't want to.

    This is an unfair assumption.

    Some people honestly don't know the rules. Some people have bad taste. Some people are true originals who don't give a f*ck about "fitting in".

    I do understand that in a job interview situation, one should do their research. But it is not your place to judge a woman who comes to church in a tank top and miniskirt. If you are a Christian, you know very well what Jesus thought about that.

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    Carly wrote: Nope I have no idea what it's like to be 50 and taking care of other people because I'm 24 and don't have a family. However, I can be damned sure that if my dad lost his job when he was supporting us, he would do whatever necessary to work, even if it meant being a barista in Starbucks while looking for another job. And I'm pretty sure his shirt would still be ironed, ESPECIALLY if he was looking for work, because most people know that looking neat and put together is the FIRST thing a potential employer would see when considering you for a job. However I'm not going to sit here and fight hypotheticals with you. You gave your opinion and I gave mine. That's what this site is about, different opinions. This Anon can take what she likes from it, but at least she has different perspectives.

    Well, it's nice that you are so absolutely certain that your father would never get depressed. It's not reality, though. And it shows a stunning lack of compassion for people who are truly struggling.

    What is it your mother likes to say to you? <3

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    Robynne wrote: The assumption you make when you judge someone on how they dress is that they know better, and have the energy to do better, they just don't want to. This is an unfair assumption. Some people honestly don't know the rules. Some people have bad taste. Some people are true originals who don't give a f*ck about "fitting in". I do understand that in a job interview situation, one should do their research. But it is not your place to judge a woman who comes to church in a tank top and miniskirt. If you are a Christian, you know very well what Jesus thought about that.

    Of course that would be un-Christian like. Bad example seeing that I don't even attend or belong to a church but I was just trying to explain how I may mentally judge another person based on their presentation.


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    Robynne wrote: Well, it's nice that you are so absolutely certain that your father would never get depressed. It's not reality, though. And it shows a stunning lack of compassion for people who are truly struggling. What is it your mother likes to say to you? <3

    I said nothing about depression. I have been depressed in the past and on medication and in therapy for it and would NEVER judge someone for being depressed. however I also wouldn't hire someone to work for me who was depressed, and I dont' think that makes me not-compassionate, it would simply make me a good businessperson.

    Man you're on a high horse today Brynne. I can have my opinions and you can have yours. Why can't you accept that? THAT is being close minded, not be giving another possible option. I'm not saying that your opinion is wrong, I"m saying mine is another way to look at things.

    And dont' talk about my mother.

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    anonymous wrote: Exactly Brynne, and that is why I am torn and feel guilty for judging them based of their looks or rather presentation.

    Well, Anon, you know the answer to that. Instead of feeling guilty about the way you are judging them, try to go a little deeper. You can find out in about ten seconds whether someone is showing up sloppy because they are arrogant, or because they are exhausted and without hope.

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    Carly wrote: I said nothing about depression. I have been depressed in the past and on medication and in therapy for it and would NEVER judge someone for being depressed. however I also wouldn't hire someone to work for me who was depressed, and I dont' think that makes me not-compassionate, it would simply make me a good businessperson. Man you're on a high horse today Brynne. I can have my opinions and you can have yours. Why can't you accept that? THAT is being close minded, not be giving another possible option. I'm not saying that your opinion is wrong, I"m saying mine is another way to look at things. And dont' talk about my mother.

    You would not hire someone who is depressed? Are you kidding me? You know that's against the law, right?

    Yes, I am on a high horse, today. I get tired of all of the shallow, bullsh*t "rules" that people think are so important when they are actually meaningless.

    Of course you have every right to your opinions. And I have every right to challenge them. As you have the right to challenge mine.

    And for the record, I was not disrespecting your mother. From my perspective and life experience, your privileged life is showing a little in the narrowness of your outlook. I was just trying to gently draw your attention to that possibility.

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    Robynne wrote: You would not hire someone who is depressed? Are you kidding me? You know that's against the law, right? Yes, I am on a high horse, today. I get tired of all of the shallow, bullsh*t "rules" that people think are so important when they are actually meaningless. Of course you have every right to your opinions. And I have every right to challenge them. As you have the right to challenge mine. And for the record, I was not disrespecting your mother. From my perspective and life experience, your privileged life is showing a little in the narrowness of your outlook. I was just trying to gently draw your attention to that possibility.

    I'm done now. LIke I said, I'm not fighting about hypotheticals with you. Especially when you're not being respectful of me and my "privileged life." You don't know me or my life experiences prior to being on this website.

    Anon, everyone judges. It's human nature. Whether it's right or wrong, I dont' know if it's right or wrong, but I do think that looking clean and put together and speaking well in an interview is a lot of what goes into hiring someone.

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    Robynne wrote: Well, Anon, you know the answer to that. Instead of feeling guilty about the way you are judging them, try to go a little deeper. You can find out in about ten seconds whether someone is showing up sloppy because they are arrogant, or because they are exhausted and without hope.

    True!

    There was one gentleman in particular who came in yesterday to speak with me. Before I met him I was really excited to met him because I spoke with him over the phone and had been emailing him back in forth about the position. Well, yesterday when he arrived I was very disappointed in the way that he looked (not clean, tennis shoes, etc.). Normally, I wouldn't have taken the presentation into serious consideration but with this job the employee will have to interact with the public daily and I feel that cleanliness and professional dress is important. At the same time I really liked this young man, he was bright and seemed to have a good head on his shoulders.
    Should I give him a pass because he may be going through things and wasn't able to present himself well or should that even matter? I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who are going through personal issues or matters but are able to present themselves appropriately when given certain situations.

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    anonymous wrote: Of course that would be un-Christian like. Bad example seeing that I don't even attend or belong to a church but I was just trying to explain how I may mentally judge another person based on their presentation.

    Oh, I understand that, and I am trying to explore it with you. With any emotional response, the better we understand it, the more control we have over it. I think it's very brave and compassionate of you to question yourself, and in my own clumsy way I am trying to support you.

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    Carly wrote: I'm done now. LIke I said, I'm not fighting about hypotheticals with you. Especially when you're not being respectful of me and my "privileged life." You don't know me or my life experiences prior to being on this website. Anon, everyone judges. It's human nature. Whether it's right or wrong, I dont' know if it's right or wrong, but I do think that looking clean and put together and speaking well in an interview is a lot of what goes into hiring someone.

    For God's sake, Carly. I am not judging you, or picking on you. When I was 24 and making six figures a year, I felt the same way about this issue that you do.

    Our upbringing -- whatever it is -- has a profound effect on how we see the world. You know that. It is in no way disrespectful to point it out, any more than it's disrespectful when someone points out that my never having dated means I don't really understand it.

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    What does once making a six figure income have to do with anything? Are you insinuating that Carly has a sense of entitlement?

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    Anyone who claims they don't pass judgement is a big fat liar. Everyone judges everyone based on a million different big and little distinctions. Now, if you discriminate, that is a different story.

    What kind of job are you interviewing for? If it is for a position that deals with customers and clients, it makes sense to want to hire someone who is sharp looking.

    But take into consideration the source. What is schleppy looking to you, might be perfectly fine to someone else. Not everyone has to look like you. I found this out when I first started working. I am uber fashionable, uber professional and other people who are just as qualified and just as hard working, may not dress like me. And 9 times out of 10, clients don't really care.

    I have also found that it is a good idea to have lots of different types of people in your team. This way, you can attract all different types of clients and customers.

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    Okay, well, here's an example:

    The other day when I went to go interview for that modeling gig, I was at the end of my paycheck with an exact 0 balance in my checking account. I didn't have 2.25 for the bus.

    So I walked 6.5 miles downtown to get to the interview. It took me 2 and a half hours. Yes, I really did.

    I guarantee you, I could have looked a little better when I walked in. I dabbed on some powder and straightened my clothes when I walked in--but I absolutely was not pristine looking, and I kept my arms down to hide sweat stains.

    Something to keep in mind.

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    anonymous wrote: True! There was one gentleman in particular who came in yesterday to speak with me. Before I met him I was really excited to met him because I spoke with him over the phone and had been emailing him back in forth about the position. Well, yesterday when he arrived I was very disappointed in the way that he looked (not clean, tennis shoes, etc.). Normally, I wouldn't have taken the presentation into serious consideration but with this job the employee will have to interact with the public daily and I feel that cleanliness and professional dress is important. At the same time I really liked this young man, he was bright and seemed to have a good head on his shoulders. Should I give him a pass because he may be going through things and wasn't able to present himself well or should that even matter? I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who are going through personal issues or matters but are able to present themselves appropriately when given certain situations.

    If it were me, I would just ask him. "If I sent you out to a client meeting, how would you dress?"

    Can you tell me generally what kind of business you are in? Because you may also have personal standards for professional dress that are higher than people outside of the industry would expect.

    For example, I would wear a woman's business suit with a skirt to interview at a big law firm, but not to a doctor's office, or at the Wal-Mart corporate offices. The girls who manage my apartment complex wear white blouses and black slacks, which is nice -- but it's also how half the waitresses in LA dress.

    If that's how this guy dressed at his last job, he may have thought it was appropriate.


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    anonymous wrote: True! There was one gentleman in particular who came in yesterday to speak with me. Before I met him I was really excited to met him because I spoke with him over the phone and had been emailing him back in forth about the position. Well, yesterday when he arrived I was very disappointed in the way that he looked (not clean, tennis shoes, etc.). Normally, I wouldn't have taken the presentation into serious consideration but with this job the employee will have to interact with the public daily and I feel that cleanliness and professional dress is important. At the same time I really liked this young man, he was bright and seemed to have a good head on his shoulders. Should I give him a pass because he may be going through things and wasn't able to present himself well or should that even matter? I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who are going through personal issues or matters but are able to present themselves appropriately when given certain situations.

    How old was this guy?

    Maybe Carly can give some insight here. A few weeks ago I made a comment about being at a meeting and surprised that the younger people were in tennis shoes and jeans. I thought it was completely unprofessional but Carly said that that was perfectly fine for todays younger workforce.

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    anonymous wrote: True! There was one gentleman in particular who came in yesterday to speak with me. Before I met him I was really excited to met him because I spoke with him over the phone and had been emailing him back in forth about the position. Well, yesterday when he arrived I was very disappointed in the way that he looked (not clean, tennis shoes, etc.). Normally, I wouldn't have taken the presentation into serious consideration but with this job the employee will have to interact with the public daily and I feel that cleanliness and professional dress is important. At the same time I really liked this young man, he was bright and seemed to have a good head on his shoulders. Should I give him a pass because he may be going through things and wasn't able to present himself well or should that even matter? I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who are going through personal issues or matters but are able to present themselves appropriately when given certain situations.

    Did he seem smart in the interview? Smart enough to comprehend it if you say "You need to look professional at work, adhering to our dress code?"

    If so, sure, give him a pass. Clothes are easily fixed, but incompetence is not.

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    ehvwon wrote: What does once making a six figure income have to do with anything? Are you insinuating that Carly has a sense of entitlement?

    No, not at all. I am saying that Carly doesn't understand what it's like to have your back against the wall financially because she has never been through it.

    I see the issue from both sides, because I have had a lot of money, and I have had my back against the wall. I have experienced both sides of that coin; she has experienced one.

    I'm not making moral judgments, or commenting on who she is as a person. You know I love Minxly.

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    Blondie wrote: How old was this guy? Maybe Carly can give some insight here. A few weeks ago I made a comment about being at a meeting and surprised that the younger people were in tennis shoes and jeans. I thought it was completely unprofessional but Carly said that that was perfectly fine for todays younger workforce.

    I didn't say it was ok to go to an interview in jeans and sneakers. I'd never do that. I went to my interview at thsi office in a dress and heels, and after they told me that everyone wore jeans here, that's when I started to do it. Just to clarify. And not clean is not clean, whether you are in jeans or not!

    HOwever I will say, in a situation like this, you can call someone in for a second interview and tell them that the attire is "business" and see if they can't pull it together for that.

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    i find this conversation facinating considering how long i've been looking for work.

    i dont care if you're depressed....if you need a job, get your iron out and put a smile on your face, no matter how difficult it may be.

    and of course you will and should be judged on your appearance at an interview, because if hired, you are no longer representing just yourself, you are representing the company you got hired for. so you should absolutely look the best you can at any interview.

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    Samantha wrote: Okay, well, here's an example: The other day when I went to go interview for that modeling gig, I was at the end of my paycheck with an exact 0 balance in my checking account. I didn't have 2.25 for the bus. So I walked 6.5 miles downtown to get to the interview. It took me 2 and a half hours. Yes, I really did. I guarantee you, I could have looked a little better when I walked in. I dabbed on some powder and straightened my clothes when I walked in--but I absolutely was not pristine looking, and I kept my arms down to hide sweat stains. Something to keep in mind.

    THANK YOU, Samantha. That is all I have been trying to say. That it's important to look at the whole picture, not just the surface.

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    We always judge people as Keka said, whether we want to or not so in this case I would try to stick with the top things I was looking for this person to do in the job. If looks/fashion/a few wrinkles in the shirt were not part of it, I would try to ignore it.

    If someone doesn't have the looks you think you do need in the position try to consider the source. Do you get the idea that they don't care enough? Or could it just be that they are inept when it comes to pulling a look together?

    Sometimes, even with the best intentions in the world, you are the person who ends up talking to someone for an hour with a bit of hair sticking up or your slip showing.

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    Lady Sauce wrote: i find this conversation facinating considering how long i've been looking for work. i dont care if you're depressed....if you need a job, get your iron out and put a smile on your face, no matter how difficult it may be. and of course you will and should be judged on your appearance at an interview, because if hired, you are no longer representing just yourself, you are representing the company you got hired for. so you should absolutely look the best you can at any interview.

    Gosh, all depressed people have to do is suck it up? Just get over it? How come they don't just do that?

    What if you are looking for a job, but you are homeless, or crashing on a couch and don't have an iron?

    Seriously, all of these things you all keep insisting should be done are simply not possible for more and more people every day.

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    Robynne wrote: Gosh, all depressed people have to do is suck it up? Just get over it? How come they don't just do that? What if you are looking for a job, but you are homeless, or crashing on a couch and don't have an iron? Seriously, all of these things you all keep insisting should be done are simply not possible for more and more people every day.

    the homeless people i see aren't looking for jobs, they're looking for handouts.

    and do depressed people have to suck it up? fuck yeah they do. i have to go on stage and make people laugh for not 1 cent after being out of work for a year and a half. do i feel like it? do i have to drag myself out to do it sometimes? yeah...and i like it, but it's hard to get the movtivation up sometimes to do something i don't get paid for. so i have no sympathy for someone who's motivation should be money and survival and can't do their best to look their best. and you dont' need an iron. you dampen a shirt and smooth it out with your hands if that's all you got. it's called the "poor man's iron"

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    Yeah I think depressed people do have to suck it up. If they're so debilitated that they can't get out of bed, shower and put on presentable clothes and get through an interview, then they need to suck it up and get some help for themselves.

    I spent 10 solid years being depressed and went to various therapists and was on many different kinds of anti-depressants. At the end of the day, what I needed to do was get out and start living my life again and stop feeling so damned sorry for myself and thinking life somehow owed me better than what I had.

    Being a victim and pulling the depression card doesn't help a person; it sets you back in every way imaginable. You can be depressed but in order to dig yourself out, you have to make the world think you're ok even when you aren't.

    And THAT'S from personal experience.

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    Lady Sauce wrote: the homeless people i see aren't looking for jobs, they're looking for handouts. and do depressed people have to suck it up? fuck yeah they do. i have to go on stage and make people laugh for not 1 cent after being out of work for a year and a half. do i feel like it? do i have to drag myself out to do it sometimes? yeah...and i like it, but it's hard to get the movtivation up sometimes to do something i don't get paid for. so i have no sympathy for someone who's motivation should be money and survival and can't do their best to look their best. and you dont' need an iron. you dampen a shirt and smooth it out with your hands if that's all you got. it's called the "poor man's iron"

    But that brings about another interesting point (as a proud owner of a "poor man's iron:)). When you walk in among a GROUP of applicants, by comparison, you can look like a slob, even if you look as good as you can. Someone in a suit that's five years old that's been ironed the poor man's way may look his best, and have put in a lot of effort, but if someone comes in with a freshly dry cleaned and pressed up to date suit, they look like a go getter--like someone who knows what they're doing (even if, as Brynne said, they've got zero experience--maybe Dad got him that suit as a congratulations for graduating college--now go out and get yourself a job, son!). Even if the guy in the five year old suit has more experience and know how.

    Edit: So, anon, I would keep that in mind--if someone walks in and looks presentable, but not as presentable as this other guy, look at the qualifications. Know what I mean? If someone walks in eating a sandwich or something...well, yeah, that's unprofessional.

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    Samantha wrote: But that brings about another interesting point (as a proud owner of a "poor man's iron:)). When you walk in among a GROUP of applicants, by comparison, you can look like a slob, even if you look as good as you can. Someone in a suit that's five years old that's been ironed the poor man's way may look his best, and have put in a lot of effort, but if someone comes in with a freshly dry cleaned and pressed up to date suit, they look like a go getter--like someone who knows what they're doing (even if, as Brynne said, they've got zero experience--maybe Dad got him that suit as a congratulations for graduating college--now go out and get yourself a job, son!). Even if the guy in the five year old suit has more experience and know how. Edit: So, anon, I would keep that in mind--if someone walks in and looks presentable, but not as presentable as this other guy, look at the qualifications. Know what I mean? If someone walks in eating a sandwich or something...well, yeah, that's unprofessional.

    yes, that's true and that sucks. but the bottom line is that you may not look the best and that leaves you at a disadvantage, and then all you can do it try to ace the verbal part. but it's no different than looking great but not knowing excel and powerpoint. then the one who isn't dressed as nicely, but is a whiz at excel and powerpoint gets the job...none of it's fair, but that's life, right?

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    I agree: Edit: So, anon, I would keep that in mind--if someone walks in and looks presentable, but not as presentable as this other guy, look at the qualifications. Know what I mean? If someone walks in eating a sandwich or something...well, yeah, that's unprofessional

    it's your job as the interviewer to consider the dress but even more, consider the qualifications (considered they don't look homeless :)

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    Robynne wrote: If it were me, I would just ask him. "If I sent you out to a client meeting, how would you dress?" Can you tell me generally what kind of business you are in? Because you may also have personal standards for professional dress that are higher than people outside of the industry would expect. For example, I would wear a woman's business suit with a skirt to interview at a big law firm, but not to a doctor's office, or at the Wal-Mart corporate offices. The girls who manage my apartment complex wear white blouses and black slacks, which is nice -- but it's also how half the waitresses in LA dress. If that's how this guy dressed at his last job, he may have thought it was appropriate.

    This position requires the employee to work with clients and the public on a daily basis. While I wouldn't expect someone to wear a Dolce and Gabana suit and Prada dress shoes to the interview or to work everyday(although it is ok if they did) I would however expect them to wear clean clothing and shoes.

    I've interviewed a mixture of people for this position; recent college grads, graduate students, people who have been without work for a period of time, or those who are currently working but would like to change jobs so, I understand that someone who is a recent grad may dress or present themselves differently then someone who is currently working and is just looking to change jobs.

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    ehvwon wrote: Yeah I think depressed people do have to suck it up. If they're so debilitated that they can't get out of bed, shower and put on presentable clothes and get through an interview, then they need to suck it up and get some help for themselves. I spent 10 solid years being depressed and went to various therapists and was on many different kinds of anti-depressants. At the end of the day, what I needed to do was get out and start living my life again and stop feeling so damned sorry for myself and thinking life somehow owed me better than what I had. Being a victim and pulling the depression card doesn't help a person; it sets you back in every way imaginable. You can be depressed but in order to dig yourself out, you have to make the world think you're ok even when you aren't. And THAT'S from personal experience.

    And how did you pay for the therapists and anti-depressants? And would you have gotten to the point where you understand what you needed to do without them? Or if you were also dealing with foreclosure, crushing debt, and all of the other things that people are facing in larger numbers than ever before?

    I agree in theory that there comes a time when we all have to suck it up. But people are facing things that were inconceivable ten years ago. It's not "pulling the victim card" if you actually are a victim.

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    You're a victim as long as you allow yourself to be. I get that you once had a rich lifestyle, but you don't now, and those are your challenges, just as every one of us have our own challenges and shit to get over in our lives.

    I've had plenty of financial problems in my life, as well as lots of other things, which I won't detail here because they belong to me. You aren't unique in that Brynne.

    You sound like you're having a bad day and are concentrating on everything you used to have and don't now.

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    Samantha wrote: But that brings about another interesting point (as a proud owner of a "poor man's iron:)). When you walk in among a GROUP of applicants, by comparison, you can look like a slob, even if you look as good as you can. Someone in a suit that's five years old that's been ironed the poor man's way may look his best, and have put in a lot of effort, but if someone comes in with a freshly dry cleaned and pressed up to date suit, they look like a go getter--like someone who knows what they're doing (even if, as Brynne said, they've got zero experience--maybe Dad got him that suit as a congratulations for graduating college--now go out and get yourself a job, son!). Even if the guy in the five year old suit has more experience and know how. Edit: So, anon, I would keep that in mind--if someone walks in and looks presentable, but not as presentable as this other guy, look at the qualifications. Know what I mean? If someone walks in eating a sandwich or something...well, yeah, that's unprofessional.

    Exactly. That's all I'm saying. You can't look at a person and assume that they are wrinkled or sweaty because they don't care. In this economy, to make sure you are getting the best person for the job, you have to go deeper.

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    Robynne wrote: And how did you pay for the therapists and anti-depressants? And would you have gotten to the point where you understand what you needed to do without them? Or if you were also dealing with foreclosure, crushing debt, and all of the other things that people are facing in larger numbers than ever before? I agree in theory that there comes a time when we all have to suck it up. But people are facing things that were inconceivable ten years ago. It's not "pulling the victim card" if you actually are a victim.

    i think the first problem is seeing yourself as a victim. i believe a victim mentality is counter productive to making your circumstances better. (and i mean you plural)

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    Samantha wrote: Did he seem smart in the interview? Smart enough to comprehend it if you say "You need to look professional at work, adhering to our dress code?" If so, sure, give him a pass. Clothes are easily fixed, but incompetence is not.

    He was a bit nervous and laughed after every answer he gave me. But when I shared with him the dress code he told me that he had a pair of dress shoes that he would be able to wear to work. Then I started to think, "if he had a pair of dress shoes, why didn't he wear them on the interview?"

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    Blondie wrote: What is a poor mans iron?

    haha...it's dampening your shirt and smoothing it out with your hands. or hanging it in steam.

    i have an iron, but i rarely use it

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    ehvwon wrote: You're a victim as long as you allow yourself to be. I get that you once had a rich lifestyle, but you don't now, and those are your challenges, just as every one of us have our own challenges and shit to get over in our lives. I've had plenty of financial problems in my life, as well as lots of other things, which I won't detail here because they belong to me. You aren't unique in that Brynne. You sound like you're having a bad day and are concentrating on everything you used to have and don't now.

    Whoa, whoa, whoa!!!

    NONE of this is about me. I am not having a bad day -- my rent and all of my bills are paid, which is why I have time to be here instead of pounding out articles. I'm not depressed, and I am nobody's victim.

    I am talking about the dozens of people I know -- and the hundreds of thousands I don't -- who are in even worse shape than I am.

    I am looking for compassion for them, and for some hint of open-mindedness. I have been very careful not to make any of this personal; don't try to make it about me.

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    Lady Sauce wrote: i think the first problem is seeing yourself as a victim. i believe a victim mentality is counter productive to making your circumstances better. (and i mean you plural)

    I agree with that, completely. And thanks for being clear that you didn't mean me, personally. <3

    All I am saying is that many, many people were not at all prepared -- emotionally or financially -- to face these hardships. When things started to go bad, they went bad really fast. The old rules can not apply because so many people have fallen so far out of what is "normal".

    I could not even go on a job interview for job in an office this month, for instance, because I sold all of my business clothes, and all of my shoes were stolen when I moved here. I only know two women in Phoenix and they both have smaller feet than I do. I would have to go either in flip flops, or inappropriately sexy heels.

    This doesn't make me a victim, I am just saying that none of you are looking very far outside of your own experiences to understand what people are going through.

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    anonymous wrote: He was a bit nervous and laughed after every answer he gave me. But when I shared with him the dress code he told me that he had a pair of dress shoes that he would be able to wear to work. Then I started to think, "if he had a pair of dress shoes, why didn't he wear them on the interview?"

    Anon, maybe he doesn't really own dress shoes. Maybe he was thinking "Crap, I think my brother in Toledo has real shoes. He could FedEx them to me!"

    The point is that you don't know, and it's not fair to guess.


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    anonymous wrote: He was a bit nervous and laughed after every answer he gave me. But when I shared with him the dress code he told me that he had a pair of dress shoes that he would be able to wear to work. Then I started to think, "if he had a pair of dress shoes, why didn't he wear them on the interview?"

    Well, you do know there is a whole school of thought that for men especially, it is better if they don't dress perfectly so as to not outdo a superior at work.

    If there is a stereotype about men vs women dressing, a lot of people think women know more but I have heard it said that men shouldn't let their wives dress them for interviews or for jobs everyday because then they will be "too perfect."

    I would definitely look for the best combination of what you need for this person. I realize if someone isn't dressed perfectly for clients it could be a point against them, but in the long run if they aren't a complete mess and they have the other skills, I would definitely consider them.

    I wouldn't, for instance, sacrifice someone with good people skills and experience because their shoes weren't perfect, especially if they were prepared to wear what you want.

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    Robynne wrote: Anon, maybe he doesn't really own dress shoes. Maybe he was thinking "Crap, I think my brother in Toledo has real shoes. He could FedEx them to me!" The point is that you don't know, and it's not fair to guess.

    I don't know, you're right.

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    anonymous wrote: I don't know, you're right.

    That's all I was trying to say. You asked how not to judge people on appearance, and my advice is that you remember to look deeper. <3

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    S
    My personal experience:
    I actually had two clients ask to work with me instead of another gentleman solely based on his appearance - he is 100 lbs overweight and carries himself with a drag in his knees.
    Frankly he has one year more of industry experience than I, but that didn't seem to matter to them.

    They each said something to the point of "Sorry, I cannot work with somebody who doesn't seem to care about their appearance - if they don't seem to care about their health and appearance, why would they care about me and my situation?"

    Anyway, it's very much human nature to care about looks and be judgemental. It's what we do with it that matters.

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    S wrote: My personal experience: I actually had two clients ask to work with me instead of another gentleman solely based on his appearance - he is 100 lbs overweight and carries himself with a drag in his knees. Frankly he has one year more of industry experience than I, but that didn't seem to matter to them. They each said something to the point of "Sorry, I cannot work with somebody who doesn't seem to care about their appearance - if they don't seem to care about their health and appearance, why would they care about me and my situation?" Anyway, it's very much human nature to care about looks and be judgemental. It's what we do with it that matters.

    I couldn't agree more. Especially since any reasoning like the example you gave is delusional, psycho-babble bullsh*t. Many people who are overweight care a hundred times more about others, or about their jobs, than about their weight.

    And there are as many different reasons for being overweight as there are overweight people.

    Making assumptions based on appearance is shallow. We do it because it's easier to dismiss someone than to get to know them, and it's way easier to decide what other people are thinking than it is to question ourselves.


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    S
    Robynne wrote: I couldn't agree more. Especially since any reasoning like the example you gave is delusional, psycho-babble bullsh*t. Many people who are overweight care a hundred times more about others, or about their jobs, than about their weight. And there are as many different reasons for being overweight as there are overweight people. Making assumptions based on appearance is shallow. We do it because it's easier to dismiss someone than to get to know them, and it's way easier to decide what other people are thinking than it is to question ourselves.


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    S
    "And there are as many different reasons for being overweight as there are overweight people."

    This is of course, an accurate statement.
    You can only do something about your appearance - whether too skinny or too fat or whatever if you really WANT to.
    Same as anything in your life.

    And I understand certain health reasons may prohibit people from losing weight - though have there been some scientific arguments about this?

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    I completely understand and know your situation and that of many others brynne. Also as you may know I am poor I don't have high quality clothing or shoes, but I will be dammed if I go wrinkled to an interview. I know what it is like first hand to ride a bus two work and then walk, I used to carry my nicely ironed clothe in a gym bag. So while it is not completely ok to judge based on apperance if you are truly looking for a job making an effort to look decent is not beyond anybody young or old, rich or poor. My mom used to say just because we are poor does not mean we need to look dirty.

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    S
    Chia wrote: I completely understand and know your situation and that of many others brynne. Also as you may know I am poor I don't have high quality clothing or shoes, but I will be dammed if I go wrinkled to an interview. I know what it is like first hand to ride a bus two work and then walk, I used to carry my nicely ironed clothe in a gym bag. So while it is not completely ok to judge based on apperance if you are truly looking for a job making an effort to look decent is not beyond anybody young or old, rich or poor. My mom used to say just because we are poor does not mean we need to look dirty.

    Well put.

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    Chia wrote: I completely understand and know your situation and that of many others brynne. Also as you may know I am poor I don't have high quality clothing or shoes, but I will be dammed if I go wrinkled to an interview. I know what it is like first hand to ride a bus two work and then walk, I used to carry my nicely ironed clothe in a gym bag. So while it is not completely ok to judge based on apperance if you are truly looking for a job making an effort to look decent is not beyond anybody young or old, rich or poor. My mom used to say just because we are poor does not mean we need to look dirty.

    I understand what you are saying, and I agree. But it is not as black and white as "everybody can make an effort".

    "Making an effort" means different things to different people. That is my point about the dangers of judging on appearance, alone. Samantha is exactly as conscientious and hard-working as you are, but it didn't occur to her to put clean clothes in a gym bag before walking several miles to an interview.

    She still made a huge effort, but someone ONLY noticing that she was sweaty and a little rumpled without finding out why might assume she didn't make any effort at all, and they would be losing an incredibly valuable employee.

    That is my point about appearances. They don't actually tell us jack shit about who people are inside. We just pretend they do because it's easier.

    Also, just so we are all clear -- I did not HAVE a job interview that I couldn't go to because of no shoes. That was a what-if example. I have a job. It sucks not having quite enough money, but I can usually meet my basic needs, and that is more than a lot of people can do. This isn't about me.

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    S wrote: "And there are as many different reasons for being overweight as there are overweight people." This is of course, an accurate statement. You can only do something about your appearance - whether too skinny or too fat or whatever if you really WANT to. Same as anything in your life. And I understand certain health reasons may prohibit people from losing weight - though have there been some scientific arguments about this?

    The bottom line is that if you are a normal, healthy human being and you burn up more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. Otherwise, there would have been fat people in the concentration camps, in Biafra, fat children in the Romanian orphanages -- you starve enough, you will get skinny. Period.

    But, there are medications and medical conditions which can bloat you and can cause extreme weight gain. There are also an awful lot of mental and emotional reasons for being fat.

    I am not saying that there are no fat people in the country who just honestly don't care. There are lazy people, and sloppy people and all kinds of people who look like they will do a bad job, who actually will do a bad job.

    I am just saying that no one can tell who someone is or what they will bring to a job just by looking at them.

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    Yes of course samantha is an excellent example it is not always black and white. It is unfortunate though that their is people like you and samantha and even me who care and do what they need to doN and then we do have the lazies. And it is also rather unfortunate that as a society we are made to think that skinny equals pretty, nice car equals rich, nice/expensive clothing equals rich and so on. I have seen the richest of people act and be so simple that if it was not for what I knew I would assume they are bumbs, as well as girls with really nice shoes and purses who are well less than well-off. I have learned to not pass judgement and always listen.

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    Chia wrote: Yes of course samantha is an excellent example it is not always black and white. It is unfortunate though that their is people like you and samantha and even me who care and do what they need to doN and then we do have the lazies. And it is also rather unfortunate that as a society we are made to think that skinny equals pretty, nice car equals rich, nice/expensive clothing equals rich and so on. I have seen the richest of people act and be so simple that if it was not for what I knew I would assume they are bumbs, as well as girls with really nice shoes and purses who are well less than well-off. I have learned to not pass judgement and always listen.

    Exactly! That is all I am saying. The guy who shows up at the interview in perfectly shined shoes is no more or less likely to do a good job -- or steal from you -- than the guy in sneakers.

    That is why it is so important to look beyond that stuff, and to teach our kids to do the same.

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