Edge Work

Crisp lines are important.

There’s nothing worse than going somewhere all dressed up when your edges are not on point. It messes up the whole look. You can be wearing a nice suit and tie, polished shoes, fabulous handkerchief triangle, but if your hairline looks like a fault line – you’re in trouble.

Ladies too. Our hair crowns us. Frizz is the enemy. Baby hairs, waves, curls, shape, style, color, texture – it all needs to be right, or our entire outfit is pointless because people look at the face of things first.

People will often miss the value of what you are saying because the face it’s coming from doesn’t look the part. People will sleep on you. By “sleep on you” I mean disregard, dismiss, discount, brush-off, or underestimate you because you do not look like the image of success.

This superficial tendency often made me angry. I spent much of my life trying to convince myself and others that it was what was in my brain and my heart that mattered, not what was on the outside. All too often, however, because I bucked the system and tried to get people to focus on my mind instead of my fashion choices, I was dismissed. My ideas were unheard; my talents lay unappreciated, underappreciated, or undiscovered on the floor of a closet full of sneakers and jeans. It made my husband mad. “You’re brilliant! You’re talented! You have so much to offer!” But the outfit was off. My face didn’t scream the image of competence I possessed.

My youngest daughter came home the other day talking about her crush. She gave me a detailed explanation of what made this boy so amazing and ended with, “He’s kind; he’s smart; he’s gorgeous. He’s the whole package!” It’s funny that at 11 she understands this better than I have for the past forty some odd years. Goodness knows it’s not like I’m some yeti or Sloth from Goonies, I just like like to dress casually and I don’t like makeup. But, it’s no good having something valuable to say if no one will bother to listen. It’s like spitting in the wind – you’re the only one who gets the impact.

I know I’m late to the game. Stubbornness is probably my biggest fault. I hold on to my convictions doggedly, and it is hard to come between what I believe to be right and true and the world in which I live. Ironically, writing is probably the perfect job for someone who rejects image in favor of intelligence and talent, but now is when I’ve finally decided to change. Instead of being angry about the way it is, and fighting for appreciation when my edges are out of control, I need to match my outside with my inside. If I sincerely want to be heard, It’s time for a shape up. It’s time for the whole package.

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