Putting on the Ritz


Anam reflects on the importance of our outer appearance. “People prefer to make a positive impact on themselves, rather than trying to impress others.”


Appearances mean a lot in the way we are perceived by others. Media images that promote grooming, toning and glamour are plentiful. All of these may have to do with the external but more than anything else, it’s a person’s inner belief that they’re attractive that makes them appealing to others.

It seems that if we feel beautiful, our own self-awareness stimulates confidence that brings out a glow of beauty no outer adornment can compete with. But if we feel ugly, that will be reflected by the same idea and project itself onto our outer appearance. If we truly feel beautiful on the inside, we would never seem unattractive to anyone else.

My adolescent years in London were strongly influenced by the changes in that time towards elegant plumage and fine feathers for the male of the species. Spearheaded by musicians such as David Bowie, Brian Ferry and Marc Bolan, the Glamrock era inspired a whole generation towards presentation and style that appealed to my creativity and my vanity.

The effects of dressing, I’ve noticed, go much deeper than the need to impress others. There has been research conducted on this subject, showing that people prefer to make a positive impact on themselves, rather than trying to impress others. In a global survey, respondents were asked who they dressed to impress. The chief response, which was consistent in each of the countries tested, was that they dressed to please themselves. This was an indication that the way they felt in their chosen attire should be the primary focus. The perception of others just wasn’t as important.

Others perceive us by the aura that surrounds us. Aura is commonly considered to be an “esoteric” phenomenon. But we all know that we just sense a particular feeling or vibe from each individual person around us. One person might make us a bit anxious, while another seems more approachable. A lot of that has to do with their aura, which informs one’s attitude and overall disposition. The aura is a flexible energetic field, an electromagnetic signature, that surrounds every living thing – including plants, animals, people.

At any given time, our auras emit a mixture of colour and light (it will never be just one colour) and each of these shades says a lot about how we are currently feeling. According to research, people struggling with depression often have dull auras. Additionally, someone who is battling substance abuse can have a dark and convoluted aura, or one that is full of holes. A person who is healthy, self-confident, and positive, though, tends to have a bright, light aura that every person senses, even if it is not visible to them.

A survey has revealed that two-thirds (64%) of the participants believe that how they dress can make them feel better about themselves and boost their mood. The outer can affect the inner. The senses work to absorb and process effects that are uplifting. The glow of confidence and sex appeal comes from within us. Some of the most glamorous personalities like Lady Gaga are not really the prettiest of people. But their glowing radiance and self-assured delivery makes them attractive to every member of the opposite sex.

“So it is not absolutely necessary that the outer will be a reflection of the inner, nor will vice versa be true, that the inner will correspond with the outer. But sometimes it happens that your inner beauty is so much, your inner light is so much that it starts radiating from your outer body. Your outer body may not be beautiful, but the light that comes from your sources, your innermost sources of eternal life, will make even a body which is not beautiful in the ordinary sense appear beautiful, radiant.”
Osho, Sat Chit Anand, Ch 27, Q 1

Radiance appears as an energy field that surrounds the human body that is not always visible but can be felt. The more open we are, the more we radiate, the more we shine. The more open we become, the more sensitive. We restore the aliveness of the senses.

Anam in walking gear

When dressing for the day, it makes a difference if we try to think about the sensory aspects of the clothes that we wear, how they look, feel and smell, as all of these aspects can have a positive impact upon the way that we feel about ourselves and the ways we carry ourselves through the world.

Our senses play a major part in this. Everything we feel, touch, smell, taste and see is conducted into our nervous system. Poor mental health has been associated with failure to maintain self-care practices. Small changes can make a huge difference in the way that we sense ourselves. By focusing on simple things like the daily ritual of choosing and caring for our appearance, we will make huge steps towards taking care of ourselves, as opposed to neglecting our clothing, our grooming, our sensitivity and turning a blind eye to our self-acceptance.

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match your frequency at the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

Having established that most people want their clothes to make them feel more confident, I continued looking into the subject related to the emotional states that are involved. The craving to belong has been, in my experience, a major factor in projecting a particular image. Like a chameleon, I can fit in everywhere and belong nowhere. It’s all a game to be taken lightly.

“Once you have an ideal, you are going to be neurotic. You are the ideal, you are the destiny.”
Osho, The Search, Ch 1

An image might be created out of our desires. More than we like to admit, glamour influences our choice of careers. What do we want to be when we grow up? For the new generation, becoming a TV presenter has more possibilities of glamour than becoming a nurse or a firefighter. A reality TV personality became the president of the United States. Others, such as the Kardashians, model a standard that those less affluent aspire to.

Of course, glamour always contains an element of illusion – hiding our difficulties, our flaws and enhancing perceived positives in our appearance. Again we have only to look at how the media promotes glamour and glitz. Such influences shape our ideas of what careers are possible and what satisfactions they might offer. It allows us to see our future selves in roles that might fulfill us.

Perhaps this means that we as humans, despite any attempts to simply be present, continually believe in what others expect us to be rather than who we are in essence. It could be that our urge to fit in and be accepted by the social norm, or our reactions to that norm, trumps our willingness to simply be present. The belief stands in the way. It becomes a fixed attitude. A fixed attitude could hinder the possibilities of self-acceptance.

“No flower is trying in any way to imitate any other flower. There is no imitation, no competition, no jealousy. The red flower is simply red, tremendously happy. It has never thought about being somebody else”
Osho, The Search, Ch 10

Osho’s imitable style of dressing can be traced from the early years – simply-draped fabrics in the Indian style – through to the later years when padded shoulders and extravagant materials defined the mode. Throughout all these phases leading into the time when “Dynasty” (known as “Denver Clan” in Germany) was a popular TV series and the musician Prince made his debut, Osho shone in public, but his radiance came from within. I remember sitting before him during his discourses looking at his hands and feet and being fascinated by the grace I saw there. He used those hands with eloquence. He exuded charisma. He looked as good in an Indian lunghi as he did in his robes with Flash Gordon shoulders.

The outer manifestation was a statement of the inner.

First published in the German Osho Times – oshotimes.de


Anam is a Management Coach and trainer for Personal Development. people-in-process.com

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