The Job You Want to Have


If you’re an artistic type, you probably got the link to author Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on Ted.com about creativity and genius.

It’s an interesting talk, one worth listening to. That’s not what I’m hear to talk about. Today is cross-post day with the Fashionista blog.

So, we’re talking about Elizabeth’s outfit.

I know, I know. She’s a creative genius and doesn’t have extra brain matter to devote to fashion. Like it’s hard or something. One writer friend of mine — who put in hard time in the VERY fashion-conscious world of NYC’s big publishing houses — sent me this link and said “I’m concerned about her outfit.”

This is a big talk after all. In front of a large audience. Filmed, even. Take home story: if you’re going to appear on a ginormous screen, give some thought to the turtleneck/scraggy hair thing.

What’s that? Her appearance doesn’t matter because what’s important is what she thinks, says and writes? Oh but see, she is making a deliberate choice here. She’s going for the scruffy/academic/I-can’t-be-bothered-to-brush-my-hair look.

Everyone makes these choices and buys clothes accordingly. How you dress is a deliberate communication to other people of what you think is important about you.

Examples?

Stephenie “I don’t care about the millions, I’m still just a Mormon housewife” Meyer.

Laurell K. “I think I’m a vampire” Hamilton

Stephen “I don’t care about the millions, I’m just a guy from New England” King

Jonathan “I’m just a scruffy academic, too. And kind of British with it, really” Franzen

Okay, okay, it’s a little snarky. And one day, when I’m a bestselling author and they snap a photo of me at the grocery store in 80’s leggings, a nasty t-shirt and my hair pushed back by what passes for a headband, you can reference this blog post and give me all the grief you want to.

But I can tell you this — if there’s a huge video screen involved, I’m going for professional make-up.

That’s MY genius.

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