Johnny Cash wore all black, all the time, so much so that it earned him the nickname “The Man in Black”. According to Mr. Cash in his song Man in Black, “I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down, livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town, I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime, but is there because he’s a victim of the times.”
Other folks through the years, both celebrities and the not-so-famous have chosen certain aspects of appearance in order to brand themselves and use the outer experession of their inner identity to help define who they are.
I’ve struggled with this for years for several reasons. One of them is that I’m extremely self-conscious. I constantly question myself, my appearance, my actions. This might surprise those of you that know me. It’s something that I’ve worked on over the years. My answer to counter it is to really express my inner self in more extreme ways. I’ve grown out a fearsome red beard. I wear superhero shirts. I wear a kilt on occasion.
I saw an article out of Melbourne, Australia about a barista that branded herself by proudly showing her pink hair, piercings, and a full sleeve of tattoos. Now this might turn some people off, but you will too, no matter what you look like. The thing is, she makes a mean cup of coffee. In other words, she’s good at what she does. You can read the article HERE.
I urge you to express who you want to be and brand YOU, not just what you do or who you work for. There are just a couple of caveats though…
- If you’re entry level or bottom tier in your profession, you may not have the freedom to do what you want.
- If you’re an employee and not a free agent, you have to do what The Man says to do.
- And, the most important, you have to be the best at what you do.
If you follow the last one, you can write your own rules about how you dress or look. Lisbeth Salander did just that. Fiction or not, it’s a realistic character that she became.