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Body image is our psychological experience of embodiment, providing us with a tangible shape or form for our intangible perception of our body.  Got that?  Body image is where it all begins as an infant, something we develop, order, and re-order throughout our lifespan.  What we think of our body may range between delight, disregard, and disgust and it profoundly influences our quality of life.
Negative Body Image, A Global Issue
Powerful attention to the body and the idea of having a perfect body is transmitted through the media and in everyday conversation with family and friends-parents and peers.  For women, the focus is on the pursuit of beauty through cosmetics, clothing, hair styling, nail enhancement, and dieting as well as cosmetic surgery.
Body image assessments reveal that a negative body image is experienced by virtually all women and girls, with men and boys also afflicted.  Dissatisfaction with the body is a major contributor to a negative body image and low levels of self esteem-of how we feel about ourselves as a whole.  Depression, anxiety, and eating disorders often follow.
Instilled in every society, negative body image is now a global issue of concern.  Pressure is on sub-cultural groups of individuals that idealize the perfect body.  This includes fitness buffs, gymnasts, athletes, dancers, models, and movie stars.  They do register higher rates of body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.  They, in turn, influence us so that satisfaction or dissatisfaction with our appearance will be a result of the degree to which we do or do not meet the socio-cultural ideal set up according to worldly standards.
The socio-cultural ideal woman is tall and thin, with moderately large breasts and long legs, large eyes, clear skin. If she’s light skinned, she wants to be darker.  If she’s dark skinned she wants to be lighter. The socio-cultural ideal man is tall and muscular, with broad shoulders and narrow waist, thick hair, scruffy beard, and also tan, if light skinned.  It is virtually impossible for women and men to achieve these ideals by healthy means.  Nonetheless, they are accepted and adopted as the reference by which to judge ourselves-invariably resulting in body dissatisfaction and a negative body image.
Tools To Facilitate A Positive Body Image
Changing our perception of the body often leads to a changed body image.  Clothing is a tool for us to use, an agent of change-both body changing and mind changing.  Specifically, changing the shape of our clothing can change our body image boundaries-easily improving our body silhouette.  Layering clothing works wonders to camouflage a body area or balance our body.  In turn, we may perceive and accept ourselves in a more positive manner.
Better yet, dress can effectively prevent body image problems from developing-effectively fostering feelings of acceptance through the ability to regularly recognize, select, and coordinate clothes that flatter the body.  The achievement of a more realistic body image allows for the positive application of visual design in dress (or vice versa), therefore enhancing our self-presentation as well as our everyday interactions and relationships with others.  This is image management and expressive image therapy in action, something we can do for ourselves.

It is truly more important to be healthy and whole than to try to match some unhealthy worldly standard.  My father used to say, “I’m pretty good for the shape I’m in.”  That’s a good attitude.  I remind us to appreciate our body and all it does for us.  It’s the vehicle that gets us where we want to go-even if the pace is slow at times.  Knowing your body type directs you to flattering clothing styles and coordination.  To learn more, get yourself to my Style for Life Retreat.  Be careful in all you do and make mindful dressing part of your everyday life.

Visit our website www.conselle.com or contact us at Conselle,
801-224-1207 or judith@conselle.com
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sneezing womanSo you have a cold, and you look as bad as you feel — itchy, irritated eyes; swollen eyelids at half mast; a bright red nose; and dry, cracked lips.  But you can’t stay in bed.  Commitments and responsibilities require you to get up and get going.  I’ll bet we can all relate.  If this sounds like you, here are some tips on how to look like you’re on top of the world instead of under the weather. 

  1. While you’re still in bed in the morning, fight back with a series of stretches to limber up and pump oxygen through your bloodstream to help get you moving.  This should leave you feeling a little more alive.
  2. Once you’re up, it’s a question of bath or shower.  A bath can be wonderfully soothing, but if time is short and you must shower, make it comfortably hot and steamy to help clear your sinuses.  Let the water run over your neck and shoulders to limber you up further.
  3. After a bath or shower, apply your favorite moisturizing lotion as a protection against the drying effects of winter weather and central heating.  While you’re at it, don’t forget to apply a light film of protective lotion on your face.  If your nose is red and raw from continuous blowing, apply a little petroleum jelly on the area to soothe thesore skin.
  4. Good eye drops will relieve irritated eyes and help red eyes look lessaggravated.  Cold compresses made from tea bags steeped in ice-cold water are good for swollen eyelids and puffiness under your eyes.  The tannic acid in the tea reduces swelling and increases circulation.  For best results, place a tea bag over each eye and sit back or lie down for five or ten minutes.
  5. Go light on breakfast but don’t skip it, even if you’re not hungry. You need it for energy.  For something light, try juice and toast.  Pop some vitamin C and drink extra fluids all day long to flush your system.  Hot water with lemon juice and honey workwonders to soothe a sore throat, as does gargling with salt water or mouth wash.  Honey soothes the throat and lemon cuts the phlegm.  Drink it all day long.
  6. Don’t forget to brush your teeth — fresh breath makes you feel fresh all over. Even if you don’t feel like it, flash yourself a smile in the bathroom mirror; even a practice grin can perk up your mood.
  7. If you’re really feeling sick, you probably won’t want to wear makeup and perhaps ought to stay home altogether. But if you absolutely must go out, makeup is next and so essential to looking and feeling the best you can.
  8. Now that you’re relatively ready to get dressed, it time for some fashion therapy.  It’s important to think of clothes power as a way of boosting your spirit.  Now is not the time to wear your sloppiest, thrown-together outfit simply because you don’t feel good.  Instead, wear a favorite, comfortable yet sharp looking outfit — one you often get compliments on.  Avoid wearing red or green as they repeat or contrast with redness in your face.  Look for something in a soft coral or shrimp, blue or gray.
  9. You may go through hot and cold spells throughout the day, so dress in layers to stay warm. If you feel flushed you can simply remove a layer and feel relieved.  If you have a sore throat, wrap a silk scarf around your neck attractively.  It feels great, and when you look great, chances are you’ll soon begin to feel more like it, too.  That’s clothes power.
  10. Take care of yourself.  There’s nothing better than hot chicken soup to soothe congestion and an aching body.  Take a thermos of soup for lunch.  It really does speed recovery.
  11. Yes, you can cough or sneeze into your elbow, but better yet, take a nice handkerchief with you and use that to cover your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze.  Bring an ample supply of lotion-treated tissues for blowing your nose and throw them away immediately after using.  If you can, wash your hands, with real soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer in a pinch.  Excuse yourself from shaking hands, as hand-to-hand contact is the most common way to spread germs.
  12. Take eye drops, always a way to soothe and make your eyes look healthier.
  13. During the day, refresh your lipstick and spritz on some perfume.
  14. Most of all, think positively.
  15. Face the day with a smile and if you’ve followed these tips, people may not even know that you have a cold.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the influence of dress and image in your life, consider reading my Clothes Power book with instructions and examples regarding people a lot like you: Wardrobe Strategy book #1, Clothes Power for $27.97.  You’ll find charts that will summarize the information and simplify your learning and application.  Order through Conselle’s Store or call 801-224-1207 and order directly through Kathy.  Order Clothes Power.

 

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

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RE-IGNITE YOUR PASSION FOR FASHION with an education that never goes out of style!

Most people think that they should just naturally know how to dress well.  Yet there are so many who would admit that they don’t.  There’s no shame in this.  Some people are naturally better at math and science, some better at the arts. If these skills don’t come naturally, does that mean we just give up and never learn math, science, art, etc.?  Obviously not, or there would be hundreds of teachers standing in the unemployment line.  Skills that don’t come naturally to some can be learned with the right teaching conditions.

Self presentation skills are no different.  Unfortunately, this is subject that many people didn’t learn as children or teens.  They need for an educated instructor to teach them how to look great in any and every situation as adults.    Could that instructor be you?  Does dressing well come easily to you?  How about dressing other people well? Let’s go back to grade school again.  Just because you’re a math wiz it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a fabulous math teacher.  There must be a proper foundation, framework, content and methods to teach any subject.   Lots of people teach what they “know intuitively” when it comes to image consulting, which may be confusing or may not apply to their clients unless they have learned relevant teaching methods.

Where do you find these methods?  You could study blog posts that contradict each other with what’s hot today and not tomorrow.  OR you could look into the longest established institute of image management in the country, with over 30 years experience in educating image consulting professionals.

Teaching others to have great style requires more than intuition…it requires a great education. FIND US HERE!

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A little blush is inexpensive, fast, easy and enlivens your look!

Our personal style is evident in our behaviors – the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, the words we speak, and the way we spend our time.  Next time you overeat or berate your body, drop the endings of your words or swear like a sailor, follow a fashion trend only to realize you’ve become a fashion victim, procrastinate or chicken out on your workout or a meeting, try something new to improve your behavior.  Don’t blame yourself or somebody else.  Blame your environment.  You are a product of your environment, so control it.  Yeah, right!

Decades of research in the behavioral sciences reveals that we have far less control over our behavior than we think.  We generally assume that our behavior is far more conscious or self-directed than it really is.  Truth be known, it’s not.  “No,” that doesn’t let us off the hook in terms of our responsibility for our behavior.  “And yes,” there are many things in life that are beyond our control.  Nonetheless, we are far more affected by small changes in our physical environment than we realize or understand.  This knowledge fits in nicely with the notion that the most effective way to control your life and behavior is to take control of the things that control you.  That said, the easiest thing you can control is your environment and your most immediate environment is your clothing-much like a second skin.  Something we can control is the clothing we buy and choose to wear each day, as well as our grooming habits.

Rarely do people think of changing their physical environment as a way to change their behavior.  We see others misbehave and we expect them to change, not their environment.  We get so caught up in the human side of behaviors we completely miss the impact of subtle yet powerful environmental factors such as our clothes and grooming aids.  It’s a lot easier to change things, like clothes, than it is to change people.  Even when we do recognize the impact our clothing is having on us, most people rarely know what to do about it.  That’s where I come in with accurate image information and relevant wardrobe strategies that are timely, easy to apply, and support your goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lest you doubt that clothes affect you, be aware that our thought processes and related behaviors are based on physical experiences.  Consider, for example, scientific research projects that studied the effects of wearing a white lab coat.  It turns out that if you wear a white lab coat, like one belonging to a dietitian or a doctor, your ability to pay attention increases, you function at a higher level, and others see you as more intelligent or professional.  Wow, no small change there!

 

I continually emphasize that what you wear affects the way you think, the way you feel, the way you act or behave, and only then the way others react or respond to you.

Knowing this, I highly recommend that you dress on purpose, with positive intent.

Choose to wear only the clothes that will best influence or develop your best behavior.   Empower yourself with clothes and grooming aids that work for you.

  • You don’t want to overeat?  Wear a somewhat tight belt reminding you to eat smaller portions. And, while you’re at it, get empty-calorie snack foods out of the house or apartment.  Use smaller plates, forks, and spoons.  It works.
  • Don’t want to berate your body?  Do “Dress Slim” with enough ease in the fit of your clothes and you’ll like the way you look.
  • Don’t’ want to slur your speech or swear like a sailor?  Do dress up a little more formally.  You’ll stand taller and speak more clearly, purposefully, and politely.
  • Don’t want to become a fashion victim?  Do become more knowledgeable, discover and define more about yourself, then develop a style that reflects YOU.
  • Don’t want to miss an upcoming networking event?  Start early and dress up enough to look and feel sharp, ready to go.
  • Do want to work out more often, not give in or give up?  Do outfit yourself in bold active wear.  Dressed ready to exercise, you’ll feel more like getting into it.
  • Do want to accomplish more at work?  Do dress like you mean business and you will.

 

 
My daughter, granddaughters, and daughter-in-law all “dress the part” to motivate and facilitate their 50K workout.

The best way to control your behavior – and your life – is to take control of the things that control you-starting with your immediate environment.  Even a small improvement in your dress and grooming can affect a large improvement in your behavior.  Make your clothes part of your positive personal style, propelling you toward success in all you do.

Want to know more about Personal Style?  Order Personal Style: What is it? Who Has It? How You Can Have It, Too. Wardrobe Strategy #8 .  Visit our website www.conselle.com or contact us at Conselle, 801-224-1207 or judith@conselle.com.

 

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

People have asked me, “How do you dare to tell other people what to wear?”  An easy answer, I dare because I care.  And it’s OK for you to care too.  I know first-hand the positive difference discovering your personal style in dress can make in your everyday life.  As I tell my clients, the clothing you wear affects the way you think, the way you feel, the way you act, and then the way others react or respond to you.  Nothing vain or superficial about that!

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With the start of a new school year and the change in seasons coming up, it’s a fine time to take time to care for yourself.  You’ve likely been giving a lot of time and attention to others all summer, perhaps even so much of yourself there’s hardly anything left for you.  It’s time to get in touch with yourself and your spirit, to renew how you think of yourself–your values, personality, and goals for the next few months.  Then give some thought to how you might reflect those aspects of yourself through your clothes and accessories.

 

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Start simple.  Go to a paint store.  Look at the wide range of color chips and identify colors that make your heart sing or make you want to get moving.  Pull your favorite paint chips for future reference and pick just one to work with now.  With this color in mind, shop for a top in that color and wear it with clothes you already own.  Shop for an accessory in that this color. Give yourself a chance to make friends with a new color.  When you feel more adventurous, pair this color with one of your personal body colors–your hair, eyes, skin, or blush color–and shop for a patterned piece of clothing containing both colors, making you part of the color scheme with your clothes.

 

Making little changes in what you wear can add up to a big transformation in how you see yourself and how others see and respond to you.  Yes, you can do this yourself, or you could join us for our 5 day Style For Life Retreat and speed up the process.

  • Take charge of the way you see yourself and others see you
  • Discover, define, and develop your own personal style
  • Zero in on strategies for dressing slim and a fabulous fit
  • Improve your self-presentation
  • Enhance self-image
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Never be a fashion victim again!

Join us at the legendary and luxurious Little America hotel in Salt Lake City, November 17-22, 2014, and discover a New You!  GET MORE INFORMATION HERE or call Kathy at 801-224-1207.

 

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

The stores are filled with pale colors this Spring.  Some are wonderful when they repeat and therefore emphasize your personal coloring.  Others are so pale they can’t repeat or contrast with your personal coloring.  They reflect a lot of light and appear to wash you out.  How can you know which colors will bring you to life?   The answer is in your personal coloring.

 

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By Judith Rasband, AICI CIM and Dani Slaugh, Conselle Affiliate

Tuesday, January 14, 2014, the Expressive Image Therapy Association was organized, creating the foundation for a new field of study, counseling, and treatment of many mental health disorders.  

Acting as the association’s first president is Judith Rasband, Kathryn Wolters as vice president,  and Dani Slaugh as secretary.  Charter members include Sarita Singh, Dawn Nieto, Rebecca S. Boles, Leslie Anne Jeanfreaw, Kathleen M. Doctor, Cristina C. Johnson, and Ann Johnson.

Expressive Image Therapy Association founding members from left; Dani Slaugh, Cristina Johnson, Kathleen Doctor, Dawn Nieto, Camilla, Rebacca Boles, Leslie Jeanfreaw, Sarita Singh, Judith Rasband, and Kathryn Wolters

Expressive Image Therapy Association founding members from left; Dani Slaugh, Cristina Johnson, Kathleen Doctor, Dawn Nieto, Camilla Owens, Rebecca Boles, Leslie Jeanfreaw, Sarita Singh, Judith Rasband, and Kathryn Wolters

What is Expressive Image Therapy?

Expressive image therapy is the use of the elements of image—dress, grooming, and body language—to facilitate non-image treatment goals.  It is a creative collaboration between the client and the therapist.  In essence, it is a clinical collaboration of art and science.  The role of image therapy within a multi-disciplinary treatment program is to complement and enhance the clinical work being done in individual, group, and family therapy; the role of the image therapist is to have a comprehensive understanding of individual treatment goals and progress in order to support this within the context of individual or group image therapy sessions.

Expressive image therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, guided by the image therapist, use clothing and accessories, grooming, and body language to:

  • explore their thinking and feelings as well as their behavior
  • develop increased self awareness
  • work out emotional conflicts
  • better manage behavior and possible addictions
  • increase self-esteem or sense of self worth
  • increase social skills
  • reduce anxiety
  • improve reality orientation

A major goal in image therapy is to improve or restore a client’s ability to function effectively and his or her sense of personal well-being.  Image therapy requires knowledge of visual design in dress and grooming including the reactive process.  It requires knowledge of human development, physiology and anatomy, psychological and sociological aspects of image, as well as psychological counseling theories and techniques.

Conselle is proud to be a supporter of this innovative approach to expressive therapy! For those who want to know more about this new professional field call 801-224-1207 or e-mail judith@conselle.com.

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