Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Importance of Appearance

Anyone says that appearance doesn't matter is lying. Or at least decieved themselves. Appearance is crucial. It is the first part of a first impression.

Some folks are afraid of the kid with the twenty pounds of chains hanging from his huge pants or the kid with the seven inch neon green mohawk. (They may even be the same kid!) My experience with these kids is that they are often the ones who are comfortable with who they are and they're usually the nicest kids. Some have a tough veneer, but if you don't dis them, then all is good in the world. But because of their appearance, many people stay away from them.

The kid with thick glasses must be a nerd. The fat kid must eat all day. The guy in the cowboy hat must be uneducated. The guy in the suit must be a professional. The pretty girl must be stuck-up. And the girl in the tight pants and low-cut shirt must be an easy slut.

It's this last one that plays a lot into how I write Bo Fexler. She is, as written, unusually attractive. She certainly knows it and knows how she can get many men to sit up a beg. But, like any sexy girl, she gets judged on her appearance. She's certainly not going to be considered highly intelligent.

On the other side, there's the author. Apparently, I don't look like someone who can use Fuck in the most liberal of fashions or turn any comment into a sexual reference (it's a skill) or even like a person who listens to Tool or Metallica or Garbage. People who only know me in certan settings-- like school or my retail job-- often have trouble believing just how crude and vulgar my regular speech actually is. No, really, ask my hubby.

Maybe it's the glasses or the long straight hair or my manner of dress. These are all things that people use in forming an impression-- not just of me but of anyone.

First impressions are niether right or wrong. They just are. But they can be affected by biases, known or unkown. How we react to each other is an important element for writing fiction, too.

How does everyone else see your character? What biases does your character have? Having been regarded as a sex object for so long, Bo (Not me! ;-) certainly has a extra active wariness towards men who come on to her. Being a over-educated word nerd, I tend towards quieter people.

What conclusions (Good, bad, or indifferent) have you made on appearance?

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