I recently made a rather rash decision: I was tired, slightly hungover and really enjoying the comfort of a chair, which, as well as being remarkably similar to what my mum says when I ask about my conception, is probably a recipe for disaster. I came out of the hairdressers after an hour with a fringe blunter than Simon Cowell’s drawl and shorter than his temper. This may not seem worthy of national news to you but, hey, when the highlight of your day is waiting for eleven o’clock, just so you can work on perfecting your Muller Corner tip n’mix, you’d be surprised what excites you.
I never really thought there was anything in ‘power dressing’ but I’m starting to see anew. Never, in my whole life, have I been more patronized, sweet-talked and babied in society than in the last two weeks. People literally think I’m a child. The other day, I was in an ice cream parlor (did I just say parlor? Could I get any less cool?) with my mum’s friend’s thirteen year old daughter, and the wizened creeper behind the counter gave ‘free ones to the little ladies’ because we asked so nicely. The knob. Everywhere I go, people are giving me free stuff and being really nice. It’s bloody awful.
Is it really a good to look younger than your years? On the one hand, I hardly feel like my dream of being a Dragon in the Den is going to be achieved by rocking Primary School chic, but, on the other hand, I seem to be getting off bus tickets, parking fines and even my grandmother’s remonstrations left right and centre. I attended a career networking event last night and once I got over my initial fear that people would wonder why they couldn’t find a babysitter for the boss’ kid for the night, I seemed to do much better than at previous ones. It seems like the younger you look, the kinder everyone else is: there’s something in that.
There’s an episode of Scrubs where the Janitor wears baby blue all day and can’t quite work out why everyone is nice to him – I’ve been trying out this theory of reverse power dressing with presenting. I’ve found if I wear a bow in my hair, I seem to get a much better response out of the people I’m interviewing – they warm to me quicker, seem to relax in my company and the interview goes smoothly. They don’t feel as if you are going to trip them up. If you strip away all the journalistic facade, they realise that you, like them, are just another individual with a bow in their hair and a bit of fire in their belly.
So here’s my Tuesday Test: wear something young, maybe a floral dress, a hair ribbon or you could even rock a dummy and try frolicking in the sun and your false youth. You never know, you might just get a free ice cream.