Never Let Your Image Define You

May 11, 2009

I was watching an interview the other night of Mitchell Joachim. He’s a Ph.D. he’s earned degrees from very prestigious institutes, clearly a very smart guy. He was doing the interview to promote his Non-profit organization Terraform ONE which wants to “integrate ecological Principals in the urban realm.” If you want to know more look it up… the argument he’s making isn’t really the point.

Now when he came on the show he had a suit on which was nice, but his hair was long, braided and basically looked like something you would associate with a hippy.

I have no problem with his hair, nor do I have any problems with hippies. Yet they’ve been associated with/mocked for lazyness, drug use, and unrealistic idealism. And by allowing himself to be put into that box I fear it distracts from his arguments. He’s essentially asking people to make fundamental changes in the way we build things and do things. These are not simple requests.

When he has hair like that he gives small minded people an easy excuse to dismiss him. They can say oh look he’s clearly a hippy just trying to do some silly idealistic stuff that will never happen.

He’s giving them a chance to focus on who he is rather than the strength of the arguments.

The same applies for the marijuana activist appearing to be a hippy stoner or gay rights activist appearing to be overly flamboyant.

Certainly in some cases an image can help you make an argument. An insurance guy will wear a suit when he wants to look professional or a polo shirt if he wants to appear casual/part of the family.

The point? Don’t give people the chance to dismiss you; make them focus on your arguments.

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