Lately I have been enjoying watching episodes from the TLC show, "What Not to Wear" that I have recorded with our DVR. It has been interesting to learn about how what you wear emphasizes, or de-emphasizes the features of your body. For example, if a woman wanted to draw attention away from her hips, she could wear a dress that flowed away from the body at the bottom. Wearing dark colors makes that part of the body look smaller, and light colors make it seem larger. They usually encourage those with a weight problem to choose dresses that have a waistband that creates a visual effect of a small waste. Vertical stripes make you look taller and longer, horizontal make you look wider. Some patterns over power the body and may make it look odd shaped, or larger than it is.
Today I was thinking about how the way we speak has the same effect. I decided to check out the blog of someone I don't know personally, but who is acquainted with someone I know who uses alot of bad language on their blog. (Note: this isn't supposed to be a chastizing post, just some thoughts I had). I expected this blog to have similar language. I was very surprised to find that this person did not use bad language, but still has a very entertaining blog. I think that sometimes the bad language has the same effect as bad styled clothing. It draws attention away from the better features, and puts emphasis on things in our personality that aren't the best to emphasize. Bad language is such a distraction, that it makes it difficult to focus on the intelligent content. I have to admit that although I don't use swear words, I do use words that probably detract from how I appear intellectually. I frequently use phrases such as "Dang!", "What the heck?" and if I'm really mad you might hear a "Crap". I'm sure those words do nothing for my credibility as a refined adult. I think for the most part I try to use other words when I'm upset, but I just haven't found a good acceptable replacement that expresses how I feel when I use these words. I guess instead of "Dang" I could say, "How disappointing!"...but somehow it loses something. But I do think that it detracts from the persona I would like to show to the world.