Polish Your Image

putting on the polish cover

Putting on the Polish
Malet-Veale
1993

Image enhancement is probably a good topic for a library collection. Almost all the job hunting books out there will discuss this issue. Dating books, etiquette materials, and other social type of activities often touch on this issue as well. The premise of this book is that how you present yourself is critical to both your business and personal life.

The information is weighted more for women than the information for men. Lots of makeup and hair tips for the ladies. I get the feeling if men simply got a haircut and combed their hair, they would knock that image out of the park.

I will also throw out for discussion that image issues in COVID driven workplace might make many of the job prep resources obsolete. Example: Interviewing via Zoom vs live. People, adjust that lighting and make sure you aren’t accidentally showing something distracting in the background. Even when if COVID is gone, video conferencing and interviewing will probably stay around and absolutely be a part of any image enhancement.

Smile for the camera!

Mary

back cover

First Impressions

brow maintenance

pronunciation

table manners

teen ager parties

21 comments

  1. This is also written from a white-centric point of view. These days we say different is only different not wrong. Maybe keep this book for anthropological reasons, but a better book would take the contents here, show how mores have changed and offer current protocols and tips.

  2. Wow, that pronunciation guide is… something. The “wh” recommendation inevitably brings to mind Stewie in “Family Guy” saying “HWil Hwheaton”. It would sound really affected today.

    This looks like a parody today, and seems a bit extreme even for 1993 unless you were going for a job at a high-class law firm or something.

    Her picture is giving me big “high school yearbook” energy.

    I do like her warnings against going overboard with the eye makeup, though!

    Tip for Zoom interviews: Wear pants, a skirt, or at least shorts.

    1. “It would sound really affected today.” Yup, unless your native accent is one that still makes those distinctions (e.g., parts of Texas).

      “Tip for Zoom interviews: Wear pants, a skirt, or at least shorts.” Yup, or something that won’t look *too* embarrassing if you have to stand up. And look up how to turn off unwanted filters. *

      * Google “zoom cat filter” for that lawyer who was stuck looking like a cat animorph for a minute or two, apparently thanks to some old Dell webcam software on his computer.

      1. “I’m not a cat.”

        I suspect his underpaid assistant (he turned out to be a vicious slimeball*) left that filter on on purpose, or at least didn’t bother to update the software.

        The author’s from Vancouver, so she wouldn’t have a Texas accent. I’ve only been (or “bean” as they say there) once, but don’t remember anyone pronouncing their “wh” that way. She seems to be going for some kind of RP or Mid-Atlantic.

        Of course, I once got a temp job in Silicon Valley turning up randomly in a “Miami Vice” parody shirt (as mentioned the other day), and a pair of jeans with a few holes — but they needed someone fast and my friend who had the job and was leaving for a full-time one dragged me in unexpectedly after our lunch. Dressing like this would have been counter-productive in that case. Suits are for weddings and funerals.

        At my high school New Year’s all-night party, we got champagne if the parents said it was OK, with sparkling cider otherwise. One of my friends had a medication contradiction and one was Mormon, but we all got to drink out of the fancy glasses. Nobody was leaving the house, both my parents were there, and most of us were already 18; technically illegal but geez. Lighten up, lady; kids need to learn to drink moderately and appropriately rather than just being turned loose to binge at majority.

        @Henri: Yes, this advice couldn’t be any Whiter. The first page also says “be you man or woman”, which leaves out non-binary folks, or even people who don’t go overboard with the typical male or female presentation.

        *https://reason.com/2021/02/10/zoom-cat-lawyer-rod-ponton-used-federal-agents-to-torment-former-lover-drug-raids-bogus-charges/

  3. Well, sortof… somewhat… maybe? The only thing that I would include as copy-and-paste unchanged is “Teenagers appreciated being treated with respect”. Alot of the rest is “well, people do, but should you encourage that?” and “probably not now”.

    1. My fear, when I first saw the title, was that it was going to be one of “those” joke books.

      1. Wit the hands on the cover, and my extensive work with professional magicians, the first thing that came to MY mind was Penn and Teller doing sleight-of-hand in Warsaw or Gdansk……………..

  4. Women shouldn’t have to do anything other than get a haircut and comb their hair, instead of slathering all that makeup on just to wash it all off and put on more. And charcoal is for the BBQ, not your face. 🙂

    1. I did meet a woman yesterday (in a professional setting) who had no natural eyebrows and had painted them on with no shading. Just arcs of solid color that didn’t go with her hair.

      I disapproved silently and so would have Decima! Whatever race, color, or gender, don’t do that unless you’re doing some kind of performance. Even RuPaul might have tsk’ed her brows.

      1. Maybe she’d had some kind of mishap at the salon and lost her brows temporarily.

        1. Judging by the rest of her grooming, probably not. But she did seem to be waxing them, so maybe?

          1. Unless you have a unibrow, why on earth would you wax your eyebrows? *shudders*

  5. Also, no teens would have had a party that….uptight, even in 1993. Few people had dedicated rec rooms or best China, either.

    1. My mom had the china, but I don’t think we got to use it, because we were teens. Pretty sure Mom just used the regular dishes and silverware so she could throw it all in the dishwasher after the horde left. We didn’t have a dining room or a rec room. We sat around in the living room with some extra chairs and listened to the stereo with munchies (Mom and Dad hid in their bedroom), then we ate on the kitchen table like normal people.

      Everyone I know who’s been a teenager from the 70s to now would have LOL about a party that fancy for weeks afterwards. Even the few rich kids I knew, who had parties in the living room when parents were present, and raging keggers when possible.

      This is not only seriously White advice, it’s seriously rich advice.

  6. I’m sure the “hoods” will be breaking down the doors to get into a party where the mom is wearing a frilly apron and the napkins are in dramatic colors.

      1. A rich Brittish Colombian, if no one else.

        Contrary to my certain feeling, there is nothing on the usual places (WorldCat, books.google.com, Internet Archive) to suggest this is not a first edition. I was sure this was from the 40s or even earlier, like Steven Dalbor suggests, the 1910s.

  7. The type fonts and composition on that cover could be a title card from a silent movie c. 1914.

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