This week I’ve been pondering the value of values, character building and other life questions. As I work through where I want to go next (having realized this week that I’m already in the middle of achieving what I set out to do this year and feeling super grateful for that), I have been thinking more about image and what it has to do with the inner/outer self and what image consulting actually does for people.

It used to be that image consulting was more about the exterior, the spin and how you are perceived, especially when things go wrong.  In the movie ‘The Kid’, Bruce Willis plays an image consultant. When he explains to the kid what he does, the kid says, “I get it. You help people lie about who they are.” Yikes!

In recent years, as TV shows like “What Not To Wear”, “Style By Jury”, “The Swan” and others have popped up, more people are becoming aware of fashion consulting and having a personal stylist work with you to improve your external image. These shows are great for raising awareness around the benefits of image consulting and yet still focus primarily on the external show, which may or may not be accurate when prescribed rather than uncovered.

Fashion, wardrobe, hair and makeup and other styling tools are just that: tools. It’s still what’s inside that counts. The difference between “inside out” image consulting and personal styling is the level of depth and the direction of growth. When people take a good look at who they really are, their personality, their lifestyle, the roles they play in life and all that makes them unique and fabulous, then clothing and hair and all the rest can just be used in the way they were intended: as a deep, personal, outward expression of the inner self.

Image encompasses everything we are, everything we do and every little difference we make. What does ‘image’ mean for you?