Do you care what people think about you or what you think they see? Do you ever feel judged? The big question is 'do you encourage it'?
I think anyone who knows me will tell you that I TRY really hard not to judge; as much as is humanly possibly. But I will admit that I like to observe. It doesn't mean I feel an observation is necessarily right or wrong, it just means that I prefer to take the time to stand back to watch and listen.
For example, I know people who will wear a wig for no other reason than they prefer how they are perceived when they wear it. There was a time when I lost all my hair during chemo and I wore a wig. I will admit I didn't wear it for me; perhaps at first I did because I didn't know what people would think of my bald head, but after a week or so I found myself wearing it for the sake of other people - so I wouldn't be a distraction (or so I thought).
I have known people who when they were sick created a story to tell people, because they were afraid that if people knew what they were really dealing with they would be looked at differently. Somehow they thought it was better to just tell them that they had a heart condition, rather than the whole truth that they'd also had cancer surgery. This person was so worried about their image and how they felt they would surely be labeled or judged that what they didn't acknowledge was that they were guilty of judging as well by pre-conceiving how they assumed people would react.
It's o.k. to let our vulnerable sides show from time to time. It lets people know we are just as human as they are. In a world where there is already so much commercialism, photo shopping, predetermined demographics, and judgment why would we ever want to add more fuel to the fire? So let's agree to be more honest and first worry about how we see ourselves before we worry about how others will see us. Yes, we absolutely need to set positive examples for children and adults of all ages and it's important to let them see our goodness and our true selves. So let's try harder to be real and honest and worthy. When that begins to happen we won't have to worry so much about perceptions because they won't be phony.
Have you ever felt the need to change or present yourself in a different way for the sake of acceptance?