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May 22

Approachability is the new black

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:23 am

Style advice from October 12, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I guess that I am one of those “unapproachable” girls that you suggest that your readers try not to be. I am an attractive and active university student and I have many friends from different social groups. The problem is that I am old fashioned and WILL NOT ask a guy out (all right, I am shy too). It would be deceiving if I said that no one ever asked me out, but I guess I am looking for something other than what is being offered. I have been told many times that I look unapproachable, though. I wear a lot of black (but my hair is blonde); sometimes I think that changing my look would secure me more dates but then I realize that I shouldn’t have to change myself for anyone. My question is not “what is wrong with me,” but “what can I do (without totally changing myself) to make myself more approachable?”

— Tara

Dear Tara,

First of all, changing your look in order to secure dates will secure nothing. Not dates, not your sense of self. You might look good, objectively, at first glance, but you won’t feel right. And that — at second glance — is where looking good comes from.

That said, I still think you should do a fashion check. Now stay with me. Your question reminded me of one of those Sally Jesse episodes where they take all these goth kids and make them over into the cast of 90210. Half the kids actually looked way better — and way happier! — a la Beverly, while the other half, in my opinion, should have gone straight back to black. The latter group, I think, are the ones for whom the gothed-out look was truly a natural, fanciful self-expression. As for the first half, on the other hand, their old look really just said, “THE ONLY POINT OF FASHION IS TO LOOK REALLY SURLY AND BADASS AND FREAK OUT MY PARENTS.”

Relevance to you? I don’t mean that just ’cause you wear a lotta black, you’re totally goth, nor that there’s anythingwrong with that if you are. Whatever. I just want to make sure that how you put yourself together nowdoes come from your natural, most sincere, happy-to-be-me — not Confirmed to be Unapproachable — inner stylist. Do you see what I mean? No, you shouldn’t change yourself for anyone. But feel free to change if the way you’ve been wasn’t true to yourself in the first place. When how you look — and act! don’t let’s forget that! — accurately reflects who you are, then boys who appreciate that won’t just approach, they’ll stampede.

Breakup Girl


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