I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had a particularly bad lady time of the month this month, or if things are just reaching their boiling point with me; but some of the actions of those around me, as well as what some people have said to me lately have been more bothersome than usual. One comment I have received of late that really just chapped my hide is, “You make things pretty.”
“You make things pretty.” Not a bad statement in and of itself. Some might even say, “Shan, why are you about to go on a rant? That is a compliment.” But, my friends, context is everything.
My fellow Real Housewives watchers will recall a recent Miami episode (Miami is growing on me, but I am sooooo excited that Atlanta and Beverly Hills are back, yay!) in which Mirasol received an invitation to an event from a fellow housewife. But she gave her the invitation while throwing a dig at Mirasol. To which Mirasol replied “I just got an invitation wrapped in an insult.” THAT is how the comment was given to me. As compliment wrapped in an insult implying that the only talent I bring to the table is the ability to make things look pretty. To which I will say, “Bitch, you don’t have any idea of the effort that goes into making things pretty.”
Now, where this person was correct, is that it is a skill. Many of you who read this work in the business world, where power points are the norm. Have you ever been given a presentation without graphics, without pictures, where it’s just the words on the screen and the person is just reading the words that you can clearly read yourself, and you are bored beyond belief? Now picture that same presentation, but this time the presenter took the time to include some photos, some graphics that illustrate the point vs. just reading words and tailored it to the appropriate audience. Much better, right? And if that same presentation is a sales presentation, aren’t you more apt to buy from the person with the more engaging presentation? My point being, while the two presentations are essentially identical, the one with more effort put into it wins out.
To make this relative to everyone, think about the way you look when you roll out of bed. Unless you are extremely fortunate, my guess is that you do not wake up looking your best. Take me for example; my hair is usually pressed into some odd shape from sleeping on it all night, my face is puffy since I’m a stomach sleeper, my pimples are exposed (side note – I always thought that pimples were supposed to go away at a certain age, I was wrong), and I have morning breath. It takes effort to morph myself into the “effortless” look that I go for every day. And if you’re running late and have to put yourself together in a hurry, it shows. Without taking the time to put some thought into your appearance, you look a hot mess. Have you ever looked down and realized that you totally do not match at all?
Pretend you’ve got to give the presentation I mentioned above that same day. You had better thank the Maker that you took the time to put one hell of a presentation together and that they are paying attention to it, and not bored to tears, on their phones texting to their fellow coworkers trapped in the presentation about what a hot mess the presenter is. I mean, did she even look in the mirror today? Because if not, that’s all they’ll remember. That you, and your presentation, were an ugly mess.
It takes more effort, more thought, and more preparation to make something look good. So while you may have all the subject matter expertise in the world; without someone like me to help you craft your message, thoughtfully tailor it, and help you illustrate it… your expertise isn’t worth shit.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
Peace, love, and pretty things…
PS – to my dear friend M, please do not take this blog as a rant on you. The comment you made, albeit similar, was made with love, not wrapped in an insult, and I do not take personal offense to anything you said. Heart you mucho.