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Old 04-05-2015, 06:20 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
11,481 posts, read 7,468,450 times
Reputation: 17051

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
I want to be a full-fledged lady who looks and acts like she just stepped out of a conservative fashion magazine for women over thirty. I want to look and act the part perfectly, and I really am sort of obsessed with fashion and beauty. I work with teenagers who regard it heavily, and my coworkers always observe a "professional appearance," but to me seem like they went to charm school as girls. They automatically know how others are going to perceive them. I lack this ability; it may be because I'm mildly autistic, or it may be simply because I never learned.

My desires were reignited recently by watching another teen movie where the awkward girl transforms herself into someone else to reach her goal. It's amazing what people can do with makeup and how a person can apparently become someone else if he or she has good communication skills. Besides, I like to dress up. My mother used to encourage it, so it helps me remember her. I just don't have the skills or the time and money to experiment. I do need to start looking and acting like a professional lady, though, not like a kid. I feel like I'm stuck in kid mode. I'm obsessed with some of the things they're obsessed with (but really I'm obsessed with a need for success.) I feel like if I look and act the correct way, I'll be offered a job, because people will see what I can do.

Right now, I'm just not working toward my goals. Maybe this is better suited for the psychology forum. I have a lot of goals that I have not met, and I blame it on not being "woman enough." I like dressing up as a hobby, really, but lately I've been searching for a way to fit into society and using it as an imaginary unattainable solution.

Here are some questions that were on my mind:

Are there any services like charm schools, etiquette schools, or professionalism trainings available at an affordable price? I know of some things in my area, but I don't know of anything that will cater to my needs, really. Since there probably aren't any services like this in my area, how would I go about convincing someone to start something?

I feel like I need to copy female friends who dress and act professional, but I don't know where to find such people. Currently, I have no friends who are teachers or educated professionals. I wish I could find an affordable coach somewhere.
Just a note to encourage you.

You can become almost anything you wish to become, and that's a fact.
I could not talk to people. So I stayed up late watching Johnny Carson to see how he did it. (I'm now 70)
I had a rural Alabama accent, so I worked at my vocabulary and diction until I had neutralized it.
I had no education, so I became a salesman where it wouldn't matter.
I could go on and on about where I started and where I am now finishing, but this should really be more about you, not me.

Just work at it. Use everything you can think of and pursue this "new you" until you have caught her.

I read an article years ago written by someone like you. It was called "The Woman in The White Pant Suit", and it was a story of how a disadvantaged young lady like you saw the person she wanted to become. The lady was wearing a white pant suit and was going to the airport. The author worked until she got herself on her feet, worked until she looked the part, worked until she got the job she wanted and finally - FINALLY - went and bought herself a new white pant suit to wear on her first business trip.

BOL!
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:41 PM
 
4,279 posts, read 3,307,414 times
Reputation: 2874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
Just a note to encourage you.

You can become almost anything you wish to become, and that's a fact.
I could not talk to people. So I stayed up late watching Johnny Carson to see how he did it. (I'm now 70)
I had a rural Alabama accent, so I worked at my vocabulary and diction until I had neutralized it.
I had no education, so I became a salesman where it wouldn't matter.
I could go on and on about where I started and where I am now finishing, but this should really be more about you, not me.

Just work at it. Use everything you can think of and pursue this "new you" until you have caught her.

I read an article years ago written by someone like you. It was called "The Woman in The White Pant Suit", and it was a story of how a disadvantaged young lady like you saw the person she wanted to become. The lady was wearing a white pant suit and was going to the airport. The author worked until she got herself on her feet, worked until she looked the part, worked until she got the job she wanted and finally - FINALLY - went and bought herself a new white pant suit to wear on her first business trip.

BOL!
My idols are unattainable and include people like Tina Fey, Terry Hatcher, and many other smart sophisticated socially savvy pseudo-sadistic ladies and gentlemen on television. I say they're unattainable, because I'm not a mean person. I'm also not very funny, yet I admire the strength and sophistication of the mean girl. I wish I could be *her* or at least a much more confident and wittier version of me. I've gotten better, but I'm no comic. I wonder when I see people able to take a shot at a stranger and get laughs instead of scowls. I sometimes get scowls and frowns when I try to be nice. I love to play, and I like it when people play with me. My looks, though, might have something to do with this. People, for whatever reason, may respond better to me and give me more of the benefit of the doubt if I look like a strong sophisticated woman.

I also want to have the looks of a strong wise socially competent woman. I want to look like I know how to take care of myself and put others in their place. I want to look like I know about the world and how to operate in it. I'm not there right now. I will admit, though, I have made improvements. I can at least hold my head high when those kids at my job decide to take cheap shots at me. I've even admitted that I like some friendly banter, so maybe I'm improving.

Last edited by krmb; 04-05-2015 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,828 posts, read 39,541,088 times
Reputation: 48654
You are equating "mean girls" with having poise, professionalism, and polish. I don't think this is accurate or especially helpful.
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Old 04-05-2015, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Santa Monica, Ca
5,773 posts, read 3,215,352 times
Reputation: 13603
I agree with the poster that suggested YouTube videos. They have them for all kinds of things like hair and make up to etiquette. It's something that you can do in your own time and when you are comfortable.
I too like to dress up, do my hair and make up... I absolutely love all the "girly" stuff! Nothing wrong with that wether your 5 or 50. Nothing wrong with improving yourself ( helps with self confidence and self esteem). Don't mind the nay Sayers and do whatever makes you feel better. If you want to dress to the nines to go to the grocery store... Go for it!
I wish you success in whatever you do.

Kel

Last edited by Sydney123; 04-05-2015 at 08:05 PM..
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Old 04-05-2015, 09:01 PM
 
Location: MA
1,623 posts, read 1,262,926 times
Reputation: 3015
It sounds like the OP is a man so this probably is not a natural thing to him.
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Old 04-05-2015, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,828 posts, read 39,541,088 times
Reputation: 48654
The OP is a female with an autism spectrum disorder.
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Old 04-05-2015, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Northville, MI
11,882 posts, read 10,568,599 times
Reputation: 6312
I think you ate pressuring yourself too much these days. Just take it easy, wear decent clothes, and be well mannered.
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Old 04-05-2015, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,914 posts, read 28,260,950 times
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I had a really long list of stuff I'll call "my fantasy life" in my mid to late 20s. I decided to just do it, instead of waiting around for the right occasion. That's my advice to you.

If you want to start looking polished, do it!

There are still a few things on my list, and I am working on incorporating them into my daily life.

I follow a bunch of blogs for "inspiration." Really they are doing stuff I do anyway, but there are some gems hidden in.

A great blog for a modern polished look is this one: 9to5Chic

She has a huge budget and tons of disposable income, but I like her polished style.

Here is another, similar blogger: Closet Confections: Fashion & Lifestyle Blog (I am wearing a dress much liked the striped one she has on today!)

Put your toe in the water on whatever you think being ladylike is. Maybe that means wearing lipstick and mascara (not too sexy, contrary to the post above, you can wear light natural makeup to add polish). Wear ladylike shoes. Put on a pencil skirt. Get a structured use and make it your signature. Find your signature fragrance and wear it daily. Dress up more. Wear more blazers. Rock a twinset.

Try any or all.

Be it and you'll achieve it.

I started just dressing up daily (around 8 years ago), and being more intentional with my outfits. I created a uniform for myself. My uniform is dresses, cardigans and cute flats, 60% of the time. I add in skirts another 20%. Then I do more polished versions of jeans and a top for the other occasions. I carry classic structured purses. I got a better haircut, and cut down on my ponytail wearing.

Sure enough, I am now perceived as "fashionable" "classy" and "ladylike." I am working through the rest of my list gradually: upping my accessories games in terms of both quality, versatility, and uniqueness. Just start. And experiment. You'll make mistakes. Eventually you'll find your niche.
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Old 04-05-2015, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Oceania
8,623 posts, read 5,917,408 times
Reputation: 8318
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post

I want to be a full-fledged lady who looks and acts
like she just stepped out of a conservative fashion magazine for women over thirty. I want to look and act the part perfectly, and I really am sort of obsessed with fashion and beauty. I work with teenagers who regard it heavily, and my coworkers always observe a "professional appearance," but to me seem like they went to charm school as girls. They automatically know how others are going to perceive them. I lack this ability; it may be because I'm mildly autistic, or it may be simply because I never learned.

My desires were reignited recently by watching another teen movie where the awkward girl transforms herself into someone else to reach her goal. It's amazing what people can do with makeup and how a person can apparently become someone else if he or she hasgood communication skills. Besides, I like to dress up. My mother used to encourage it, so it helps me remember her. I just don't have the skills or the time and money to experiment. I do need to start looking and acting like a professional lady, though, not like a kid. I feel like I'm stuck in kid mode. I'm obsessed with some of the things they're obsessed with (but really I'm obsessed with a need for success.) I feel like if I look and act the correct way, I'll be offered a job, because people will see what I can do.

Right now, I'm just not working toward my goals. Maybe this is better suited for the psychology forum. I have a lot of goals that I have not met, and I blame it on not being "woman enough." I like dressing up as a hobby, really, but lately I've been searching for a way to fit into society and using it as an imaginary unattainable solution.

Here are some questions that were on my mind:

Are there any services like charm schools, etiquette schools, or professionalism trainings available at an affordable price? I know of some things in my area, but I don't know of anything that will cater to my needs, really. Since there probably aren't any services like this in my area, how would I go about convincing someone to start something?

I feel like I need to copy female friends who dress and act professional, but I don't know where to find such people. Currently, I have no friends who are teachers or educated professionals. I wish I could find an affordable coach somewhere.
I bolded some things that stood out.

You want to be a full-fledged lady who looks/acts over thirty and conservative.
Are you liberal or conservative? What do those terms mean to you?
The kid in you is likely liberal and the kid is holding back the conservative woman. Is the woman going to wait until you are 30 before you learn?
The teen movie you mentioned sounds like "Cinderella". Is a Cinderella event likely to happen in your life? I doubt it.

Why are you obsessed with kid stuff? Your OP tells us you are obsessed with trying to mature. You mentioned dressing up and your mother encouraging it; was she a housewife or a professional? Dressing up is not a hobby, especially if working in a professional setting.
If clothing/makeup are what is used to determine whether or not you are a professional lady, you can put that aside. I have a girlfriend who, while in her 30s, wore $125+ dresses to work everyday and never the same one twice in a month. The rest of the women in her office did as well. It wasn't for dressing for professional success as much as it was to outdo the other. In her 40s she quit spending the money she had before as she realized it was in vain. Now 60, she dresses professionally but no more $$$ designer dresses from Macy's. She has closets full of those things as she never got rid of them. She plans to this spring.

Note how I bolded "I need female friends who dress/act professional" as well as "I have no friends who are educated professionals". How many friends have you who went to college and now work in professional environments? How do they dress/behave? Are they typically conservative or what?
Again, what does professional and conservative mean to you?

Your co-workers who observe a professional appearance most likely had mothers/aunts/older sisters who dressed nice at all times. Their peers most likely did as well. These women don't wear frumpy clothing out of the house and wouldn't think of it at work. Dressing down to them is wearing denim jeans and good ones at that. Their hair is always in place and their jewelry is always clean. If they don't know how to do their nails they pay another to do them on a regular basis.
Ask your co-workers where they shop for clothing; they may see you as a project and invite you along one weekend. Maybe you can invite yourself. Buy some fashion magazines targeting what you aspire for rather than teen fashions; you are trying to move beyond that, no?

I am a 58 year old man and learned most of this in my lifetime from being around women. I get along with them as I know how they tick; sometimes to the point it gets me in trouble.
Observation goes a long way - hang out at a good department store and watch what women you aspire to be buy and/or wear. What accessories go along with it? Are they carrying suitcases for purses - bag lady style - or smaller ones for their needs? I spent too many Saturday afternoons in $$$ department stores watching women try on and model clothing for themselves and others. Shoe departments were the absolute pits I use to hate those outings until I realized the other women were rather attractive. I somehow steered late afternoons to drinks and dinner. My GF caught on to my ways and left me at home - hello television sports!
You can find good deals on clothing at consignment shops - learned that one - so you won't pay full price for Nordstrom or Macy's offerings. Some of the stuff is unworn and still has price tags affixed.
Focus on your goals and where you want to be rather than where you are currently.

Good luck on your journey.
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Old 04-05-2015, 11:08 PM
 
35,121 posts, read 37,978,802 times
Reputation: 61854
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb501 View Post
Aren't you in your 20's?
Yes, I'm in my late 20s.

Why are you watching "teen movies"?
It was their assignment, so I started watching it at the school with them and got curious and continued watching it when I got home. Plus, I like teen movies; they're for my age group and a little younger and explore a lot of the issues young women face. What do you recommend I watch if I don't watch teen movies and sitcoms? Besides, the comedy and sarcasm are obvious, so there's also a pretty good template on how to interact with other people, and it gives me an excuse to loosen up.


You really should just be who you are and quit trying to be someone you are not.
That statement is confusing. From my standpoint I'm no one, only some interpretation of my accumulated knowledge and experiences. Who should I be if I shouldn't try to imitate someone? "Be yourself" surely isn't what you mean if you're dealing with someone who is used to social defeat, isolation, and miscommunication. By "being myself" I'm obviously missing key aspects of effective communication. Wouldn't it make more sense to glean from someone who seems to get it right?

You can learn how to apply makeup and in my opinion the best way to learn is to do.
Get some makeup and start putting it on, lightly at first just to see how well you do and what amount is going to be right.
Get a friend to help you along to give you an opinion.
You're assuming I have friends who actually wear makeup.


"Dressing up" is not a hobby unless you are 5 years old. Go and try on clothing, get clothing that fits you well, have it tailored a wee bit if necessary.
I disagree. A lot of women shop for new clothes and get their hair done as a pastime.

You don't need to "copy" anyone, you just need to be who you are.
See my response to question number three.

I am not surprised you have an excuse as to why you "can't" do any of the above.
Continue on as you are or make the conscious decision to improve whatever it is you need to improve.

IF you "copy" someone else then you are a shadow of them, you are not you so if you want to be a shadow then copy away and carry on.

PS ~~ Teen movies are not made for those in their 20's, they are made for teens, hence the reason they are referred to as "Teen Movies".
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