Are piercings, tattoos and studs the new fashion accessory to our wardrobe? As Realtors, we have an image to maintain. We are in the public eye 24/7. There are many schools of thought regarding proper attire and dressing for success. Dress up or dress down? Suits or jeans? But the new question is how acceptable and professional are tattoos and piercings?
We want people to trust our judgment and our words to lend credibility to our tale of experience. We drive nice cars, live in upper end homes, wear stylish, moderately expensive clothes and carry high tech gadgetry that makes us appear wicked cool in the eyes of the consumer.
The other day, I walked into a real estate office to deliver an offer and to my surprise the receptionist had a nose stud. When she turned around I noticed a huge tattoo on the back of her neck. To her credit, she was a lovely girl, sharply dressed and I do have to say she had really cool hair. I mean, "don't hate me because I'm beautiful hair". But my focus was on the tiny diamond stud perched on the side of her nose in all it's sparkling glory. Which got me thinking....Am I a prude?
No, definitely not. I'm a cool chick. I am the proud owner of two tattoos which I love but when working are discreetly covered. I highly doubt that my clients even know they exist or even care for that matter. I have no piercings, except for my ears. No facial "adornments", tongue studs, brow rings, etc. which, by the way must hurt like a son of a gun.
Please tell me....why would anyone willingly punch a hole clean through their tongue??? That little clicking sound it makes is somewhat annoying to me as well. Kinda like the sound of static on a bad cell connection. Also in question is how one might eat spaghetti while wearing a tongue stud...hmmm. But, to each their own...
If you are going to sport some ink, hopefully it will be something original, yet tasteful. Personally, I'm grown weary of the typical snake with a dagger through it, (yawn) the mural of your life's sorrows stretching from your shoulder to the your wrist (overdone) and the word killer tattooed on the back of the hand. (overused) I'm thinking that the scary toothless skull oozing and gushing crimson tinted ink might need to be covered up and kept under wraps as well.
Really now, would you buy a house from someone with the words "bad ass" stenciled on his neck? I think having "Mom" inked on the upper arm is also a cause for concern, especially if the guy is over 40 and never married. If the only woman a 40ish man has had a serious enough relationship with to etch her name on his skin is his dear old mammy this might just be a red flag. Maybe not when shopping for a Realtor but definitely if you are a single woman doing a little man shopping.
Regardless of personal preference, who we are in our personal life does sometimes spill over into our professional life. With so much time and energy spent marketing ourselves to the world, it's no wonder we are under the public microscope. Although we are not movie stars, rock stars, sports figures or models, our ever smiling frozen mugs are plastered about town on signs, ads and even on shopping carts. Like it or not we have a very public persona.
Let me give you a little "for instance". Last year I was in the middle of preparing Christmas dinner for 20 people when I realized I was missing a key ingredient. Without a thought to the consequences, I tossed on a hoodie, sweat pants and sneakers and made a mad dash for the grocery store.
With my prize of cinnamon in hand, I made my way towards the checkout stand and ran smack dab into a Realtor I hadn't seen for a while. We exchanged pleasantries and then off I went. Weeks later I heard through a friend that I had been seen in public in my...sweats! Oh, the horror of it all! Ridiculous? Yes indeed....but it did happen.
To complicate matters, the girl, and I use this term loosely, from whom this story originated is no prize herself. Why her over bleached blond rat nest of hair and overdrawn brows (are they really supposed to arch up into the middle of ones forehead?) is frightening enough to stop traffic on I-5 during Friday rush hour!
I don't mind telling you, that incident really steamed my grits for a bit. For days, I was sure people were staring at me, not because of the "Cinnamon Incident" as it has come to be known, but because my nose was so far out of joint that I'm positive it was at least two degrees east of center on my face. Lordy Lordy!!!
The points made here are just a reminder that we are never truly invisible to our adoring fans and potential clients. People do judge us on our appearance and behavior or lack thereof. If you plan to pierce, poke or paint your body take a moment to consider the permanence of it and the image you want to project.