Geeks Vs Loneliness: If the cape fits

In which we think about how a little bit of personal care and grooming can help make us move forward.

Hello and welcome to Geeks Vs Loneliness, our weekly spot to have a natter and look at all sides of life. The good, the bad and the downright hairy.

Personal grooming is just that – personal. How we present ourselves is often a reflection of how we are feeling inside. If we are feeling blue or used up it can be difficult to focus on the outside, on the shell of who we are. Unfortunately in this social media orientated world this can work against us.

I appreciate that there can be far too much attention paid to appearance. People are quick to judge, to comment, to sneer. Conversely, clothing can help you identify your tribe. A Game Of Thrones t-shirt can be a great conversation starting point. My “We are the Weirdoes, Mister” shirt dress equally so. I’m one person at work, quite another outside of it. Check out Tony Stark’s line in rock t-shirts proclaiming his love for Black Sabbath and all, while still rocking a suit (both material and metal) as the occasion demands.

Consider the MCU. Avengers: Infinity War gave us Captain America sporting a beard. His look is grimmer all round, reflecting the nature of his developing role in trying to prevent universal Armageddon. It was a bit of a shock to see that epitome of clean shaving, clean living All American Hero stepping into the shade – a clear signifier of the seriousness of the battle that he is embroiled in. You expect the likes of Viking berserker Thor and the Atlantian Aquaman to be rocking that caveman chin bush with panache – but Steve Rogers? Man, things are getting tough.

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The Avengers themselves seem split over the love/hate of the Captain’s chin fur. At a recent press conference for Avengers: Endgame, the ‘to beard or not beard’ question was asked, prompting a return to civil war in the ranks as observed by New York Time’s reporter Kyle Buchanan. I’m in Camp Beard. If I could grow one myself I’d be joining him. I’m backing off from Arthur Curry’s mind you. One can imagine little crab claws emerging to pinch your nose from that chin rug.

Joking aside, personal grooming can be important in helping you balance your wellbeing. If you aren’t in a good place, not taking care of your outer shell can both reflect your inner struggles and add to them. It can be difficult – if I’m under the weather it’s the last thing I want to be bothered with. I have a tendency towards sporting Gandalf’s eyebrows. If my brows are not maintained I look unkempt – and I feel it. And the spiral of self-flagellation is perpetuated when I look in the mirror and see the black bushes crawling up towards my hairline, for the sake of something as simple as an eyebrow waxing strip.

If this chimes with you it might be worth taking some time to look after yourself with a little grooming self care. Especially if you have major life changes or events coming up for which you are nervous in advance. Step back, be honest about what you want to achieve (and what is achievable) and have a bit of an overhaul. Bin anything in your wardrobe that makes you feel crap. You don’t need it in your life. As Marie Kondo says, fill it with items that give you joy when you hold them.

Invest in one or two pieces of clothing that make you feel super – in my case a Ted Baker dress that makes me feel I can take on the world when I wear it. If you aren’t sure where to start when undertaking a self make-over process consider asking a friend for advice. One you trust. Make it fun, promise them cake (or beer. Just maybe not before you go shopping).

This might sound expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Ebay is my friend when indulging in my Ted Baker habit. I’ve found something that works for me and I stick with it. Be kind to yourself – I can’t fix my crooked teeth right now but I can detract attention from them by having a great haircut and a genuine smile for the people I come into contact with.

Find your comfort pants. Make sure they fit while giving you a ‘heck, yeah I’m rocking these’ moment. It’s ok to feel ok when you look in the mirror. Give yourself one less thing in life to worry about.

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And have fun with it. If that cape fits then wear the hell out of it.

Thanks, as always, for reading. Take care.