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Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:25 AM

Is appearance important to you? Are you kind of vain about it?

OK, I admit that I am somewhat vain, and somewhat obsessed, about my physical appearance. Not to the point where I could consider myself "metrosexual" as that term went, but still... I do worry about things like having the "right" shoes to go with the right suit, or color coordinating the tie, or wearing "quality" brands of clothes and shoes (don't know if that is vain or just pragmatic, the better stuff costs more but holds up a lot longer, too). I get my hair cut every 4 weeks, now that I have grown a beard I do the Just for Men thing on it frequently, as well as on my hair, because I do look a lot younger without gray hair in the mix. Now that I'm really getting into health and fitness, I am seeing some very positive changes in body appearance and self-image, which helps.

Not to be gross about this, but ... one of the issues that people with serious depression can face is poor hygiene. And, that question comes up when being grilled by mental health professionals. A lot, actually. I was asked quite a few times about things such as ... do you shower or bathe regularly, do you brush your teeth, change your underwear. I found it pretty ... degrading and humiliating. I understand WHY they ask the question, better now than I did going into it, because I met a guy "in the joint" (hospital) who actually said he didn't change his underwear or take a shower for 6 weeks when he was in his manic state. Which just grossed me out to no end -- thank God, even in the worst of my depression, I was never "down for the count" like a lot of people, I always have had a lot of physical energy, and had no issues in that regard. In fact, I'm kind of a germophobe, so I take 2-3 showers every day.

So, kind of vain I guess. But better than the alternative IMHO. One thing that grosses me out in public is to see some guy who is dirty, unkempt, smells, etc, in a store or other public place. But it happens. I'm not talking about homeless men or anything nearly that extreme, just slobs....

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Reply Is appearance important to you? Are you kind of vain about it? (Original post)
Denninmi Jan 2013 OP
Aristus Jan 2013 #1
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #2
Denninmi Jan 2013 #3
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #4
Denninmi Jan 2013 #7
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #12
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Jan 2013 #5
rrneck Jan 2013 #6
discntnt_irny_srcsm Jan 2013 #10
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2013 #8
Denninmi Jan 2013 #9
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #11
discntnt_irny_srcsm Jan 2013 #13
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #14
discntnt_irny_srcsm Jan 2013 #15
Warren DeMontague Jan 2013 #16
discntnt_irny_srcsm Jan 2013 #17
discntnt_irny_srcsm Jan 2013 #18

Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:53 AM

1. Good grooming and presentable clothing are more important to me than good looks.

I'm like a lot of people; some people find me good-looking, and others don't.

I'm going bald. Some people don't like bald men. But I wear what's left of my hair neat, and very short. I refuse to hide my baldness by any means, especially a comb-over. Everyone hates a combover!

I feel gratified when people compliment my looks. I try to stay very clean, and I have a taste for expensive clothing. I like to look good. But for myself, rather than for anyone else.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 03:44 AM

2. I think in terms of mental health stuff, they ask b/c it's a red flag & known, as you put it, issue.

I've known some people with depression, bipolar and other issues and yeah, I've noticed that sometimes it comes up as a problem or an indicator.

Personally? I'm pretty fastidious as far as staying clean, but I'm not what anyone would call fashionable or fashion conscious. I've kept pretty much the same damn 'style' for the past 20 years. And I live in the Pacific Northwest which encourages a certain degree of, shall we say, casual wardrobe. I clean up nice, on the rare occasions I dress up.

I think I look alright, certainly better now that I'm in shape and exercising regularly.. I agree, it does wonders for emotional balance, mood, etc. as well as self-esteem.... but I stopped worrying about going gray. I figure what the hell, why fight it... I've considered doing the just for men thing, but I'm sort of starting to like the gray haired hippie elder look. I think it makes people take the jetsam that comes out of my mouth more seriously than they probably should, which further serves to amuse me.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:01 AM

3. Alas, if Michigan can be said to have a look, it's slob with beer belly.

We are among the fattest states. I think that low self esteem and poor body image go hand in hand, and many people here, both men and women, seem to just "give up". Especially men, the guys who pour themselves into too tight, old jeans and throw on an old t-shirt, neither of which has worked since they were 20 lbs lighter.

Really not trying to sound as shallow here as I know I come across, it's just something now on my radar screen in a way it wasn't before. Ok, two reasons, I now see it in other people and wonder if it is based on depression. And, for myself, it's kind of a fear now - I don't want to be sent "back to prison" so to speak, so I pretty actively do things that push myself in the other direction. Some of it's kind of extreme, such as I've spent a small fortune on new clothes since I was "sprung", including some outrageously expensive suits (my punishment for working across the street from a high-end mall with Nordstrom, Nieman Marcus, Sak's, and Macy's). With my new routine at the gym, I do take 3 showers a day, so nor running around dirty. The biggest thing for me, though, has been weight loss. A contributing factor was the fact I had gone from a post-abdominal surgery weight of 155 back in 2008, to 210 last summer, and I was one if those guys, overweight and felt like crap physically. Happy to say, panic attacks took about 15 lbs off of me, but I 've gotten rid of another 30 through diet and exercise.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:06 AM

4. Heh. Yeah, if someone's got Ernest Hemingway's body, they shouldn't wear Jim Morrison's pants.

One thing I'll say about up here, people are fairly outdoorsy -despite the weather- and so I think tend a bit fitter than some other parts of the country.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:20 PM

7. Warren, I would like to thank you

For allowing me to post here about mental health issues. I know that is an uncomfortable subject for many guys, but I thinks it's an important one. Many men, I think, are pretty reluctant to get any
medical care at all, but especially mental health care.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:10 PM

12. Hey, everyone's got their own road to walk.

If people here can help by listening, I think I speak for everyone when we say we're glad to.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:19 AM

5. Staying clean is important to me

I'm not a clothes hound or get too obsessed about my hair, but staying clean is just a good way to stay healthy and feel good about yourself. I don't even like laying around unshowered on a lazy weekend.

I do like a little stubble if I'm not going anywhere formal for a few days, I've been told (by people who's opinion I care about) that it's a great look for me.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:58 AM

6. Heh

After a trip to Italy a few years ago I was in the local doughnut shop and mentioned that since the exchange rate was so outrageous I could probably make more money over there with a piece of cardboard and a sharpie than working here. The guy that owns the shop just grinned and said, "Yeah, you could go dressed like that." Wise ass.

When I'm at work I look like a bum because my job wrecks clothes. When I'm not working I dress better, but I still haven't tied a Windsor knot in years. And I don't plan to start if I can avoid it.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #6)


Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:42 PM

8. Yes. I only wear my dress carhartts and dress suspenders when I leave the house.

YMMV, I suppose.

I joke, but as Warren noted uphtread, "dress" has regional connotations. In most parts of the country, people would assume I'm a client of my nonprofit and not the director.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 01:00 PM

9. Hey, whatever works for you.

Comfortable is pretty important, too.

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:22 PM

11. I'm so vain, I think that song is about me.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:33 PM

13. Don'choo?

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:36 PM

14. I'm where I should be all the time, and when I'm not, I'm with some underworld spy

or the wife of a close friend, wife of a close friend.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 06:41 PM

15. Well, Warren...

...you're so vain.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:10 PM

16. Just knowing that damn song tags me as old.

So there's that.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 08:58 PM

17. So Bye bye, Miss American pie???

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Response to Denninmi (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:10 PM

18. (Moved; posted in the wrong place) I wear cargo pants and a casual shirt.

That's as dressy as I get. I bought my last suit 14 years ago. I'm not quite sure where it is today. I'll wear a suit next either at a daughter's wedding or my own funeral. Hopefully the former but I've decided that I'm not dying since there's no profit motive in it. Once a year I buy a new pair Nunn Bush "Squall" boat shoes because I like them. My wife occasionally buys me sneakers.

Have a t-shirt:

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