I subscribe to the Word of the Day from dictionary.com, and recently one of the words was kibitzer (noun), and its definition is a giver of uninvited or unwanted advice. I am sure you have experienced a kibitzer (or several) in your lifetime. Goodness knows I have! And, shamefully, goodness knows I have been a kibitzer, as well. (sad face)
How does this relate to fashion, you may ask? Well, I was reading a recent issue of Elle, which I have subscribed to for many years (hands down it is the best and smartest fashion magazine on the market.) Though I may skim through some of each issue, I never miss the advice of E. Jean Carroll who has for 19 years written an advice column for Elle called Ask E. Jean. The very last question to E. Jean in the January 2013 issue was from a slender young lady who needed advice on how to handle unsolicited comments about her figure such as “stop starving” and “legs like arms.” Can you imagine saying such horrible things to someone? E. Jean answered her by telling a story of a friend of hers who was trying on navy blue sweater in a shop when a lady paused behind her friend and said, “You’d look better in that if you gained a few pounds.” E. Jean’s friend (who was dying of throat cancer at the time) answered, “I’m happy just the way I am.” And it is this retort that E. Jean advised the young lady to use in the future. Sage advice, don’t you agree?
All this to say, if you are asked for your advice, give it. If you are not, hold your tongue. I realize I am in the business of giving advice, but I am paid by my clients to do so. I would never walk up to a stranger and tell him/her what I could do to improve their image. I give advice most days on my Facebook page and occasionally on my LinkedIn profile and from my Twitter account. My subscribers know to take my advice with a grain of salt. Maybe it applies to them, maybe it does not. Maybe they agree, maybe they do not. If they do not like the majority of my content, they may unsubscribe, as I am sure some have.
Just be very careful with what you say, how you say it and whether or not you are being asked by the recipient to say it. I am guilty of offending more than a few people with unsolicited advice, so I am pointing the finger at myself here. Let’s be careful of others’ feelings! We don’t know the battles they are fighting. Have a fabulous week!