by Florentina Mossou (The Netherlands)
Yes, I chose a tricky topic for a blog. But it’s something I’ve wanted to write about for a long time.
You see, I’m an analyst. I sell colour analysis. So of course I would say that colour analysis is worth it.
I could tell you how the average woman in North Western Europe* spends between 50 and 66 euro a month on clothing, adding up to around 600-800 euro a year. (*Data from NIBUD and nu.nl)
I could mention that, from seeing people’s closets pre-analysis, they have approximately 10% of their clothes in the right palette (which is a very generous estimate, often it’s more like 2-5%).
I could save you the job of calculating that 90% of those 800 euros, amounts to 720 euros worth of clothes that are not fulfilling their promise or purpose.
I could point out that the cost of a colour analysis breaks even at around 4 months, and that after that, it’s money in your pocket and less dead weight in your closet.
I’d conclude, PCA can pay you back for years to come. (And I didn’t even include the cost for the hairdresser.)
But that’s not my point today. Not at all.
You see, spending that amount of money on your appearance is simply scary.
It’s not just the amount. It’s about making a conscious investment in yourself. It’s announcing to yourself, your subconscious and everyone that you care about how you look. Yikes.
I remember well how it felt when I had my colour analysis. I was a student at the time, and money was in short supply. I spent less on clothes, too, than the average woman in our example above. (FYI, my palette success rate pre-analysis was way worse – I literally only had one camisole and a lipstick in the right colours.)
My heart said a colour analysis was something I wanted, and that it would make me happy. My mind said it was a lot of money, and that I might as well wait a while until I could afford it more easily. My gut was mostly scared, and felt like colour analysis was something I shouldn’t do under the circumstances. What if it wouldn’t be worth all the money and effort?
My heart turned out to be right. In the end, I swallowed, went through with it, and never looked back. In fact, I was shocked how often my colour fan would save me from things I would have bought that wouldn’t have worked (Soft Summer mostly). And elated at how easy it was to get out the door looking great. These days, I scan a store in 50 seconds or less, and surprise my friends by picking out only clothes that look quite good or just great.
Having a colour analysis is about admitting you’ll be judged by your appearance, and that you are ok with that.
So many women try to opt out of it. I know during my teens, I tried to create an appearance so neutral it would somehow be ‘unjudgeable’. A blank.
It didn’t work, obviously. Biology doesn’t allow it. Our species (and any other) survives by making choices, every day. Whom to befriend, or avoid? Ask for help, or wait and see? When to run, when to stay? As long as human beings have to make decisions that affect their survival, procreation, access to resources, and comfort zones, they will have to make decisions about other human beings. As it happens, the easiest thing to go by is appearance. And so humans evolved to be masters of judging, and gleaning information from, others’ appearances.
Is it foolproof? Well no. But it’s cheap – biologically speaking. It’s fast and takes little energy, and those benefits usually outweigh the cost of any possible mistakes. Biology is great with compromises. Any solution that solves more problems than it creates, is acceptable.
Fast forward to our modern society, social media and all. The governing principles haven’t changed. I realised only afterwards that this was true for me. My fearful feeling, that led me to believe I was wrong to spend that amount of money on my appearance, was in fact resistance.
You see, I was trying so hard not to be judged by others, or myself, that I ended up judging myself immensely harshly. I was so scared of finding something good, exactly because of the risk that it might turn out a mistake. Having to pay money for a colour analysis, even though I yearned for my right palette, was unnerving in the extreme.
And there was something else too…
I grew up in the early nineties, and at least then, society had sneaky ways to tell young girls that it’s vain or lazy to care too much about how they look. It was never spoken or explicit, but I got the distinct feeling I shouldn’t be too ‘pink’. ‘Girly’ is one of those words, that to me seemed to sound slightly disdainful, a little silly, somehow less-than. (Did anybody notice that the word ‘boyish’ feels far less negative? Thoughtless maybe. It mostly sounds young.) And for that reason, I grew up with the distinct feeling that putting too much time, money or effort in my looks was frivolous.
If I could talk to my young self now, I’d tell her that that’s not true. It’s in fact one of the most profound things any woman could do. Your beauty, in whatever shape or colour, is about authenticity, honesty, inspiration, communication, sharing and connection.
What does this have to do with money?
Everything. As women, we are simply not used to investing in our appearance. We easily invest in others. For ourselves, we might invest in education or healthy food, or even a heavy winter coat to keep warm. All these things are widely accepted to be practical and sensible. But doing something for our appearance is seen differently. Something to do occasionally, a luxury, and indulgence. Something that goes in hand-in-hand with at least a little guilt.
And that’s my point for this very long, rambling blog.
Investing in a (scientific) colour analysis is practical and sensible. Your appearance is feminine power at work. Along with the words we speak, it’s how we interact with the world. Your appearance can tell people so much about who you are. I was afraid of it, but I’ve come to learn that it’s a good thing.
I’d even go as far as saying, a colour analysis directly affects how much money you will make afterwards. I wouldn’t dream of going to a job interview wearing the wrong colours.
I can’t, and won’t, judge the size of your wallet. You know yourself if a colour analysis is something you can afford or not. I can only speak for myself.