What’s My Motivation? The Reason Behind Image Change

by Arash Mazinani on February 8, 2011

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with my girlfriend earlier today. Just a little insight into the background behind the concept. She had been watching day break and they were discussing the rise of the number of women turning to plastic surgery after divorce. Now I’m sure most you have heard of the ‘break up’ hair cut but plastic surgery is quite a drastic measure. I recently wrote a post exploring how we view body image which you can go back and check out. This got me thinking about the motivations behind women’s choices to change their image and what they hope to achieve by doing it.

Women have various different reasons behind wanting to change their image. However, I’m going to start with one that I’ve already briefly touched on; divorce or break up. Many women choose to have a change of image after a divorce or break up as it almost provides a new lease of life. Some just want to feel better about themselves after what is probably an upsetting affair. Starting life again on a new leaf with a fresh look. On the other hand others may want to make their ex partner jealous or miss ‘what they had’. Whether or not this particular motivation is healthy is debatable and it could potentially be one of the reasons some women resort to more drastic image changes such as plastic surgery. I know drawing upon my own experiences if I have ever broken up I’ve always felt like I need to do something different. Whether that be changing my image or reassessing my life goals. However, hindsight is a funny thing, looking back now I would question my own motivations.

Weight loss is a powerful motivator for all areas of life. However the impact it can have on one wanting to change their image is quite obvious. If someone has experienced weight loss they are going to want to celebrate their achievement. There is no better way than updating and refreshing their image. I know flicking through slimmers world magazine (they have some tasty recipes) they always have features on people that have lost weight and indulged in a make over with fabulous results. If the weight lost is a substantial then sometimes updating your image is a necessity.

Career change can also be a motivator for a change in image. They say dress for the position you want to be in not the position you’re in. Particularly in the current job market your first impression and overall presentation can give you the edge other another candidate. If you’re already in employment changing your image can signal your intent to your co workers or bosses that you take your role seriously or your desire for a promotion.

There are many more motivations that can be behind an image change.

If you’ve had a change in image in the past I’d leave to hear the reason behind it

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Angga Heinrich February 9, 2011 at 2:24 am

I guess I change my image when I broke up with one of my ex, the way I think back when we were dating, I felt that I’m not good enough for him, and we are talking in a physical way. It’s not about my body image but I think its more about my appearance with the choices of my clothing. I did get motivated to change the way I dress and actually get more comfortable at my choices. I want to say it hurts when he critique the way I dress but then if I really look back, I will never become a fashion blogger and interested in fashion if not because of him. So there is positive side on changing our body image/appearances when certain situation occurs.
<3
http://reserveradefashion.blogspot.com

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Arash Mazinani February 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm

As always thanks for the lovely comment :-)

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Heather February 9, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I can’t imagine getting plastic surgery over a divorce or a break up. If I were (not that I would ever) to have plastic surgery it would need to me for me and about me not for anyone else or about anyone else. Hair cuts is a totally different thing. I think men and woman a like always want to change things up. I feel like after a break up it’s always nice to change yourself up a little since it’s like starting a new chapter in your book. I also think we should all take care of yourselves and theres no better time to focus all that engery after a break up then hitting the gym. Back in college I had a horrible break up with a boyfriend and I had all this pent up anger and thoughts and I just didn’t know what to do with myself sometimes so I started going to the gym. It’s the one place youcould go without thinking and getting some positive energy. It’s also better then indugling in crappy high calorie foods and feeling sorry for yourself.

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Arash Mazinani February 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Definitely doing something positive like hitting the gym is far more constructive than just feeling sorry for yourself. Again it’s great to hear your take on what makes us want to change our image.

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Fabienne Jach February 9, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Intriguing to ponder! I’ve had both drastic and progressive image changes. Drastic usually ensues a break-up, like going from long hair to short, (I’ve done it 3x). More progressive is usually a reflection of how I’m feeling in my life. I’ve found my current evolution to be more playful, happy and creative. This is in direct response to what is going on in my life. I’m feeling happier and more playful; as an incredibly expressive individual, it’s only natural for my appearance to reflect this.

Lastly, I was promoted several years ago but at the time it was played down in order to no be disruptive in my department during a hectic time. It was difficult for those I worked with to grasp a sense of how our relationship was changing. I made it a point to be very polished and sophisticated for about 1.5 years. It made an immediate difference in how I was perceived when I did that. Now that I’m no longer having to prove my authority, I get to be playful again.

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Arash Mazinani February 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

It’s interesting to hear how your image actually enforced your position of authority. I agree we often do change image merely according to what mood we are feeling. Thanks for a wonderful comment.

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fuyume February 10, 2011 at 10:49 am

Interesting post. I have regular image changes usually after the birth of each of my children. I see image change as fun though not as any kind of escape or because of feeling low.

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Arash Mazinani February 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Yeah everyone has a different reason as to why they change their image. This post was merely scratching the surface, I’m sure there are hundreds of different reasons people decide to change their image.

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vasiliki February 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm

We want to improve and change our image whenever we feel miserable. I think we feel that if we change ourselves outside is going to change and improve what happened to us inside.

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Arash Mazinani February 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Interesting response…thanks for your comment and welcome :-)

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Madeleine February 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I am all for change. And while I don’t love the plastic surgery. I say if it makes a person happy then just do it. To be honest, I do judge women who get too much plastic surgery because it is never pretty. But everyone has reasons to go through either minor or major image changes in life. Might as well find your bliss, even if it is temporary or forever.
-Madeleine

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Arash Mazinani February 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Thanks for your comment :-)

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Fashion Limbo February 11, 2011 at 9:39 am

I’m currently toying with this idea, so this post is VERY interesting to me. I’m going through a very tough personal time, involving a huge change in location, lifestyle, etc, and it’s shacking me to the core. Somehow the idea of doing something to change my hair, drastically, feels like a cathartic thing I need to do, that will somehow aide me to get through this period in my life, or motivate me to stay focused on who I want to become.

Additionally, there is something very powerful about the whole “dress for the position you want to be in not the position you’re in”. It’s a very important step in wanting to become someone or achieve something and I can see how this can be a truly empowering tool.

Great post Arash xx

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Arash Mazinani February 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm

As always thanks for your reply. It’s great to get an insight into someone who is going through massive change in their life and to find out how that ties in with wanting to change one’s image.

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Lee Oliveira February 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Plastic surgery is such a drastic measure and I am sure that it was being thought about long before a divorce. I always question ones inner being when I see over done plastic surgery. Now, I have seen some men go through a crazy 2nd life after they get divorced too. A manager of mine on a previous job thought he was 21 again but a saw all the girls laughing at him behind his back….shame. I think this topic could open up a whole can of worms for some people.
BTW I met with Vahni in New York and she is even more fabulous in person. Such an intelligent women and fun also.

Lee

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Arash Mazinani February 12, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Thanks for the comment Lee. I saw pics of you Kristy and V in New York it looks like you had an awesome time!

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kristy February 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm

my image change motivation was health and being able to keep up with my active lifestyle. i used to be a little overweight, but found that it was getting me down. i also had a bit of an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. moving to milan really helped that.

you’re right that there can be any myriad of reasons for an image change. i think it’s important that people stay true to themselves and do what they think will make them happy. i’m all for embracing your body and loving yourself, but i also understand the importance of self-improvement. which is why i feel it’s up to each of us to make that call for ourselves and do what is going to be the best for our lives. =) great post arash!

Kristy Eléna – Full Time Fabulous
Vogue Gone Rogue
Twitter: @kristyelena

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Arash Mazinani February 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Thanks for the lovely comment Kristy, I think more people should definitely understand the importance of self improvement but obviously take action for the right reasons.

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Tashrin February 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I have changed my whole look three times in my life so far. First was when I graduated from high school back home, I was going to an elite mostly English medium private university so to fit in I gave myself a whole new persona and wardrobe to go with it.

Second was after coming to Canada. I was so depressed and lonely for the first 1.5 years….it showed in how I kept myself and dressed myself. So when my bf was finally due to come join me….I got myself in a spa, had whole new hair do and colour…….I also decided to get out of the fashion rut that I was in….and invested somewhat in a more decent wardrobe.

The third phase is going on now……I am cultivating a persona that I want to achieve and in every phase of my life….from how I dress…..to what I eat….to how I do my hair or carry myself in public I am bringing about a change…..this has been probably one of the slowest ones…..because the changes I am trying to make this time is for me….not for anyone else…..and are of such kind that takes a long time to perfect.

Thanks for bringing up this thought provoking topic Arash. I honestly before writing this comment have never thought about these three phases of my personal style evolution.

Tashrin – Personal style & inspiration from Toronto, Canada

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Arash Mazinani February 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm

As always thanks for commenting Tashrin :-)

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Dwight Jennings April 9, 2012 at 5:04 am

I had a image change recently and by the time I had finally achieved my desired image I had complety turned my life around.

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Arash Mazinani April 20, 2012 at 2:30 pm

That’s awesome to hear Dwight!

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