Sunday, September 2, 2012

U-Turn back to self through the "Dressing Your Truth" program.

Recently I have been "obsessed" with Seasonal Color Analysis.  I somehow came across "Dressing Your Truth" by Carol Tuttle and signed up for the free trial, where each day I received a different email and video introducing me to the program. Each day I anticipated the day's new video (smart strategy!) and became obsessed with figuring out which "energy" I am.

Although I was draped more than 10 years ago and told my best colors, that bring out the glow in my skin, hair and eyes, this system is totally different. Where other theories focus on colors that best suit your natural coloring and features and do not correlate it to personality, the "DYT" system focuses on the natural vibrations you were born to give off. Each season represents colors, vibrations, nature as they relate to your true self.  A fascinating concept to me considering I have been an avid student of Native American religion and mythology for decades and do believe humans are connected to nature and can learn from it. Loving anything with personality assessment and fashion, and trying to bring more color into my wardrobe and home decorating, I became quickly hooked in. This system seemed to have it all.

Carol Tuttle's "Dressing Your Truth" and "It's Just My Nature" books and system claim not to be a personality assessment because there is no quiz you can take. Rather it is an "instinctive" journey of self discovery. However, there is a connection made between each season to facial features, mannerisms, strengths/weakness, doodling styles...well, personality.  The books and videos are filled with women who have spent their entire lives hiding who they really are, and by learning their season and dressing accordingly they can finally express their true self in the world.  A pretty complicated system considering again there is no analysis or data to support any of this, as it borrows from past  color theories exclusively and not psychological personality theories. Tuttle herself reminds me of Oprah, and not in a good way, at her relentless self promotion and branding.  This program includes books, blogs, radio shows, and even fashion and facial products, which are promoted at every opportunity (at times making her videos sound more like infomercials). The expensive online system (no, I did not order it) claims it will teach you to not only how to "dress your truth" (taking away all anxiety and myths propagated by the fashion and beauty industry), but also how to translate the program into every single facet of your life including relationship building and parenting.  The looks for each season fit a certain cookie cutter mold she has created, with all looks for each season looking exactly the same. This includes outdated spiky, crunchy curls or too obvious highlighted streaked hairstyles, popped collars, and huge jewelry.  With each season looking the same, I'm not sure how that supports a women's unique self expression and style.  Actually the program's mantra is to stop being a slave to current fashion trends and dress what looks best on you (aka, her style?). She's based in Utah, where she has a "center" that includes a salon, boutique and in-person seminars.  Her "energy experts" are compiled of her family members and examples for each each season are the same few clients, who all fit the mold of each season almost superficially.  Making me think they are exaggerating the traits a wee bit too much.

In my quest for determining my "energy", I read blogs and forums by women who were also going through the system, and seemed as confused as I was.  I looked at their before and after pictures dressed in their new found season.  And here is what I found time and time again. The women looked better (and amazing) BEFORE!  After changing their style to what they thought they should be, they looked, well, not themselves (and these are strangers to me).  I have come to believe that most women already know what looks good on them, and perhaps there are other factors at play that should be explored for their quest for self discovery. In their quest for self discovery, the DYT program seemed to just create unnecessary confusion, anxiety and doubt.  It did for me!

This post is in no way intended to knock or critique the program (although my impressions may seem harsh, they are my honest opinions).  I think there can be a lot of useful and fun information if taken with a grain of salt.  A positive and helpful self reflection that I discovered through the DYT experience is that I absolutely do naturally express my main "season" in my personal life, and resort to my secondary season for work.  However, don't we all wear certain masks for certain situations.  The learning I can take away from this entire experience, and would like to share, is that no system can tell you who you are.  Not a fashion system, or a personality test, or even feedback from those closest to you.  Your true self is already within you, and life is damn complicated.  If we choose not to wear our true self on our sleeve for all to see at every moment, and keep it to ourselves for our own reasons, that's human nature and ultimately part of our true expression.  Self acceptance (dressing/expressing your season/truth) is wonderful, as is anything that empowers you or builds confidence.  However, at times expressing other facets of self, or trying on those of others, is equally important to the development of self.  Life is a journey and although we are born as God intended us to be, I believe the ultimate purpose of life is to develop, grow and blossom into a better version.  And no makeup or clothes will ever do that for you. 

Ultimately, after hours of analysis and contemplation probed by the DYT program, I have made a U-turn back to who I already was and concluded I am happy just the way I dress and look.  I, as we are all, am multifaceted and cannot be easily pigeon holed.  Let me sum it up with a comment a coworker made to me a few years ago when she found out I love camping and roughing it out in nature.  She said "YOU like camping???  I always thought you were a lip gloss girl".  Shocked and offended at her limited thinking, I replied  "I'm a multifaceted woman, and can like lip gloss AND camping".

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