Beyond Words: The unspoken power of your clothes
There are those moments, fleeting and rare, especially as a new mom when time is a luxurious commodity, that you find yourself on a break, sipping on the ephemeral peace of the day. During one such rare pause, I stumbled upon a video on Facebook that caught my eye and lingered in my mind long after the screen dimmed. And in my profession, it’s not every day that a piece of media demands that I weigh in, but this one did – it resonated with the very core of what I do.
While the video delves into broader topics which I won’t comment on here, I would like to focus on the sartorial choices of the participants which took the conversation away from its main message and became a debate about the colours and attire being worn by the guests.
This situation depicts a tale I’m all too familiar with, a lesson in the criticality of appearance in our line of work. Where every hue whispered, every fabric told a story.
At the core of our work at Maluti Communications is an understanding that the colours and styles you choose to wear speak volumes before you even utter a word. It’s an extension of your narrative. In the video, one of the speaker’s choices of blue and white attire goes beyond personal preference; these colours often carry political and cultural meanings, intentional or otherwise, that may influence public perception. The other participant (intentionally or unintentionally- I’ll let you decide) chose to wear colours representing a specific country’s colours. And the ensuing clash became the news instead of the main topic which was to be discussed on that panel.
Headlines in news : “Lets Not Divide Colours On Basis Of Religion” / “an Israeli man tried to attack this Indian woman anchor for wearing Palestine colours but she shut it down”/ “Israeli Guest Fumes Over TV News Anchor’s ‘Green, Red & Black Saree’ While Discussion On Israel-Hamas War/. No one remembers the main topic of that panel. What was supposed to be a panel about the ongoing conflict became hijacked by the unfortunate wardrobe choice. A situation we see all too often in our line of work.
In Mauritius, my home, where my roots run deep, colours are not just beautiful—they are laden with symbolism, intertwining with our collective consciousness. This symbolism extends to the political realm, where colours can become emblems for parties or movements, making the choice of what to wear as significant as the stance one takes on issues. The camera, too, is unforgiving, often magnifying mistakes in colour selection. Some shades that seem vibrant in person can be jarring on screen, while others may blend into the background, diminishing their intended effect. Navigating this visual landscape is essential, and that’s where we, as communication strategists, step in to guide you. The international context amplifies these challenges. A colour that resonates with one culture might carry negative connotations in another. Therefore, when preparing for the global stage, we consider every hue, ensuring it aligns with your message and transcends cultural barriers.
This video serves as a stark reminder: our choice of clothes is never just an afterthought. They’re loaded with implications, cultural narratives, and political statements. In the world of communications, there are no neutral choices: every colour, every pattern, every accessory, tells a part of your story. It’s important to understand the intricate dance between your wardrobe and your words.
Our job as your communication partner is not just to prepare you for the spotlight; we choreograph the visual harmony that amplifies your voice in the most profound ways.
Link to video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDeZtsiv300