Your Image Doesn’t Define Your Intellect


Like everyone else on the planet, the person I present online is a far cry from the reality offline. I find that the person who emerges through my fingers is definitely more intelligent than the one that speaks through my mouth. In person, I’m often lost for words. Almost everything interesting about me occurs solely in my head. Thoughts spin round and round all day, and I take in the world around me with such mental dexterity that it makes me dizzy. So much so, that when it comes to actually voicing what’s going on inside, I’m rendered speechless.

Ironic, eh?

This is probably why when people meet me, initially, they can’t believe I’m as old as I am. They take one look at my rabbit in the headlights gaze decorated with winged eyeliner and think, “What a sweet 20-year-old girl!” When in actual fact, I’m nowhere near 20, and my intermittent silence is simply because my brain is doing all the talking, leaving my mouth with nothing to say.

Actually, that’s a lie.

What really happens is that I end up expressing myself through profanities or animated gestures (which, when you think about it, is probably not so different from my online self – who doesn’t like a good swear word or two?) Anyway, I’d like to think that’s a good thing I have going rather than a negative. After all, recent psychological studies show that people who express themselves through obscenities are often the most honest and trustworthy. Therefore, you literally have my word that I’m telling you the truth right now. This is me. And surely that can never be a bad thing?

Well…I say that.

Despite millions of crazy cognitions bouncing about my mind like excitable kids on a trampoline, my inability to convey myself as well in person combined with my youthful physical appearance is often my Achilles heel. The words just don’t come out. My love of red lipstick and having voluminous hair proves distracting. So it’s of no real surprise that others are shocked to discover that I have a real-life brain rocking about my cranium.

Honestly, it’s not tumbleweed floating about in there! It’s a real brain!

But anyway, my real motive for sharing this personal admittance isn’t to convince you that I’m a secret smart-ass. I actually wanted to talk about something far more important – something that applies to each and every one of us: Why you should never judge a book by its cover.

Whether it’s on the giving or receiving end, so many of us do this (including me sometimes) and actually, it’s a really rotten thing to do to somebody. Just because someone isn’t particularly articulate in person doesn’t mean that they’re stupid. Just because they like way-out clothes and have niche hobbies doesn’t mean that they’re empty-headed. And ultimately, knocking someone else’s self-confidence just because you’re better at something than they are doesn’t make you a better person.

At the end of the day, it’s people’s actions that should be of utmost importance to us, and when we’re taking into account someone’s intelligence, realizing there’s more than simple appearance or academia to consider is absolutely imperative to this understanding. Because even the smartest of people have their moments of stupidity. We’re all human, after all. Making mistakes is part of how we learn. But every one of us has special qualities – not all of them academic – and none are exclusively more or less important than another.

Bearing this in mind, the next time someone treats you differently because of the way you look or the way you speak, remind them that appearances can often be deceptive and having knowledge is not the same as having wisdom. There’s no doubt about it, being sexy and being smart can almost certainly go hand-in-hand.

So wear what you want and love who you are. Because it’s what you do that’s the most important thing.