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Color Analysts and Image Consultants

History

In their book, Color Me Beautiful's Looking Your Best, Mary Spillane and Christine Sherlock cite a study by Albert Mehrabian. He found that the impression we make on others is made up of 55 percent appearance and behavior, 38 percent speech, and only 7 percent the content of what we say. These figures clearly show the importance of presenting yourself well in business, social, and other settings. Beauty consultants have been around for some time, but their work is constantly evolving. Because our society is increasingly mobile, and we change jobs more often than our parents did, we are constantly establishing ourselves with new groups. In addition, television has increased our awareness of appearance and what it tells us about the individual. Projecting a positive image through our appearance and behavior helps us gain acceptance from social and business contacts, fit into the workplace, and meet the public.

In 1980, with the publication of Carole Jackson's book, Color Me Beautiful, many people, especially women, began to think of what they purchased and wore in a different way. No longer willing to accept whatever fashion decreed, they wanted colors and styles that enhanced their individual appearance. By the time more than 20 million people had read this New York Times bestseller, clothing manufacturers, cosmetic companies, and retailers felt the impact of the new consumer demand.

In the meantime, other businesses were dealing with their increased need for employees with technological backgrounds. Such employees often were totally involved in the technical aspects of their work and unconcerned about the impression they made on coworkers, clients, and the general public. Many companies began to provide training to help employees project better images, increasing the demand for image consultants.