Right now, I am removing about 50% of the beautiful clothes in my wardrobe. Because, paradoxically, it creates more beauty.

The world needs more beauty. it needs more acts of beauty. From an ethical and aesthetic point of view (not to mention a personal and professional one), pursuing the truth of your identity and then expressing the image you arrive at is an act of beauty. {Identity + image = personal brand.}

I don’t believe beautiful personal brands can be externally created. It starts with what’s inside. The internal is always written on the external, anyway – so you might as well accept this fact.

Not only do I hold this strong opinion. I also know for a fact that personal branding is not about adding things. It was, is and shall forevermore be about REMOVING.

We are all, like it or not, generally walking around as unconscious constructs of our external environment. What we have dressed ourselves in are other’s opinions, expectations, conventions, traditions, habits, demands, desires etc. Forgetting our own in the process.

To create a beautiful personal brand, you must let go. You must become a stripper. You must remove.

So, going back to my first point – I realised that I have been somewhat hypocritical in advising my clients of this, when right in front of me was a wardrobe heaving with the fabric version of me from days gone by… Sydney, circa 2004, when I had a very high-profile glamorous job and was paid to be very badly behaved (which was great, since I would have been badly behave for free). Despite hardly ever wearing the clothes now, I am sentimental for that time, and the person I believe I was… the clothes represent the me from then, and I know the enduring fear of letting go of them comes from the fear of having to say, “So, who the hell am I if not that person?” The fear of being boring. The fear of having no identity,

Of course, the more you fear to let go of something, the more important is is for you to let go of it.

So, it’s time to strip away yet more of me.

* I was, in actual fact, an ACTUAL stripper – for 5 years or so – in Sydney. Stripping put me through uni, allowing me to make good money in the dark hours while I devoted every daylight hour to a double-degree alongside working as an intern (for free) at Marie Claire… waiting to land my first poorly paid yet precious magazine job. I didn’t have the wealthy parents to support me while I pursued this career, and, as someone who loved dancing, seduction, men and money, I had secretly always wanted to be a stripper (as a 7-year-old, I’d wanted to be Mata Hari… ). I’d still love to be a stripper now. In fact, I did my final university thesis on the male gaze, and the intersection between the nude and the naked – with my strip club as the test case.

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