Why Shallowness is not a bad thing
“A respectable appearance is sufficient to make people more interested in your soul.”
You’ve probably noticed that I’ve had a number of articles on diet and weight loss in the past couple of weeks. Why? because everyone I know is trying to lose weight. This includes both men and women. In response to this phenomenon, a friend of mine was going to start a blog entirely dedicated to this idea of weight loss, but since she hasn’t started writing yet and I’m tired of waiting (cough), I’m going to write about it myself.
Since I’m also trying to shed some pounds, I’ve been paying close attention to interesting articles I come across that touch on this subject. Last night, I was reading an article about Karl Lagerfeld in the New Yorker Magazine. Lagerfeld is the head fashion designer for channel and he’s an eccentric and colorful person (& I like people like that). However, Lagerfeld has been getting a lot more attention ever since he shed 92 pounds in 12 months. So, because he is famous, everyone wanted to know how he did it (he claims he eats virtually nothing)…actually, he drinks protein shakes throughout the day and eats one meal at dinner time. He also says that he never eats after 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. (that would mean that he has his protein shake between 6 and 7 a.m. and eats nothing else until 6 or 7 p.m. for dinner.You can read the entire article in Slate here( Vanity for the soul ).
What I find refreshing about Lagerfeld’s philosophy on dieting is his unapologetic emphasis on shallowness. People diet because they are vain and shallow. They want to look good, they want to wear clothes that make them look good and they want other people to notice how good they look. It’s not about your cholesterol or your blood pressure. That’s not the motivating factor, it’s about your vanity and there’s nothing wrong with that.
As I was thinking about how to relate this topic to business, I remembered an article I had read about the world’s 4th richest man – Anil Ambani. A few years ago, in a meeting with potential investors for his company, one of the participants expressed concern about Ambani’s weight problems (I think he weighed about 300 pounds at the time) — anyway, this potential investor said that he was nervous about giving his money to a CEO who was not in good “health”. This comment by the investor stunned Ambani. Soon after that, he went on a diet and eventually became a marathon runner as way to maintain his weight loss.
So, I guess it’s a combination of both vanity and money — the two things in life that people crave.