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Maybe You Need Some “Outside-In, Inside-Out Reinvention”

By Dr. Stuart Fischer, physician, educator, and author of 'The Park Avenue Diet'

Maybe You Need Some "Outside-In, Inside-Out Reinvention"

Ever notice what happens when a boy puts on a cowboy outfit or a girl dresses up as Cinderella or a ballerina? Perhaps you have felt transformed too when trying on a sexy outfit or the sportswear of an athlete. What you wear can actually influence how you walk, interact, and even think. Dating involves a great deal of preparation: you’re trying to impress someone, yet at the same time remain cool, calm, and collected. Of course, your self-confidence and interpersonal skills will need to be at their best, but did you ever think that “superficial” details could influence your inner feelings? Contemporary psychologists believe that one’s self-concept influences one’s outward appearance; how we think about ourselves would therefore lead to specific choices in clothes, hairstyle, skincare, body language, and, of course, weight.

Let’s turn this antiquated philosophy on its head and upgrade it to make your next date even more successful than the last: your thoughts indeed influence your “outside” appearance…and conversely, your “outside” appearance can reinforce your “inner” thoughts. Before your next date, try a little “outside-in, inside-out reinvention.”

Guys: get a sample of a mild skin scrub such as those made with papaya or pineapple and apply it after you’ve shaved and showered, washing it off thoroughly. Girls: try a totally new “hot” shade of lipstick, one that might be seemingly too daring. Step outside your comfort zone! Then, in the privacy of your home, look at yourself in the mirror (smiling of course). If you look a bit better, try to capture (and remember) those positive initial internal thoughts.

You’ll need a full-length mirror for the next exercise-and your most daring and sexy outfit (pick a combination you’ve never tried before).

Guys: look at yourself with one shirt button undone, then two, for example (or progressively tighter T-shirts, if the occasion and the weather are suitable). You may feel a little foolish, but don’t miss the point, you want to push your comfort zone in the direction of more physical sex appeal.

Girls: be daring and try a body-conscious dress and a great pair of heels.

Once you’re through admiring “a new look”, check out how you are standing. You’re probably in a “come hither” pose, rather than a bored, slouched-over, depressed posture. And your thoughts will be much more positive, upbeat, and excited. Try out this new, upgraded appearance on someone you’re really interested in as soon as possible, and be prepared for immediate positive feedback.

Every element of appearance, from your hairstyle (equally important for both men and women) to your outfit, skin, and weight, is part of the crucial “first impression” that begins any date. And each needs to provoke a positive reaction in you if it is to provoke a positive reaction in someone else. If you are the theatrical type, and even if you’re not, try to think of what you wear as a costume in a movie or a play, one that reflects (and influences) the inner feelings of the character. It’s not just clothing, hair products, skincare items…it’s what gets you “in the mood” to impress and excite a new friend. You don’t need “psychological motivation.” Concentrate on the seemingly easy stuff – on the outside – and more healthy and helpful thoughts will follow.

Also essential as an “outward’ reflection of your “inner” thoughts is your weight. Dating is partially about finding someone who will care about you-and you certainly need to convey to others that you care about yourself, your health, your comfort, and your longevity.  Your weight mirrors your ability to make realistic health decisions, something crucially important for both members of an intimate relationship.

While it is true that “you can’t judge a book by its cover” and “beauty is only skin deep”, your outward appearance is the first thing that your date will notice.  “Hello” always comes afterwards.  In order for someone to get to know “the real you” they’ve got to start somewhere, which is why the five essential components of your appearance need to be in top shape. 

But you probably haven’t maximized the way you can enhance and improve those seemingly superficial elements.  And you know that movie stars and fashion models are always changing their “look” to grab your attention and stimulate your hormones.  There’s no reason you can’t do this too.  It’s time for you to have a new look in hairstyle, skin care, clothing, body language, and weight.  Think of it as a new role in the reality show of your life.  You’re the star, so look like one.



Now, in his 30th year as a practicing physician, Dr. Fischer has been a featured guest on numerous television, radio and Internet shows, including The Early Show, FOX and Friends, Inside Edition, CNN American Morning, Good Day New York, CBS2’s Healthwatch, The Montel Williams Show and WebMD. For five years, he served as the host of Vital Signs, the popular weekly series on New York’s WEVD-FM, in which he answered call-in questions for thousands of listeners. 

A graduate of Yale University, Dr. Fischer completed his residency in internal medicine at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. and served as an attending physician in the emergency room of Cabrini Medical Center in Manhattan for four years. He also worked with the late Dr. Robert Atkins as the associate medical director of The Atkins Center. For more information on Dr. Fischer, please go to:


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