Today I was told that I am not an effective animal advocate, because of my tattoos.
Lauren Marina

As a vegan and an Image Consultant (and a middle aged, straight, white, tattoo-less woman), that article is very disturbing and not at all what “image” is about. There is something to be said for using style as a tool for first impressions and personal branding when speaking to a group of people. It’s important to “know your audience”, so they can identify with you. For example if you are speaking or selling to a conservative, super corporate crowd, about a conservative, super corporate program, you probably don’t want to show up in jeans and sneakers. Adversely, if you are speaking to a creative crowd, they may not connect with you in a suit and tie. These are sweeping generalizations of course, but that is basically how the human brain works. However, the most important thing about getting your message across is AUTHENTICITY. If who you are, includes blue hair and tattoos and you fully own that, you have a much greater chance of connecting with any audience, by presenting your true self, than if you try to fit into something you aren’t. That will scream of disingenuousness and turn people off. Vegans come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and lifestyles. So do audiences who are open to the message. We need as many individual styles as possible to reach as many people as possible. That presenter is just adding to the vegan “in-fighting”, the ideological divisiveness, and it is at the very least, not compassionate. Our individuality is what makes all humans beautiful.

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