Hmm: Zoom Image Consultant?

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Hmm: Zoom Image Consultant?

I received an email offering me an upcoming session with a zoom image consultant discussing styling techniques to look my very best on Zoom by becoming ‘Zoomified.’ I do spend loads more time Zooming than face-to-face. When the University I teach at went all online March 10, 2020, I had no idea I would still be here closing in on the end of the year. In fact, I am working more hours online now than ever before.

But how do I look online? Do I need someone to help me adjust my lighting? What color(s) should I be wearing? What’s the angle of my camera really saying? Let’s not even consider my backdrop, a beautiful Chinese screen above piles and piles of papers not very well covered up by a blue and white quilt I’ve had for a gazillion years.

The stylist wants to help me feel stunning, polished and professional. That’s difficult wearing sweats and my favorite gray T-shirt. I throw on some lipstick since I’m not masked online, spray my hair with water since it is curly, and adjust the camera so that no one can see I’m not wearing a brassiere, which I just read is not recommended. Support is imperative and important, but so terribly uncomfortable.

 I wonder if the fashion consultant could help me resolve my biggest dilemma. I miss wearing earrings. They get caught in my mask(s) so I stopped wearing them, but I really do miss them. This is definitely a new experience for me. I do not think I have ever been aware before of how much my earrings matter to me. They set off my face, nicely. In fact, they give people something to look at beyond just me and my face. I have a few pairs from my parents which I love the best. My father was a jeweler and my mother Ruthie and I had our ears pierced at the same time in honor of my Sweet Sixteen. I particularly like the subtly engraved and designed very large half circles which I cannot possibly wear with a mask, but can wear online.

I miss wearing lipstick. There’s no point in wearing lipstick under a mask. I need to wear a clear mask in one of the classes I teach for a hearing impaired student who reads lips. That day I cannot wear any makeup because I do not want to smudge his view or understanding of the course content.   

I’ve saved a lot of money not wearing makeup. I haven’t had my hair cut since March. I did run to the hairdresser I only go to for color in September the minute she reopened. She also massaged my forehead and scalp with lavender oil. Now that was totally worth the trip. I’m due to return to her soon. I can of like my new look with so much hair. I wonder what the image consultant would think?

I also treated myself, only once last month, to a mani-pedi. The red on my toes and blue on my fingernails are all gone. Life is simplified and repeated. It’s easier living on tuna fish and gluten free crackers, with a few salmon croquettes thrown in, rather than putting on real clothes, looking presentable, and going to the grocery store. Nothing is the same during a pandemic.   I think I’d be way too much of a challenge at this point for any Zoom Image Consultant. She’d take one look at me and triple her price or run the other way. However, becoming a Zoom Image Consultant is an interesting new field to consider. Hmmm. Maybe I’d be good at that?


  • Sheryl Kayne

    Sheryl Kayne is a writer, editor, educator, and motivational speaker. She is the author of travel guidebooks. Immersion Travel USA: The Best & Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living & Learning Excursions was awarded The Society of American Travel Writers Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Best Travel Guidebook 2009 and Volunteer Vacations Across America was named on Amazon’s list of best new travel books 2010. Kayne travels extensively and works and volunteers where she visits. She was the writer-in-residence at the Everglades National Park, Homestead, Fla. and a writing fellow at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, N.M. She has appeared on NPR, CNN, CBN, ABC Weekend Evening News, Lifetime Television Network, and MTV, among others. Visit Sheryl at:

9 Responses

  1. Well, Sheryl since I’m very familiar with the image consultant who wrote and sent you that email, I can guarantee she’d not run away or triple her price.
    She would remind you that you can enjoy the unique sensation of earrings for all your Zoom calls as well as lipstick.
    She’d also show you how you can be sweatpants comfy in clothes that won’t scream I give
    up and I just can’t take it anymore. Instead the outfits she’d create for you, virtually, would cause you to you crave and get more than a tuna and crackers lifestyle. There still is a smorgasbord out there, even if much of it is on Zoom.
    She’d also tell you that with a great sense of humor like yours, along with hers, you’d have a great time getting Zoom-a-fied, and yes Sheryl, you will be stunning, polished, and professional in my…um, I mean her hands.
    She’d also give you the tip of taking a lipstick pencil to outline your lips and then fill them in, so you’d have some color but none of the smear.
    We’re going to be in this mess for quite a while, and one way to maintain our sanity and a much-needed sense of normality is by wearing clothes that will show off our personality and professionalism. You not only can do this, but YOU also deserve it.
    Give that image consultant a call. I have a feeling you two have lots to laugh about together.

    • Sheryl Kayne says:

      Too funny, everyone, the note above is from the Image Consultant herself, how cool is that? Scarlett, what a cool name! Are we both Southerners? I was born and raised in Fredericksburg, VA! I had so much fun writing this particular column! So glad, Scarlett that you are part of our fabulous Three Tomatoes! Thanks for providing me with such a wonderful topic to play with and best of luck Zoomafying us all!

  2. It took me a while to get used to Zoom – but one of the things I love about it is that I can get dressed and put on makeup, and wear jewelry. I can see other people’s faces, and they can see mine. And dressing and putting on makeup makes me feel better. Now all I need is a ring light to help erase a few wrinkles…

    • Scarlett says:

      Yay to you Gabi. Be sure to turn the touch up my appearance feature on in Zoom. Feel free to send me an email and I can recommend a very affordable ring light.

  3. I’m a proud Tomato Sheryl!!!!
    Born in NYC, raised in Queens, I was named after my Hungarian Grand-Mother whose name somehow translated to Scarlett, but one day, not tomorrow, I’ll get back home to Atlanta. lol

  4. Judy Katz says:

    Sheryl as usual you wrote a humorous and deeply insightful essay! No wonder you are a multi-award winning author, editor and popular college professor. With or without upping the ante on the Internet meetings image, you rock! Thanks for the fun and relatable read.

  5. Sheryl Kayne says:

    Thanks so much for your comment, Gabi! I can certainly relate to how great you look on Zoom — you are your own Image Consultant! Now maybe you can help me out? I do enjoy adding liptstick for Zoomathons. I’ll take Scarlett up on her suggestion to outline my lips in pencil first. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that myself? I have a great pencil to use in the perfect color. And I’ll follow your example, Gabi, of adding a bit of makeup and jewelry. But for now, sorry to cut this note short – I am running out to find a ring light! Wrinkles beware ~

  6. Paul Julch says:

    As another image consultant contributor to The Three Tomatoes, I echo what Scarlett had to say. Without too much additional effort, you can present yourself more purposefully on Zoom and enjoy the reflection you see on your computer screen. AND it definitely contributes to a more positive attitude, which we can all use in a pandemic!

  7. Sheryl Kayne says:

    I love receiving your comments. Please feel free to repost and be sure to laugh out loud a lot ~

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