Does Your Weight Impact Your Personal Brand?!
With the holidays in full swing, most of us are focused on holiday parties, food, calories and the extra pounds we’ll have to lose once January rolls around. For most of us, we gain a few pounds and lose a few pounds. That’s our cycle- up and down. However, the changes are only really noticeable by us. Very few others really notice our weight swings- we just feel like everyone else can tell.
However, what about the situations where someone loses or gains more than a few pounds? We all surely notice that significant change. If we lose a lot of weight, people are more likely to comment than if we gain a lot of weight. It is just socially the correct thing to do. No one wants to bring to light your 40 pound weight gain. However, we’ll congratulate you on your 40 pound weight loss.
So how does all of this impact your personal brand?
I was listening to a radio talk show last week. They were commenting on how Ralphie May, the comedian, had lost a noticeable amount of weight and the impact on his career. May was the runner up of Last Comic Standing in 2003. He was known as the funny and fat comedian, hitting a high of 800 pounds at one point. Now he is apparently under 400 pounds and still working on it. Does this drop in weight mean that his personal brand is no longer recognizable? Will his career take a hit? Since perception in branding is everything, will he no longer be perceived as the funny and fat comedian?
Other famous folks have also lost weight over the years and had a change in their personal brand. Such celebrities include Sharon Osborne, Al Roker, Roseanne Barr, Brian Dennehy and Randy Jackson, to name a few. In the case of actor Jonah Hill, of movies such as Superbad and Knocked Up, who lost over 40 pounds, I had no idea who he was when I saw him post weight loss (his ears seemed larger all of a sudden!). I can certainly say that at times I didn’t recognize any person at all post weight loss.
Since brand recognition is about consistency and how you show up for me, your personal brand certainly takes a hit if you gain or lose weight. However, the health benefits of weight loss certainly counter the loss of brand identity. You’ll live longer and healthier- you’ll just have to have a plan in place for rebuilding and revitalizing your personal brand DURING and post weight loss.
Now if you gain a lot of weight, not only are you jeopardizing your health but you are taking a really negative hit on your personal brand. People will likely see you as someone out of control who can’t manage their weight, life or business. Please don’t get upset over this fact- just know the way humans operate and use it to stay fit and have an effective personal brand. After all, your self-confidence is what attracts us to you and you’re likely to be more self confident if you are at or near your ideal weight.