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If I were to say two words to you “cover up” what would you visualise? Like many people who answer my question, you will be thinking about politics or public inquiries and if probed a little further you might comment on justice and trust. On the whole, cover up has a negative connotation but it need not be so.
There are many synonyms for cover up and I have mapped three words across my business interests – that of leadership in global companies (mask), making women happy by designing their bespoke clothes (camouflage) and trust in the legal profession (concealment). Mask, camouflage and concealment are the three words that resonate.
I often argue that ‘mask’ in global companies is a necessary condition, ‘camouflage’ in clothes enables empowerment and ‘concealment’ in the legal profession is an art. When I lecture I talk about the good intentions of cover up. In each scenario, how do you present the truth and gain trust?
I have vitiligo, a visible skin condition in which areas of the skin lose their normal pigment and so become white. It is common and affects about 1% of the world’s population. I have vitiligo on my hands and feet and I could mask my white patches on my dark skin with makeup but have never done so. Many of you who have known me for years will know that I also had premature greying of my hair due to vitiligo. When young I used to camouflage my silver streak by colouring it deep blue or dark red. I made the decision only to conceal parts of me.
Recently I was connected to Annabel Jardella, an expert in makeup, cover and camouflage. Annabel is passionate about helping others and she talked enthusiastically about her product range ReCover Cosmetics. She acknowledged that covering up is a controversial subject and I was impressed with her stance developed from her international work on trends about skin conditions.
I guess that many of us see cover ups often and my message is turn it on its head. You will find out much more about ‘cover up’ if you tease out the positive aspects – maybe that applies to many things in our lives!