08/12/2010 03:02 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Caroline Giuliani's Jailhouse Makeover

I was reading the newspaper on the flight from New York to Los Angeles. Much to my surprise, I saw that Caroline Giuliani, the daughter of former New York City mayor and a senior at Harvard, had been arrested for shoplifting at the Sephora on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There was a picture of her looking exceptionally shabby with her hair tied up in a bandanna and looking in dire need of a shampoo and styling. Her wrists were in handcuffs behind her back as she was led out of the store. It was a shockingly sad picture of a smart woman with troublesome issues.

I don't know how she managed it, but coming out of jail a few hours later, she looked fresh, radiant and wholesome. Her hair was freshly blown and styled in loose waves. She wore soft, natural looking, pretty makeup. Her clothes had changed from an old NYU T-shirt that looked like she slept in it to a tee and Harvard sweatshirt, the sleeves rolled up to the perfect length. A pinch of the tee was peeking from the bottom of the sweatshirt. Her look was transformed from slovenly to the epitome of casual chic. She looked like she'd been styled by Jill Martin, my fashion expert partner on the Today Show's Ambush Makeover. She had one of the best makeovers I have ever witnessed. Check it out:

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I could not help but wonder how she had managed this transformation. Do they have hair salons in prison? Did she have an extra wardrobe in her purse next to the stolen booty? All kidding aside, this was truly a perplexing and surprising feat. It also showed that even this troubled girl -- or her family -- recognize the importance of presenting the proper image.

Fairly or not, people do initially judge others by their first impression -- which is often determined by their appearance. Whether we are talking about dating, getting a job, seeking a promotion, or in this case creating a new image, there is a definite correlation between the way we present ourselves and how we are viewed and judged by the world. A polished appearance is often vital to a person's public persona. It indicates our status in life and most importantly, strengthens our self image and self esteem. A well groomed appearance has another benefit. It creates the illusion of success.

Always attempt to look like you have achieved your life goals. People will react to you in a much more positive way. I am sure you will find it is well worth the efforts you have put forward. Others will have a higher opinion of you and better opportunities will present themselves.

Looking good will create a good impression and open doors for you, but it is not all that it takes to be successful or create a new image. It is similar to having an inside connection to an executive at your dream job. Your appearance might open doors, but you still have to be at the top of your game for the follow-through. You have to demonstrate your superior thought process and your winning personality to maintain your position and image. Failing to do so will make your new success short lived.

Caroline was in the middle off a difficult situation. Somehow, she still had the wits about her to pull her look together. By doing this, she may not have resolved her horribly awkward circumstances, but she did take a first small step to present her better self. May she find the strength and wisdom to move forward and put this ugly incident behind her.

Is it important to look good no matter the situation? Chime in below!

Like This? Read These:
- Elena Kagan: New Job, New Hair?
- Try On Hair on the iVillage Virtual Makeover Tool
- Hair Inspiration Gallery: Red Hair Color Shades

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