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A recent post at another blog got me thinking about how so many young women today who say they want marriage and family may not be putting out the right message with their image.  It’s really important to know and target one’s audience.

Girls today are taught to be bold, fearless, sexy, hot, strong, independent, fun, fit, lean, and fierce. Many work hard to meet those goals, and post images of the results of their workouts for the world to see on social media. Sultry bikini model image? Check!

It seems to work, such images get lots of clicks and likes and comments which only reinforces to the girl she’s on the right track. Attention! So she posts more, and it becomes a self-affirming loop.

Except the Internet is forever, and let’s face it potential dates (and later their families) are going to later Google those same images. Nights out drinking with the girls. Sultry sexy barely clad shots. Sad breakup shot after sad breakup shot. Through the marriage lens, the fun time party girl is starting to look like a real train wreck…

A woman seeking marriage would be wiser to put out a completely different image — wholesome, chaste, domestic, nurturing, loves animals and children, does and says the right things, has it together, NOT a train wreck, someone you’d proudly bring home to meet mom (and not worry about what she’s going to wear, do, or say!) These are really the qualities a man is looking for in a wife, even if it seems like times have changed.

(And hopefully it goes w/o saying don’t just look it, do your best to BE and develop all those qualities. Your life will be happier and better, trust me! Pain is overrated.)

It’s ok to be a touch sexy, and every guy wants a gal who is a secret sex kitten behind closed doors, but a gal with an overly sexy image more likely catches the eye and gets approached by caddish guys looking to “hit it and forget it” than by the solid-but-steady type who would make a fine husband but thinks to himself, “Danger! Risk! Not worth it! Look but don’t touch.”

Target your audience ladies! And don’t forget, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior — make sure your social media isn’t unintentionally sending the wrong signals. Future bar fly is not what men seek in a mate or the mother of their children. So keep it classy!

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. How others perceive you, especially at first glance, can both work for or against your goals. Consciously make sure it’s working in your favor. Set yourself up to win.

What do you think about all this? Please feel free to share in the comments!