When a young police officer puts on a uniform for the first time, it almost certainly feels strange and foreign. Yet other people react to that uniform in a range of more or less predictable ways ― just as they do to a priest or to a white-coated doctor. These reactions help to make the police officer feel a part of the uniform and more comfortable with the role that goes with it. This is the point of uniforms: they help people think themselves into a particular way of behaving, and communicate clearly to other people what function that person is expected to perform. Our dress and appearance are a sort of uniform as well, whether we like it or not. They are very powerful statements to other people about what to expect from us. Equally, they are powerful statements to ourselves about what to expect of ourselves. This, together with the way other people react to our appearance, powerfully shapes how we feel, think and behave.
I am wondering what the underlined word is referred to.
Always thank you!!!