I understand what you mean...
I'm sure most people don't mind a little attention, you know? Getting a compliment is always a nice ego boost! ^.^ Some people seek negative attention as well, to shock people. But, that seems to make them happy. *shrug*
Then of course, there are people who seek out any attention they can get with their outward appearance. A lot of times I truly believe it's subconcious on a few levels. It's second nature almost to look a certain way.
I guess I can't really speak for anyone else here, but I certainly speak for me.
Personally, the clothes I wear, makeup, hair, accessories, etc. are simply things I like. I enjoy dressing the way I do because it makes me feel good. In fact, I don't like attention, lol! It actually surprises me a bit if I do get reactions from people based on the way I look.
The only time I try to make an impression with my outward appearance is at work. And even then, I dress to NOT get attention, haha! I personally don't want people to know that much about me at work, you know?
I also like to make impressions on my husband :3 I like to look good for him, you know? I mean, not all the time or anything, but I like to look nice for him, especially if he had a rough day. He does the same for me, too. But it's more of a way of showing love and affection than getting attention. Letting him know that he's special to me! And that in turn makes me feel good. ^.^
In the end, I don't want to fit in with what society has become. If I have to look a certain way to get respect or to be acknowledged, I'd rather not get any attention at all.