“You do you.” – Words to live by.
Personal style has always been an important part of my life. Never one to follow trends or the crowd, I pride myself on just being me.
Now, that’s not to say that following the crowd or following trends is a bad thing. If that’s what YOU like and that’s what make YOU feel comfortable, then you’re staying true to yourself.
I spent a lot of time growing up trying to find out where I fit in and figure out who I was. There were a lot of poor fashion choices (My infamous “epilepsy” jacket, which was basically a stripy multicoloured monstrosity with a sheepskin collar that could induce a seizure was a standout moment. Side note: I’m epileptic so I can make that joke.), poor make-up choices (Orange face, white neck and overplucked eyebrows.) and poor life choices (I don’t have enough time to list all of those, if I’m being totally honest…). But into adulthood, I begun to “find” myself. I accepted the fact that there wasn’t necessarily a niche which I fit into, there wasn’t a particular style category that I could put myself under and I decided that being myself was a lot more comfortable than trying to squeeze myself in somewhere.
Unfortunately, that meant that a lot of people don’t “get” me. Most of the time it’s just eye rolls and glossing over the fact I look like a unicorn has consumed a box of Crayola crayons and ejaculated all over me. But sometimes, it’s a bit more personal than that. Explicit criticism of the way I look, dress, wear my hair or make-up is a big issue for me…
For me, self expression is hard. Anxiety makes communicating and expressing who I am as a person quite difficult in certain situations. Expressing myself from an aesthetic perspective makes life a hell of a lot easier, opens up talking points and gives me a confidence boost knowing I look good in my own eyes. Recently I “had” to go out of my comfort zone for an afternoon and I felt uncomfortable. It wasn’t nice and I felt almost exposed without my make-up done the way it usually is, my newfound love of wigs and dressed in all black. It wasn’t me and I feel it affected my general behaviour and how I felt throughout the day. I also felt insulted that I had to dress and wear my hair a certain way for other people’s comfort. What about MY comfort? At what point does someone else’s feelings on how I look become more important than our own? I’m sitting here booting myself in the chuff thinking about it, when I spend my days yelling about feminism, being yourself, loving yourself, embracing your differences and saying a massive “fuck you” to everyone else. Never again.
My “style” summed up: Unnatural coloured hair (wigs or my own), clothing anywhere from cartoon prints, dresses, menswear, jeans, extreme make-up (although I do softer when I feel like it), drag looks. My outside matches the person who I am inside. If I can’t let that person out to express myself, my outside will do the job for me.
It’s important to stay true to yourself because how are you going to be yourself if you’re hiding behind a cookie-cutter look because society doesn’t accept you looking how you want to look? Set who you are inside free because nobody else can tell you how to look. Break barriers, be adventurous, take risks with your look, experiment. Because you WILL find what is YOU and you need to embrace that with everything you have.
In the grand scheme of things, maybe the way you look isn’t the most important thing in the world, you probably won’t be remembered for the hairstyle you had in 2009 or the make-up you wore today but at that moment in time, that snapshot in your life, how you look might just change the way you feel inside. It can affect your mental health. It can affect your ability to function socially. Whether it gives you a confidence boost, helps you express yourself or simply just makes you feel comfortable, you do you. Be yourself. Love who you are.
x M x