The topic of identity and conformity has always been an interesting one for me. My entire life I have done my best to break the mould and create my own identity, rejecting conformity at every opportunity. On the flip side, I have always wanted to be ‘accepted’ by people, and often felt disappointed when I haven’t met the standards of what social convention dictates. Thus creating a mass of internal conflict.
I guess its natural to want to fit in and feel ‘normal’ and it’s difficult not to feel peer pressure from friends and social media alike. I was under no illusion that my fashion sense and figure was not considered stereo-typically ‘sexy’. I guess on the outside I didn’t care, but on the inside I was immensely insecure!
Since being a kid I never really conformed to anything, I insisted on dressing like a boy (even got mistake for one before I ‘developed’), I was the only girl on the football team, and when everyone was ‘fangirling’ over the Spicegirls, I was listening to Louis Armstrong! After growing out of my ‘tomboy’ phase I fell straight into a ‘goth’ phase.
Maybe I was unknowingly conforming to the depressed outcast teenager routine by becoming a bit of a ‘mosher’ (as I used to get called), deliberately trying to ‘break the mould’. I do look back on the black hair and crazy outfits and do wonder what the hell I was thinking!
University was interesting, that was the point where I realised just how unfashionable/outcast I really was. I would look at the girls on a night out with their nice hair/makeup and dresses and I’d get jealous, which was kinda stupid because the idea of getting dressed up was my idea of hell. I always thought I couldn’t pull off the girly look. I didn’t even know how to do my makeup. I even had to borrow a dress to a formal dinner because I didn’t own any.
Despite the longing to be this pretty girly girl guys would find attractive, to a certain degree I do feel like I never did conform. I soon realised that if black jeans, a studded belt and a band T-shirt made me feel comfortable and confident, that’s what I should wear! I tried dressing up girly day today and I hated it, it was like I was lying to myself!
So, I just decided to own it! Why can’t ‘alternative’ be sexy and confident? Why can’t curves (which no clothing brand ever accounts for) be sexy! If anything, it sets you out from the crowd, you don’t just blend in with the rest, most importantly, if it makes you feel confident, do it! So, I have made it my mission to make alternative sexy!
Being comfortable with who you are really is the key to everything. I now know how to do hair and makeup, I own plenty of dresses and heels and I’m confident wearing them. Well, I ‘tolerate’ them, still not quite confident, but its an improvement!
Admittedly, I do miss the days where I didn’t feel comfortable in anything so I didn’t have to take any pride in how I looked. But I do quite like doing my hair and makeup, and actually when I go hiking and take pics I do get my fair share of sarcastic comments about wearing makeup whilst hiking. If I was walking around with a mirror reapplying mid-walk, or looking like a clown I could understand the issue! That’s the thing with life though, you just have to own who you are, not let social media dictate or change who you are!
If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, it’s fair to say I definitely took the long and hard route towards self-acceptance. But once you do, its amazing!