Fitting in… It’s a strange concept isn’t it? The idea that society often pushes us to fit in a box, to follow the society’s unspoken contracts and be in line with the ‘mainstream’.
I’ve been reading ‘You do You’ by Sarah Knight and if you haven’t yet discovered her swear words ridden anti guru books, you’re missing out.”You do You” is a book about how to be who you are, how to forget about judgers and haters (she calls them Judgy McJudgerson) to grow your confidence and how to learn that sometimes breaking the social contract in small ways (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone) will help you live a better life. Really this is a poor summary and I highly recommend you all to read it whether you feel like you could learn something about yourself or you just need reassurance that there is nothing wrong with you because surprise… there isn’t ! Needless to say this made me think quite a bit about how we possibly let people opinions whether silent or vocal dictate how we would behave in life, like when we do or don’t do things ‘just because’.
Let’s talk about a sense of style for example. A lot might shy away from clothes or accessories that are too ‘outlandish’ purely because they are worried it might send the wrong message: not professional enough/ too quirky/ too slutty/ too out there, the list goes on… But when did we get told that dressing up a certain way sent a certain message? There was never a ‘rule’ taught to us at school, more a societal contract that seems to be carried on by a lot of people on why wearing certain things might have certain meanings. But the meanings only make sense to the judgers/ the haters or the doubters. Only they see a rainbow sparkly bomber jacket and think it belongs in a disco fancy dress party, only they might consider leather pants not to be appropriate for office wear.
Here’s an idea: as long as you are not flashing your personal assets/ keeping a minimum of decency (if you go visit your grandma and her friends for tea, no one needs to see your butt cheeks) and you are not hurting anyone (for example, don’t wear spikes if you are going trampolining…) then who cares what other people think of you.
Just focus on what makes you happy, even if it is a huge faux fur canary yellow coat that makes you look like Big Bird (come on Mango sale I am waiting for you). Personally fashion is the first part of my life where I consciously decided that I would stop giving a Fuck and really I hope you do the same. No more ‘ I don’t think this is for me/ I don’t think I can pull it off/ I don’t think this is very practical’. Only does this put a smile on my face? Yes? Then of you go in your feather platforms.
Story time- this outfit was taken in a lake near where my friend lives full of fishermen camping for the weekend. Here we were, me in my bronze metallic bomber jacket, her in a bright Burgundy faux fur, both definitely out of place for the surroundings. We raised curiosity with our spare outfits and our photo kit. And yes while it was slightly embarrassing to be posing in front of old men in cameo jackets wondering what the hell we were doing, it was also bloody hilarious and we quickly shook it off and had a laugh even if we nearly stepped in a box full of worms.
So here you go. It might sound all very superficial but if you can unshackle yourself from the burden of judgment for what you wear, then surely learning to be confident in your own choices and not worrying so much about what other people might think of your career or your lifestyle choices will come slowly but surely. At least that’s what I’m hoping for and will strive to work on. And thanks to books like “You do You”, it is always worth remembering that not only there is nothing wrong with us but that we should be flying our freak flag high and proud:
“Acknowledging and acting on your own weirdness gives you power. How? Because not only does acceptance breed confidence, confidence itself is disarming. Why? Because people are easily manipulated. (What? It’s true.) And doing anything on purpose, with purpose, is the best way to hide in plain sight.“- Sarah Knight, You Do You.
Till next time,
Jacket : New H&M Bronze Padded Jacket
Trainers Stan Smith Adidas