"What the f*** are you wearing?!"
I get that a lot. Ever since four years ago when Lady Gaga taught me I can stop giving a damn what people think of me and stop following the crowd. I think my this-is-my-style-deal-with-it outfit was a non-uniform day in year 10:
Minus the strange makeup and blue highlights though (this is a more recent photo; last year methinks...).
From that moment on, I started to come out of my shell more - I felt like myself for a change, and it was the best feeling ever, weird looks or no weird looks. My mum was great, so supportive of my newly found fashion sense (probably because before then I used to hate shopping so she hadn't been getting the girly days out she'd always dreamed of). She even gave me some of her clothes from like the 80s. Like this blazer for example:
I can't tell you how much I love that jacket. My mum has always been my best friend, and while all my other friends were a bit...taken aback by the way I had started to dress (with braces and ties and unusual leggings), my mum was so encouraging. As long as my mum is happy with what I am wearing, I don't care what others think, because I know that I don't look a mess, or as some people would call it, slutty.
Although I do get a lot of stares out in the streets, and back home I did get a lot of comments along the lines of, "What the fuck is she wearing?" I have also had a lot more people tell me how they admire me for being myself. In fact it's rather odd how when I tried to fit in I was the "weirdo" and the "freak", and now that I dress wacky and just embrace my inner loon, I'm just...Claire. I was still Claire at prom as well. I hated shopping for prom - my mother would thrust all these stupid dresses under my nose and okay some of them were nice, but I wouldn't be caught dead in them. Prom is supposed to one of the best days of your life, the wrap up to years and years of turning up to lessons and working hard to get the grades you want. It's supposed to be fun, and wearing one of those dresses would not have been fun. So I went for something I would be comfortable in: a jumpsuit.
...and I didn't look any less formal than the others, did I?
I'm not saying that you should show your true identity through clothes - after all maybe your fashion sense is justconsidered the norm, or maybe you don't give a monkey tush what you wear. I'm just saying that you shouldn't try to be something you're not. For far too many of my school years I tried to be someone I wasn't, and it just didn't work out.
I also hope that this post has opened people's eyes that the whole 'coming out' thing doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a closet. Okay, so some people are gay or bi or transsexual or whatever and they should feel comfortable to be that way, but straight people also have to embrace who they are.
The way I dress is my way of expressing myself every day; my body is my canvas to paint (not that I'm considering inking myself anytime soon), and all those other quotes that talk about the freedom to do what you want to your body. As far as I know, my fashion does not offend anyone and my outfits are not revealing or inappropriate for the places I go to. Whenever I did practical in Engineering during GCSEs and A levels I wore the type of clothing that engineers are expected to wear for health and safety reasons - apron, strong and sturdy shoes, goggles, etc - and whenever I worked as a waitress at Ribby Hall I wore the uniform as it was supposed to be worn and didn't have any jewellery or nail polish on. I'm not a rebel, merely different: Suis Generis.
Do any of you embrace being different in some way? Maybe you have your own fashion sense as well, or maybe you have a hobby that isn't considered the norm. Or maybe you just know someone like this. Whatever it is, let me know!
Also, don't feel you have to hold your tongue if you have any criticism. I value everyone's opinion, so feel free to leave yours in the comments section.
Oh, and everyone: keep smiling!