I have never been a clothing connoisseur. I wear the same tattered Birkenstocks almost every day and live most of my life in a boyfriend tee and denim bottoms. I can't tell you the difference between Calvin Klein or Dior on the red carpet nor do I fully understand the impact Coco Chanel has had on the fashion industry. And I am completely comfortable with these realizations about myself. However, there are some days or even weeks at a time where I feel the interposition of a muse that favours self-expression through a different creative outlet: my daily outfits. I'll wake up one morning, followed by another, and then another after that where I feel compelled to actually put together an outfit with the end-goal of looking cute. While in the moment it feels right and aids in boosting my confidence, I also can't help but feel like I am putting too much emphasis on material objects and valuing something as trivial as a pair of sequin shoes.
If it feels right can it actually be as wrong as my mind makes it out to seem? Or have I been brainwashed by a pocket of my generation to associate any sort of self-care with cockiness and undeserving self obsession? This is something that's been plaguing my mind for years and I'm not quite sure what to make of it. The notion of brains versus beauty is still being perpetuated and my instinct is to fight against it while also, inevitably, falling victim to accepting certain labels for myself. If I am a writer, then I can't swoon over a jewel toned shirt or floral pants. Conversely, if I do want to put some energy into my style and makeup, then I shouldn't expect others to take me seriously as anything other than a "fashionista" or a one-dimensional character in a 90's rom com. Of course, this is crazy, and yet it seems like I am inundated with opinions like these on a daily basis.
What's scary about resigning myself to these secondhand ideas is that I know I am so much more than those two things, yet feel the need to stuff myself into one of them to satisfy a specific norm. I often find that I need to make it easier for others to "get" me and in the process, I lose understanding of who I am. In reality, certain style or makeup choices can bring me closer to an aspect of myself that I didn't know was there or one that I had forgotten about. And I can still dabble in discovering those while also pursuing an ambitious career in any field that aligns with my interests and values.
Going forward, I want to be more open to experiencing life in any way that feels right in the moment, whether that be through my style, my output of creativity, and everything else in between. Labels have weighed heavily on me for almost 30 years and I think it's about time that I shed them and slip into some that are a bit more comfortable.