Here we are once again. Not much to start off with so I think we'll roll straight into it.
The tile of this blog is inspired by a lyric from the song Could Have Been Me by The Struts.
Shall we crack on?
First of all, I apologize for any spelling mistakes in this, I can only do so much so bear with me.
I kind of want to talk about fashion today. No idea where this has come from so just go with me, I'm sure it'll all make some kind of sense towards the end of this post. If not, then at least you get a little more insight into my little bubble of a life. Win-win all round.
I feel as though what we wear has a big influence on how the world sees us. We're constantly judged by how we look, what brands we are wearing and whether or not something suits us. This makes life very difficult in my opinion and I think that's why I have never taken much interest with how I look. As a child I was in combat trousers and t-shirts, I was very much a tomboy as I grew up with three older brothers. Even now I still wear the same stuff. I dress for practicality and to feel comfortable. I mainly do this because I'm out and about a lot of the time, I have to battle with the elements so it’s far easier to shove some jeans on and a jumper or hoodie of some kind and off we go. As there are times I suffer with panic attacks and times when I don't feel right within my own skin, I tend to layer up and wear more baggy, loose fitting clothes so I can hide easily. I like to disappear into the background, I hate drawing attention to myself. It’s one of my main fears, I'd rather dress boringly than draw any kind of attention to myself.
I've been told several different things about my taste in fashion and two things have stood out for me. A friend once said I have a unique style and another person said there are times when I look frumpy. What the latter means, I truly have no idea, send your answers in on a postcard (actually don't do that, it'd be weird.) I think it means I can look a little old-fashioned and I haven't really made an effort. Which is completely not me. I dress to look presentable, admittedly it's not suited to my age group but I'm comfortable so I don't really see a problem with it. I would rather wear shirts and jumpers, Jeans and converses than wear something like a dress or shorts or strappy tops. I'm simply not comfortable in that kind of thing, it doesn't mean I don't like to look okay when I go out.
However if an occasion comes up where I have to dress up a little more then I will, even if I do find a way around it so I'm comfortable. A good example of this would be my brother's wedding in April. I've found a really nice dress that is everything I want in a dress if I'm honest. One of my biggest things I hate about my body is my collarbone and the tops of my arms and legs. I hate them. That's why I'm forever in jumpers and shirts buttoned up to my throat. I feel a little more safe, no idea why. I'm sure it’s something going back to my childhood that I've shoved to the back of my subconscious. But I think this is the same as any person, be it male or female. We all have parts about ourselves we don't like and that we want to hide away from the public when we're out so we make the good essential first impression. I think as long as you are comfortable with what you're wearing then that's the only thing that matters. Sod what everyone else thinks, their opinion doesn't really matter at the end of the day.
I think it’s safe to say I don't dress like my friends. This is something I have grown both to love and hate over the years. They like wearing shorts with tights and tops that reveal skin whereas I try and cover up as much as humanly possible. I dress for the long run and I don't think that is going to change anytime soon. But it’s made me an individual. I'm known for wearing a jumper over a shirt and fandom merch like my trusty Harry Potter hoodies and my converses. I think if I wore anything different, I'd give people the shock of their lives. I might do that one day before I finish university, rock up in a dress and see what happens.
I want to post a bit of creative writing. This is entitled Scars, I've posted it before in the creative writing section of my website but I love it so much and I think it really goes with what I'm talking about at the moment.
Charlotte smoothed the fabric of her dress, her hands shaking slightly as her fingertips ghosted over the maroon satin. Slowly, she raised her eyes. The girl in the floor length mirror stared back, tear tracks staining her pale face. She crossed her arms over her chest, her hands gripping her skin.
Her mother's hand landed on her bare shoulder. Charlotte sniffed and turned her head slightly.
“I can’t wear it, mum,” Charlotte whispered.
Her mum squeezed her shoulder and placed her other hand on Charlotte’s shoulder.
“They were only being kind, with the very best intentions in their minds. You mustn’t blame them, Charlotte.”
Charlotte stared down at her bare feet, her eyes critically analysing every inch of her exposed skin. Her friends had taken her dress shopping for college graduation. They had all chipped in to buy her a dress, an early birthday present. It’s not every day you turn eighteen is it, they said when they trust the bag into her arms. They wanted her to try it on, they wanted to see what it looked like.
She couldn’t remember what lie she’d told them. She promised to try it on as soon as she got home and Snapchat them all a photo. Now, she stood in her bedroom hating every second. She did like the dress, truly she did. The dress was trim but had a full skirt, it had no sleeves and ended an inch above her knees.
She hated it.
Charlotte felt her mum rubbing her shoulders gently, ignoring the scars on her skin.
“You don’t have to wear it, sweetie. Not if you don’t feel comfortable.”
Charlotte stared at her double, her tear filled eyes grazing over each faded white scar, each angry red mark on her skin. Her mum caught her eyes in the mirror and rested her head against her daughters.
“After all this time, you’re still ashamed of them?” She asked, her arthritic ridden fingers pausing over one practically large scar on Charlotte’s forearm.
Charlotte nodded, tears falling down her cheeks.
“Oh sweetheart,” her mum whispered and pulled her daughter into her arms.
Charlotte buried her face into her mum’s shirt and whimpered quietly.
“These,” her mum said, taking Charlotte’s arm and holding it up to the light, several white scars shimmered. “These show what you’ve been through. They show how strong you are. Charlotte, you’ve been clean for two years, don’t you know how proud I am of you?”
Charlotte raised her head as her mum wiped tears away from her cheeks. She smiled shakily and sniffed as her mum planted a kiss on her head.
“You’ve done so well,” her mum said, stroking Charlotte’s hair. “I’m not ashamed of your scars. But if you need to cover them up, then that’s what we’ll do. You don’t have to wear the dress. We can think of something else, perhaps a nice shirt and trousers?”
Charlotte pulled out of her mother’s embrace and turned to face the mirror once more. She rubbed at the scars on her arms. They were part of her, they were hers to keep, hers to remind her of what happened and how far she’d come.
She turned to her mum with a smile.
“I’ll wear the dress,” she said.
I think we have to step out of our comfort zones from time to time. But like in the story, Charlotte can always put a shawl or pashmina or something on to cover the scars on her arms if she feels like she needs to. I've got scars, there's quite a big one above my knee and several small ones on my shoulder when life just got a little bit too much and I need it just to stop for a while. At the time I didn't care, I needed to do something but they healed and you can't really see them anymore but I'll always know that they're there. I'll know the reasons behind them and I know they are a reminder of a darker time in my life. But I lived through it, I came out of the other side and I'm a better person for it as a result, even if I could have handled it in a healthier way. I've been through hell and back and I'm still here, fighting every single day against the demons in my head and sometimes against the rest of the world because of my disabilities. Life carries on. I don't particularly care what people say because they don't know the truth. No one really knows the full story. It takes time, recovery and very good supportive friends for someone to be able to feel comfortable enough to open up about their scars or anything really. Everyone has their own stories to tell and every single one is as important as the next.
Everyone is different. If you feel the need to cover scars or parts of your body you don't like, then do it as long as you feel comfortable. That's all that matters. Wear whatever you want, it's your personality that should matter the most. And if someone comments negatively on what you're wearing then you simply have to tell them "well you don't have to wear it, do you?" That should shut them up. And I think the same goes for makeup as well thinking about it. I don't really wear much makeup, only a bit of powder to hide the shininess that is my face. I can't wear anything on my eyes, I hate anything being near them, freaks me right out. I think it's because I have to have so many eye tests. I always have at least three different kinds of eye drops when I go to the hospital for appointments and I have several tests, retinal photography and looking at the rods and cones in the backs of my eyes, that kind of stuff. It's probably this that's put me off makeup. And again, the fact I'm out in all weathers. It's not worth it, I don't really have the time to sit in front of a mirror for God knows how long applying makeup anyway. People are either going to like my face or not, like my fashion taste. I'm happy with it, so should everyone else I meet.
Really the moral of this blog is to do whatever you are comfortable with. Screw everyone else. As long as you are comfortable and feel presentable for the occasion then you should take pride in what you look like. If you want to wear makeup or not or wear a dress and high heels or jeans and a band t-shirt then good for you. It takes every sort of person to make this world after all. And there will be people who criticise or mock you for whatever you're wearing, just ignore them. If they are that low to pull someone's self-confidence down by commenting negatively on your clothes or makeup then they aren't worth even breathing on them. You probably won't ever see them again anyway, take strength in that. Their stupidity isn't worth your time.
I'll leave you with these quotes.
Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. --Charles Swindoll.
Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. --Les Brown.
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. --Amelia Earhart.
The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. --Ayn Rand.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. --Anne Frank.
Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself.--Harvey Fierstein.
Until the next time.