Beanie: Borrowed (Brand: Supreme), Necklace: eBay, Tank: Morning Warrior via Nasty Gal, Shorts: Bad Vibes, Tibetan Stone Cuff: c/o Hot Trash Vintage
Nothing says "fun times" like a gathering that includes every member of your immediate family and step-family, your boss(es), your old BFF from high school who you haven't talked to since MySpace, plus a cast of additional characters reminiscent of a Real Housewives of Orange County meets Sons of Anarchy mishmash. My anxiety leading up to this pre-matrimonial formality was filled with thoughts like "How the fuck are these people going to get along?" and "How did WE ever become friends?" and "Can I get wasted at my own party?"
The smorgasbord of vastly different people who showed up got me thinking. I've assimilated myself among a completely varying slew of personalities over the years, which I look back on and feel sort of odd about. I guess it's because I grew up in an environment that encouraged me to be who my parents wanted me to be. (Which is nothing unique in itself.) But to be cajoled into becoming a scientist/a doctor/a lawyer your entire life by two individuals who (1) wanted to see their daughter in a certain image and (2) wanted me to "use my brains" (as if using your brains meant something strictly academic) is not something that ever really felt right. I was tugged in multiple directions and surrounded myself with completely miscellaneous crowds while I tried to figure out who I wanted to be and who I thought I was.
While the parents did encourage and promote feminist values such as being a successful and financially independent woman, there was always a strong pressure to "look pretty" as a part of that job description. I adhered to that expectation for quite a long time, while woefully gazing at eccentrically angelic women whose beauty lied outside the constraints of conventional female ideals. Tattoos, unkempt hair, clothing not found in department stores...These were all things that were "unpretty" by many sets of standards. They were aesthetic choices that I wasn't "supposed" to admire. It's a strange thing -- to think that you don't like something but then realize that you actually do. And you like it more than what you liked before. And what you liked before you actually hate.
I can't help but wonder...How much of who you are is expressed by your choice of appearance? What does your image say about what your priorities and values are? I believe it says quite a lot. In a really old, old post of mine I talked about something like this. About how people dress for comfort, function, job description, sex appeal or self expression (well, maybe sex appeal is a form of self expression). In my case, the urge to dress in a way to publicly express who I am is strong and unyielding. It's part of who I am and it has played a ridiculously huge role in my journey of self-actualization.
I've long shaken off the old preferences to looking like a teenage Barbie doll, but I haven't shaken off the importance I place on my appearance. My outfit can affect my mood, my attitude and the way I experience any given day. Maybe this is something that people never talk about or maybe most people don't even think about this stupid shit. What can I say...I guess I just can't help it.