Many people have commented over the years about the confidence I must have to dress the way I do and be so unapologetic about it. I always loved alternative styles of dress, loving anything spooky and anything alternative from a very young age.
I love making an impact.
At school I was a weird kid, I loved darkly inclined things, I wanted to dress like Maleficent any chance I could get, I rebelled against anything that tried to box me in. Safe to say I did not entirely fit in.
There were many reasons I was bullied but one of the most obvious and easiest reasons for my peers to single me out was to attack my appearance and style. This went on throughout high school. I struggled a lot as through teenage years everyone is going through a lot of insecurity and so a chance of feeling good about myself was slim to none. However, I realised quickly the moments I was happier, and more comfortable in myself were when I was dressed in alternative clothes, expressing myself and going to events to listen to alternative music.
I was a complete dichotomy of a person, I am an introvert mostly and was so cripplingly insecure, but any chance I got I would dress alternatively.
Any dress down days at school I was in gothic velvet skirts, corset tops and band t shirts and stupidly inappropriate footwear. At the time these were all mostly stolen from my sister, much to her annoyance. This increased the bullying of course and I struggled on and off with feeling like it was my own fault, if only I was “normal” I would have an easier life and have more friends. But I knew ultimately, I couldn’t change, it was too deep a part of my identity to change what made me feel comfortable and happy in myself, so I began to work more on reconciling my polarised sense of identity.
I did lose myself for several years, due to an abusive relationship that blurred out three years of my life. I went into that relationship distinct and expressive and came out very confused lost and ill. The months after liberating myself from that relationship brought with it a rediscovery of some of my identity. I started to buy clothes that were much more my style, I started to feel much more myself. By this time, I was at university, where there were so many amazingly wonderful souls, people who were creative and alternative like myself.
I was suffering from a lot of issues around this time, I was five years into bulimia, my anxiety and depression ruled my life, however, society nights where I would go to dance with my friends to music I loved and wear what I wanted was my escapism from all my other issues.
The more I have continued to express myself and let my appearance reflect my internal self the more I have discovered about myself and the more comfortable I have become in my own skin. I have no intent to try and fit in, especially with people who make me question myself.
Nowadays I immerse myself in my daily love of choosing what to wear and taking time to do my makeup and make myself feel more relaxed and more myself with each step.
I walk out my door, with very little thought about how I look and how it may be received. If anyone approaches me it is usually to compliment me which is a lovely feeling to get compliments instead of criticism or worse, violence.
I promise you when you stay true to yourself, against all odds, the world reflects your confidence back to you more often than not.
I’m a proud 28-year-old who works successfully at a demanding career, wears dreadlocks and striking makeup, practices witchcraft, rocks depression and an anxiety disorder and the only sensible pair of shoes I own are my work shoes!
I don’t do shame or guilt anymore…I do me!