I wasn’t always interested in or at all motivated by fashion. I paid hardly any attention to my looks. It wasn’t 'til my late 20s that I began to see my outer appearance as a reflection of my inner myself; it felt good to look good. In my 30s, I began to see my appearance as important to how I presented myself to the world and even began to embrace fashion as an art form.
As a young girl, I always preferred covering my body in baggy clothes - even on the hottest of Miami summers. Yet, I still did what was expected of me by societal standards of beauty. I kept myself groomed properly, as most girls do, as soon as they’re given the sacred rite to a razor - even though you’d have been hard-pressed to spot me anywhere in a bikini. I didn’t hate my body...but I didn’t love it either. Like the saying about one’s environment reflecting their mindset, “a messy bed, a messy head”. Well, my apathy and shyness about my appearance reflected how I viewed myself - not necessary my outer self, but who I was intrinsically. “I’m nobody, don’t look at me,” was the voice that echoed quietly in my head, whispering to others as I averted my eyes at any attention.
What I didn’t realize until recently was that my outer appearance was tied to my thoughts about myself. I now walk into a room with my head held high because I am not nobody. I don’t shave under my arms because I don’t give a goddamn about society’s beauty standards.
My appearance is for ME. It’s how I choose to present myself to the world; it's about who I am and how I want to be treated. I’m not sure I would’ve ever understood that if it wasn’t for the disparity between who I was then and who I am now.
To all of you taking the time to read this, I encourage you to be unabashedly & unapologetically YOU. Personally, this is one of the best gifts I could’ve given myself - even if it took over 25 years. The feeling of validation received from oneself is always better than any compliment or attention that comes from outside yourself. This has been a Public Service Announcement from @everydayinretrograde. Signing off.