It’s amazing what finding my personal style has done for my mental health. I know it sounds stupid, hear me out for a second.
I have always liked dark colors, skinny jeans, dark makeup, leather, dark hair, tattoos and piercings, etc. But for years I tried so hard to be what everyone wanted me to be – clean cut, preppy, feminine.
A few months ago I threw out everything that wasn’t dark colored, and added a lot of black to my wardrobe, especially for work. I dyed my hair black with a really choppy (my stylist calls it rocker hair) haircut. I got my nose pierced, as well as my rook and daith over the course of the next few months.
It was summer, so when I wasn’t at work I ran around in mostly shorts and a black t-shirt or tank top and Chucks, with the occasional sundress thrown in. Now that fall is here, tank tops are not the name of the game. So I bought sweaters for work for the fall, winter, and early spring, and with some help from Amazon personal shopper went on the hunt for a few good pairs of jeans, a pair of boots, and some decent tops that are stylish, a little edgy, and comfortable. I also started using heavy black eyeliner as my go-to makeup in the morning. This week I really started playing with some of the eyeshadows I have and doing really some really dark makeup looks (think Eva Green in Casino Royale).
And guess what – I don’t think I’ve ever felt better about my appearance. And aside from my mother (who hates pretty much all of it), I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from people that I know won’t bullshit me.
But it’s amazing how much better I feel when I’m more comfortable in how I look. I know I stand out in the sea of soccer moms and probably scandalize little old ladies, but for once I don’t care. I’m actually enjoying being in my own skin rather than blending in but feeling like a fraud. At the end of the day I like the way that I look, I have more confidence, maybe because I’m not trying to blend in? But I’m finding not only do I feel more confident, but I’m acting more confident. I don’t feel like a scared little church mouse hoping that people will like me. It’s more along the lines of “this is who I am and I really don’t give a shit if you like it.” We went out to dinner with friends the other night where we met a friend’s boyfriend. Over the course of the night Mike called me his “punk rock princess” which, if you’ve ever listened to Something Corporate, made me swoon, and the boyfriend told me I wasn’t what he expected – he figured I was some preppy, uppity, suburbanite when what I really was was a goth-emo queen. Again – swoon.
I think that one of the major things that I’ve learned this year is that you can’t please everyone, so there’s no use in trying. Not everyone is going to like me, and that’s fine, but shouldn’t I at least give people the opportunity to know the real me?
I feel like I’ve been on this journey for awhile, and I’m just starting to get toward the end.
So yeah, mental health hasn’t been this good in awhile. Life, in general, is good. I know there will be trials and tribulations to come, but for now, I’m enjoying it. And if people don’t like it (I’m looking at you, mom) – tough.
Now, I’m off to hunt for some faux leather either leggings or skinny jeans. If anyone has a rec on a pair that won’t cost me a kidney, let me know.
Stay safe, friends!