Who am I?
What is the message I send to the world?
Am I who I think I am?
If we had no clothes how would we express ourselves? And how important would it be to display our inner message to others? Would body marking be the rage? Would we be happier?
I am not my clothes. Never have been. But they do offer clues as to who I am trying to be or who I want to be. And thankfully, it has changed over the years.
What we wear is important in our society as every job or status-role has predefined ideals and standards of what is acceptable and what isn’t. You can think you are a rebel but somehow you are still conforming to a pre-set bunch of rules.
From Hudderites in black and white polka-dots to bikers in leather vests to saffron colored zen robes, there are codes for who we are–and maybe more important– what group we belong to. And in a way they do help hide who we are afraid we aren’t. A uniform can add confidence and bury fear. But for how long?
I have purposely tried to avoid following fashion as dictated by the magazines and instead sought to find my own style. One that represents how I feel about who I am and what I love. But I am still influenced. I love fabric and color and texture. I appreciate beautiful workmanship.
I do want people to understand more about me by what I wear. Years ago, I tried to go super-conservative for work and found myself living a lie. I wanted to belong and to fit in, but I was not who I pretended to be. I needed to let my inner diva out. And when I finally admitted this to myself, I also changed jobs.
I need freedom to be me.
And the outer layers of my clothing do represent a slice of the inner me.
I am grateful to live in a world where we can use clothing as a message to others about a tiny part of us.
And I fear a future world like in sci-fi which has us wearing jumpsuits or matching uniforms. A massive army of clones, afraid to be different. Afraid to stand out. Afraid to take chances and make mistakes. Because I would rather look back at my crazy 80’s shoulder pads knowing that I experimented and took some chances, than have a photo album full of safe and boring outfits to match a safe and boring life.
So yes to self-expression. It’s what living is all about.