Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fashion Liberation

I was born with glitter in my veins and sequins in my brain. It was a rare sight for me to have been seen in something other than fluffy dresses or neon colored leggings when I was a little girl. I treated each day as a new adventure in fashion and surrounded myself with all things glamorous. My parents were very open minded in allowing me to express myself through acts of fashion and were very encouraging in letting me pick out my own clothes to wear to school, no matter how unmatched or ridiculous my choices may have been. I was completely free in my fashion, which made me feel like I could do anything I wanted to in the world. I put all of my energy into the my clothing choices and even though I just was a small child, I knew that I didn't want to dress like anyone else. I was a strange, unique little kid who's mind was orbiting around another planet in a faraway galaxy. In other words, much like I am today. However, It's been a long journey for my fashion obsessed soul, as I've ran into a few struggles when it comes to maintaining me freedom in fashion.

When I was in junior high, all the girls in my class were reading Seventeen, Teen People, and various other magazines catered towards young adolescent females. Like any other awkward middle school kid, the only thing on my mind was fitting in with my peers. Middle school is a strange time in one’s life—it’s the departure from childhood and the first of many years in one’s development towards adulthood. For me, it was probably the worst stage of my life. I was incredibly shy and a complete social outcast. The level if immaturity around me was at an all-time high, I didn’t have any true friends, I was a major band geek, and I was very insecure. I had absolutely no bravery to be myself so I did my best to blend in with those around me. I had lived for fashion as a child, but since no one in my class seemed to be very fashionable, I convinced myself that it wasn’t important anymore.

The general style for girls in my class was athletic footwear, sweatshirts, and jeans.  Even though that kind of attire was truly not my taste, being like everyone else had suddenly become the most important thing in the world to me, so that too became my style. 

As I made the transition from eighth grade to high school, I was still afraid to venture off the path of normality and be my true self. I had just turned 14 and felt as if I didn’t fit in anywhere. But it was one day in my freshmen year of high school that changed my entire growing up experience, and it was all thanks to my mom. She ordered me a subscription to InStyle Magazine. She had picked me up from school that day, handed me the magazine, and I began to carelessly flip through the pages as we were driving home. It took a few minutes before I realized that this magazine was nothing like anything I had ever seen before.

We arrived home, and I immediately went to my room to study the magazine a bit more carefully. Every page was filled with pictures and articles of high end fashion. Living in a town with a population of 500 people, the pictures I flipped through in my magazine were definitely not something I was used to seeing at all. The designers, the models, the heels, the pictures from the various fashion weeks—it was like I had discovered a whole new world that’s sole purpose at that moment was to save me. I was used to Seventeen and Teen People where the pages were filled with pictures of teenage girls and tips on extremely terrible topics like “how to make your crush like you” or “prom fashion”—things I thought I should care about, but really didn’t. I had become so preoccupied with trying to fit in with those around me that I had completely lost all traces of who I was deep inside. I don’t know how or why my mom had gotten me a subscription to InStyle, but it was just what I needed at that time in my life. It made me realize how unhappy and lonely I was. I was trying too hard to fit in with people who didn’t care about me and had sacrificed my entire sense of self in the process. The magazine brought my true love back into my life; fashion.  It opened my eyes to the world around me and allowed me to understand that the most important thing in the world was being myself. It was weird, it was my own sense of fashion, and it was me. From that moment on I began to rediscover myself. I made new friends, found my own style, and was learning to be more confident in myself and not be ashamed of the things I was interested in.

It wasn’t until my senior year of high school in which I had finally discovered and accepted my true identity. I spend all of my time surrounding myself with various fashion magazines, art, and music. I was never invited, nor had I felt a desire to go to any high school parties. The idea to try and fit in with my peers was far gone, and I was happy with myself. The girl who used to be afraid to express herself in fashion was now showing up in leopard printed leggings with stiletto heels to first period English. I’m positive that all the other kids in their signature jeans and sneakers thought I had lost my mind, and they were right. I had lost my mind; I had lost it in fashion, as that was right where it belonged.  

Fashion has always existed deep within my soul. As I look back on the years of my life in which I struggled with my own identity, I realize how confused I was without fashion at the surface of my daily life. I’ve found my freedom in fashion. It’s how I express myself, it’s the world I live in, and it's what pumps through my veins. Fashion is essential for my very existence. If someone told me I was never allowed to enjoy fashion, think about fashion, or execute my own personal style ever again, I wouldn’t want to live.  I would much rather die than live in a world in which the very core of my existence does not exist.  

From the runways of Paris Fashion week to the pictures in Vogue, fashion brings me to life.  It’s a fantasy, and the fantasy of fashion has become my reality. I think it’s important to start this blog with a reflection on my struggles in finding my identity in fashion rather than the easy roads that have led me there.  Struggles build character and give us a deeper appreciation for the things in our lives. Fashion takes courage, and some people go their whole lives without possessing the courage to fully execute their true visions of fashion, and that breaks my heart.

If there’s anything I want to accomplish with this blog, it’s to allow people to free themselves through fashion. Weather that be through the actual clothes they wear, the magazines they read, or the styles they admire, fashion is an unlimited realm of freedom and expression that we all deserve in our lives. It’s important to note that style is the single most significant factor in fashion. We’re all unique beings with our own sense of what we consider beautiful in fashion. The only rule is to wear what you love and possess the confidence to freely express yourself through your own personal style, as you don't need the approval of anyone else but yourself.

1 comment:

  1. This love of fashion really comes from the heart and from your lead onto re-telling your journey toward fashion is engaging and filled with the marvelous love you have for the world of fashion.