HOW I STOPPED FOLLOWING EVERYONE ELSE AND EMBRACED MY PERSONAL STYLE

At a very early age my Mom put me in dance classes. I think that is where my love for beautiful, flamboyant fashion started. Up until I was in Grade 7, I was always wearing “weird” things. Weird in that fact that it was a bit edgier than a t-shirt and jeans. You would find me wearing platform sneakers, snakeskin pants, bellbottoms with faux leopard trim–God, WHAT.A.TIME. Granted, it was the late 90’s/early 00’s, but I for sure would still wear that red velour blazer. It was the perfect balance between Austin Powers and something Lizzie McGuire would wear (so it was SUPER cool).

What I am getting at is that adventurous, confident little girl would eventually abandon herself, and who she wanted to be in order to fit in to what was “cool”. It’s REALLY sad! Unless your story is vastly different than mine (big props to you), and what I know to be a lot of peoples, you changed how you looked to hopefully be accepted by your peers.

Hormones are a bitch. When you’re going through puberty, especially at an age where you are very impressionable, and want to be liked more than anything–the last thing you want is your body to change. At the Elementary school I went to, the Grade 7 students from another school outside of town would transfer as their school only went up to Grade 6. So there was this incoming of new people who I had never met before. They didn’t know me, or what I was all about. They also dressed differently (again more of what was on trend). They also (and I speak of the girls) all had really beautiful silky hair, and this is of course when my stick straight hair started to get really frizzy and curly. It was unruly, frizzy, and downright ugly in my eyes. I remember taking a brush and wetting my hair and making it super slick in hopes that it would be straight. It’s this weird logic at that age that even though your friends are your friends, you think that they will stop liking you and wanting to be your friend if you don’t dress the way you think you are supposed to.

I didn’t embrace my style again till I was in Grade 10. I mean, there were little bits here and there that I would sneak in (lots of sparkles!) but I was always dressing for someone else, and not myself. I reached a point in high school where I thought “I’m better than this”, and not in a cocky way. I just realized that being comfortable in my own skin was more important than impressing people.

Just writing this I think of all the amazing, beautiful people who STILL haven’t found that confidence to be their true selves. There isn’t one resounding rule of what style is. I believe style starts from within. Your personality, your attitudes, your views–its all about honesty, and when you are honest with yourself, thats when you really shine.

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