Have you ever looked at someones outfit and thought, ‘wow, what were they thinking this morning?’ I know I have. But the more you look at it, the more you start to understand it, and why they chose it. Maybe that blue jumper actually does ‘go’ with those red socks? Our clothing is a reflection of what we are feeling. To me, “we are what we wear”, can be summed up in the three C’s. Creativity. Career. Culture. These three c’s mould us into the person we present to the world. Just like a turtle in a shell, we can tell the world who we are! This is the way we can show a stranger on the street where we’ve come from, what we work at, and a glimpse of our personality; the most important aspects of our lives. In the words of Karl Lagerfeid;
“Fashion is a language that creates itself in clothes to interpret reality”
Anyone who looks back at their facebook during they early years of being a teenager will probably point out something in the picture which they cringe about. Why did I wear so much black make up? Did I actually think it was alright for my hair to look like that in public Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve totally been there. But at the time it seemed ‘cool’. It seemed ‘the norm’, and it seemed like the ‘in thing’ to do. But do you know what I love most about those embarrassing photos? No one ever told me that I couldn’t plaster my eyes in eyeliner, or wear my hair as high as heaven. No one ever took away my right to look how I wanted to look. I can appreciate that right, because I know that others do not have it. Adolescence is about discovery and expression; learning from mistakes instead of repeating them, and smiling back at the judgemental people who don’t approve of your rainbow coloured socks.
As we grow older, we realise the harsh truth that having neon coloured hair won’t automatically give you a job because of your individuality. We begin to blend to bleak colours. Our uniform is all blue. But there’s nothing wrong with all blue as out uniform is not a sigh of oppression. It is a sign of equality. Likewise in the world of work. Army members have the trademark camouflage colour, and the guards have their signature ensemble. If you saw a civil servant on the street, you wouldn’t pity their lack of colour and rights. No, you would respect them straight away as they’re trying to make the world a better place. They are part of a functioning unit of people whose aim is for the greater good. Judging people on how they look doesn’t always have to be a negative thing. Wouldn’t you like praise if you spent your years abroad fighting for whats right? Wouldn’t you like respect for risking your life each day? Yes, we do. And there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with being part of a community. There’s something wrong with people who negatively judge us.
Many of our habits stem from our parents, or who raised us. Our taste in music, maybe. Or food. And maybe even fashion. Is it true that our own culture contributes to our appearance? Of course it does! Some may wear the hijab according to their religion. Some may only wear dressed and skirts as that’s all they’ve known at home. Some may braid their hair like their ancestors did. Some may braid their hair like their ancestors did. Some may wear a certain hat because it was given to them by someone close to them. It’s irrelevant, but distinguishable. Our culture is such a huge part of who we are. So why shouldn’t we show it? We should all be proud of our roots. You could probably tell an American from a Brit. Their stanse, their hair, their style. Our heritage can be what defines us, if we want it to. We don’t have to shove it down each others throats, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ignore it either. Because, as different as we all are, we are one race on this earth.
So maybe we are what we wear. But our styles can change, just like our personalities do. Maybe you regret wearing that jumper, but at the time you didn’t. Isn’t it so much better to have equality with our uniforms than it is to have unhealthy competition over clothes each day? And isn’t it a proud feeling when someone compliments your clothing or style? In actuality, they’re complimenting you. Your style. Your ability to express yourself. We can be anything, just like we can wear anything. In the wise words from a Lion King,
“One thing nothing can destroy is our pride deep inside we are one”