Be prepared for stories about me being a trendsetter way before the trend was actually set.
When I was in 9th grade, I carried my books in my arms and a small purse in the crook of my elbow as I rushed to classes. Being 14 at the time, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup besides a small pink tinted cream that was meant to be spread on cheeks or eyelids. Then one day I had found a really sparkly glitter cream shadow in my room. I began curling my lashes in the mornings before school and gently applying some glitter to my eyelids. It was a look! It was glamour! I was 14, serving and ready for everyone in school hallways to admire my daring space-pop-star-style from a distance.
I continued my small makeup routine every morning for about a week or two until the day I was running late and forgot to properly prep my eyelids with the shine and sparkle they had. It was that day a boy pointed out I wasn’t wearing my glitter.
“I like it,” he said casually while eating the sandwich his mom neatly packed that morning. “The glitter kinda made you look like a kid.”
I stopped wearing glitter completely. I didn’t want to sparkle, I wanted to look mature and cool and not like a kid. However, I still loved my glitter and carefully tucked the small compact away in my small, pink jewelry box.
When I was in 10th grade, I adopted a black backpack that had sequins sparkling on the top where it closed. I also began sporting the occasional double denim look. A pair of light blue denim skinny jeans paired with some sort of tank top and a similarly shaded light blue denim jacket.
Again, I felt cool walking the hallways and comfortable in the clothing I chose. Then one day during homeroom, two friends-a guy and girl- made comments about the double denim I was rocking and suddenly I was insecure again. I didn’t want to look weird and if they thought my double denim choice was odd, the rest of the school surely must have thought the same. I took off my jacket after my first class to save myself any more embarrasment and carried my jacket in my arms as I hopped off the school bus and crossed the street to head home.
Fast forward 6 years and you’ll see double denim and sparkly eyelids all over the Instagram explore page. The Kardashians will even wear triple denim- tops, bottoms, and denim footwear- and you’ll have many others following suit in this new trend. Women and men wear fantastically colored eyeshadows and eyeliners, decorated with sparkle, sequins, and lots of glitter. These trends might have been judged before, but now people post their OOTD’s proudly on social media and others will admire their style with likes and comments.
The point of this post was not to proclaim myself as a fashionista who wore these trends years ago (okay, maybe a little), but rather point out that the choices I made to express myself were slightly judged and just a few years later, similar styles are shown, promoted and copied all over clothing sites and social media.
I’m sure my story isn’t the only of its kind out there; many of us have experienced teasing or even just simple comments that made us doubt ourselves and crave assurance and acceptance from our peers more. But the most important thing I’ve realized is that the way we choose to express or style ourselves can only be judged negatively by ourselves. If you feel comfortable in it, feel beautiful and stylish or edgy and cool, wear it. Express yourself and don’t be insecure. Maybe others will think, that’s a weird outfit, but they’re not wearing it so what does it matter to them? And who knows, maybe in a year or two they’ll be wearing a similar outfit to yours and showing it off on Instagram or their snap story.
Just remember, your choices are not weird if they are different. The only thing that is truly weird is when people proclaim negative opinions about the way others choose to express themselves, especially when expression is done in a way with no harm caused to another.