You are DOING IT.
If you're confused see this entry.
NOW spurred by Marianne's piece at XOjane. Yes, I suspend my XOjane embargo to read Marianne.
Let us examine some of the few recentish outfit pictures I have.
Now before I post these, can we not talk about my weightloss? I will probably talk about it at some point but, I'm still feeling very weird and confused by it so I don't want that to be the focus. I am still fat, just a smaller fat.
As Marianne could be known by her stripes and fabulous hair, I can be known with my casual office gothness.
This outfit is pretty typical of how I prefer to dress when the weather is cool. The wrap top was thrifted years ago, the camisole is from the Fred Meyer's lingerie clearance section, the socks from sock dreams and the boots from Ross. The skirt from my first Deb Shops Purchase.
You see my silly America's Next Top model broken doll pose.
What always makes me laugh when it comes to how I dress day to day is that I am not quite the fancy goth. Also often at a fast glance there's isn't anything odd about how I dress, often I will see people take in the boots, the tall socks (often stripey) the metal in my face, and right now the almost ass length multi colored extensions and I get that wtf are you doing look.
Now what makes an outfit isn't just style, it' snot even the things like fit and how big your ass is.
Look at Marianne in her outfits, look at me in mine.
What we have in common is that neither of us, when you look at us gives a hot fuck about what you have to say about our outfits.
That is what makes an outfit.
One of the thinsg I have learned through my fancy goth phases, my trashiness (slips as outerwear yes PLEASE), weird shit I've worn, age inappropriate things, daytime inappropriate things etc etc is that regardless of how many people are looking, I still feel good if I'm not plucking at my skirts or kind of shuffling my feet around.
My rule for what I do and don't wear is very very simple.
If I can walk, stand and whatnot without having the urge to cover, tuck, adjust etc etc or project discomfort I'm good.
I learned at an early age because I was a black child in a place with not a lot of Black children, that people are going to look at me. Sometimes they are going to gawp, sometimes they will point, sometimes I will watch them look at me, or watch me and whisper behind their hands to other people.
That was even before I started wearing funny clothes or having funny hair.
Back then, that made me awfully self conscious. I was conscious of my skin, of my size (as a kid smaller than other kidlets), I was self conscious about my long hair up in afro puffs or big fat braids, I was conscious of everything.
I spent a lot of time trying to blend in. Trying to be invisible. Trying to avoid the undue notice of people because I was concerned that I made them uncomfortable.
Our society reinforces that.
Now think about that.
How fucked up is it that we are taught to hold the concerns of strangers, that we should not be comfortable in our own skins or our clothes or with our freaky hair color choices, so people are comfortable looking at us.
Not knowing us. Not caring for us. We are supposed to want to make other people feel okay with how we present ourselves, more than we want to present ourselves in ways that bring us joy.
I had a very hard realization about that once.
I was in high school and I had this autumnal rayon color blocked suit jacket. I liked to wear it with a camisole underneath, a short black skirt, black pantyhose and a little pair of black velvet kitten heels.
That outfit made me feel grown up, powerful and sexy. it was one of the first thing I owned that put a swing in my hips. When I passed reflections of myself my back got straighter, my booty went out and I Stomped.
Until one grown ass woman told me I looked like a slut.
In five seoncds of asshole behavior, she stomped all over something very beautiful and very important.
She shit on the tender little flower buds of self confidence, of self assurance, of me figuring out the intersection between my body as it was and how I wanted people to see it, she stomped on the wonder of feeling beautiful and powerful.
Because she thought my skirt was too short.
I wish I could go back in time and pat Baby Shannon on the butt and say, fuck that stupid lady she was wearing ugly shoes.
There were more incidents like that, often coming from adults who for one reason or another did not like my aesthetics my body or the fact that I was not visibly ashamed of my teenaged chubby body but that one really started a long period of me questioning my instincts.
Instead of me having the opportunity to flex those muscles and learn how to wield the might of giving no fucks, I had to learn that I was the problem.
When I got a bit older, I remember another incident.
I was maybe 19 or so and out shopping or something wearing my favorite outfit. I had platform boots, fishnets, a leopard print slip dress (that I MOURN not having more of to this day), a little sparkly cardigan, purple hair, glitter on my face and a big black ugly purse. Someone told me I looked tacky. I remember distinctly looking at the woman, smiling sweetly and saying OH THANK YOU.
It was a turning point.
Since that day, when not working jobs with strict dress codes or uniforms I have merrily wandered around wearing whatever the fuck I fancy.
I have things like this magenta sequined a line mini skirt (I think it had been part of a dance team uniform or something), platform leopard print high heels, tattered almost see through black slips, cut off shorts with slits to the waistband with cowboy boots, all manner of make up, titties out, big ass hams out. Whatever makes me feel happy and comfortable.
For about a 1 year period I tried to dress "normal".
it was a miserable failure.
Sometimes when getting dressed I was in tears.
I cried because I hated the things I was wearing. They didn't feel like me. They didn't look like me and I walked around with my shoulders slumped and my head down.
I stopped and felt better.
So my darlings, here is the big point.
Given how many things in our world suck and how miserable we can feel for any number of reasons, why add one you don't have to?
In my world, the things I wear not only show the world a part of my personality and soul. They arm me.
My big winged liner, and all black outfits, and lip ring, and gauged ears and the boots and the extensions and the black lipstick and the painted nails and the beat face are all pieces of an intricate self defense system.
For people who wear uniforms to work or work in places where you can't wear anything too weird here's my solution for you.
Have to wear black pants? Wear some crazy socks. Wear crazy underwear. Wear a skeleton hand necklace and tuck it under your shirt at work.
Buy a blue lipstick and put it on going out the door.
It's not so important what you wear but that you love it.
Now my darlings I will leave you with this.
In this instance, fuck other people. Fuck their feelings. Fuck their opinions.
Your body, your presentation is not here for them it's here for you.
Play with how you present your gender, wear weird eyebrows, wear a cocktail dress and a ratty ass cardigan.
Decorate yourself with ribbons and coffee filters if you want to.
Do it for you. Get your armor on and go forth into the world with your head held high because you are perfect.