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The Many Sides Of Me

1 May

Do not watch the above video if swearing offends you!

I have, hmm, 4 distinct clothing styles right now, I’d love to have more but can’t afford to, shrug. I’ve noticed that each clothing style corresponds with a noticeable change in how I act, in how my personality shines through lol 😛

Something I learned in film school is that we use our clothing choices like armour, what we wear shows the world who we are, and that in turn dictates how people treat us and to some degree how we treat others. Obviously there are many other factors at play but I’m focusing on clothing and your “look” only (by “look” I mean hairstyle, makeup, accessories etc).

Over the years your different looks will change as you figure out who you are, so you might go grunge for a while, goth, alternative, punk, bling, hipster or any of the other varied options, they are all valid choices and they will all help you to express who you feel you are inside.

But what happens when the clothing starts to define you and your actions to such a degree the “look” stops being something that you choose so you can show off a part of your personality and instead dictates to you what part of your personality you will show?

I like to wear black, a lot of black, with leather wrist bands that are studded with metal, I like thick chains for my necklaces, I like to accessorize with skulls and crossbones, I like dark eye makeup and pale skin, I like buckles on my black leather boots and if I could afford it I’d own a motorcycle. This is how I always want to look, but I can’t always look like that because I have a life that has varied interests and activities, shrug. So this version of me doesn’t get to come out nearly as often as it used to. When it did though, I was bad ass, I could handle anything, I could confront anybody about any topic, I could hold my ground, I could fight if needed, I could stare down a person so they’d not even approach me, I felt like I had power, like I was different enough from the norm I stood out and was very clearly not a sheep. Or at least all of that is how my look made me feel.

But what about when I work out? Obviously I’m not going to dress like that!

So, when I go hiking, or to dragon boat practice, or running, or to the gym, or walking with friends, or bike riding or any of the other sporty activities that I do I dress differently. I wear yoga pants, and runners, and sports bras, and a t-shirt that is meant to get sweaty, and my hair is pulled back, I have little to no make up on, maybe I’ve thrown a baseball cap on my head, I’m as far away from the girl in black as I can be. When I dress like this I act differently then the girl in black does. I’m friendly, I am competitive, I don’t care if I’m sweaty cause I’m working out, I’m all about getting out there, doing stuff, finding the next activity, enjoying the fresh air.

But what about when I am chillin at home?

At home I’m all about comfort, I’m all for the over sized sweat pants and t-shirts, usually with an over sized hoodie thrown over top for good measure. I wear thick comfy socks, my hair is pulled back in a messy ponytail and my bangs are clipped back with barrettes cause I don’t want to be annoyed by them. You can’t tell what shape I am because my clothes make me look like a lump, I may or may not have makeup on. When I’m dressed like this I am lazy, I’m tired, I want to be left alone to watch tv, or read a book, or go online,  I’m anti-social and I like it that way. I don’t care about what I’m doing tomorrow, hell, I’m not thinking past the next half hour, I’m a hermit who doesn’t like being outside.

Hey now, you hafta pay rent somehow! What about when I’m at work?

Work is where I am farthest from myself, if anyone ever questions my acting ability they should come see me at work, acting at its finest! I wear business casual clothes, stressing the casual part of that! In summer I wear a lot of dresses, they are easy outfits and the residents like them – they are of a generation where women wore dresses and skirts more often, shrug, I’ve found my being in dresses and skirts makes them feel more comfortable…that and the guys like looking at my legs lol. I’m wearing patterns, and florals *shudder*, cute ballet style shoes with bows on them, my hair is loose and straight, my makeup is light and natural. I smile a lot, laugh a lot, am super cheerful and helpful and patient. I have time for everyone and make sure everyone I deal with feels they have my undivided attention when I am speaking with them. I fix various things, and explain and re-explain the answers to the same tech questions weekly, I am quick moving and sweet and have been emotionally adopted by every resident in there to the point that it sometimes feels like I have 79 grandparents. I am empathetic, sympathetic and if there is an emergency I run like the wind and take care of the resident in need right up to the point the paramedics get there and take over. I nurse wounds, provide a hand to hold when someone is in pain, am that familiar reassuring face, somehow I make them feel protected.

Oh I lied, I have a fifth look, my out with friends look.

It is a toned down version of the girl in black. Same black leather boots with buckles, same tendency to wear black, and skulls, and black leather wrist bands with spikes, but toned down a bit. So, if I wear the wrist band, I’ll leave the chunky chain jewellery at home. It’s a way to feel a bit like myself while not going overboard and freaking my friends out, shrug.

So, with each of these outfit styles how I feel about myself and how I interact with the world changes. Some things remain no matter the look I wear, I will always stand up for myself, get easily irritated and have a snappy sarcastic comeback (shrug, sarcasm is in my blood lol) but other reactions are different, depending on the look. For example, today I was hiking and passed a guy with two pit bulls, I made a comment about him having beautiful dogs, he thanked me, we smiled as we went our separate ways. Not a big deal. Had I crossed paths with him on a sidewalk and I was dressed in my black/skull/leather combo I might have glanced at the dogs and admired them but wouldn’t have said anything. Why? Because in that look I am more anti-social, shrug.

When do our various looks stop showing off who we are and start restricting us? Start defining us more than we define the look? There is nothing stopping me from being anti-social when I’m dressed in my athletic clothes, and yet I am friendly when dressed like that, competitive, but friendly. Just like I am not friendly when dressed in black and skulls. I’m the same person, with the same likes, dis-likes, hopes, dreams, pet peeves but I don’t act like it…or maybe it’s that the really important parts of my personality act the same no matter the outfit (like sticking up for myself) but the less cemented parts shift as the look changes? When I get dressed I feel like I am putting on a character and while in that outfit I stay that character, maybe that’s an actor thing? or a me thing?

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