I feel like outer appearances are given way too much importance. But the thing that bothers me is I feel different depending on what I wear, or how I think I look. If I’m wearing something nice I’ll feel better that day and be a little more confident and relaxed. If im looking messy, or wearing a dirty t-shirt or something I feel sub-par sometimes. I was talking about it with my friends who were in a music video shoot and how one guy was wearing fake Lois V and like hollister, aka lame as hell supposedly…but why should it matter that much what ppl wear. Is it all in my head? Because I know I, and many people, dress to impress. Why does how we look shape how we feel about ourselves and others? Or does it?
Appearances matter for those that judge people by appearances.
Paranoid people look at other people a lot. Look back, you’ll see.
But, appearance is about expression, it starts from the body.
The most beautiful women are always going to be the ones expressing natural femininity just by the way they move.
I’m completely disregarding clothes that wear people. ( I know there are a lot of dumbasses on the site so I should explain that I did not say ‘people wearing clothes’ )
@emmaclaire, Thank you! (: yeah I’ve thought about going without quite a few times, but I always end up putting some on. I don’t even know why really. I usually wear quite a bit I guess. Foundation, eye shadow, liner, and mascara. But I was planning to probably start just doing a more natural look until I get more comfortable with wearing less, like you said. I really have been wanting to though. Putting on makeup takes a lot of time and I would love to be completely confident in myself without having to try. Thanks again!!
@emmaclaire, Thanks for that Emma. I learnt something new with that :) What I find facinating is that many of these things women and men do are not known to themselves. Most women have NO idea why they wear makeup or dress like they do. Much of it is a instinct of some kind.
im in an interesting..and honestly, pretty darn sad, if you think about it..situation. i used to HATE wearing makeup and i didnt ever do anything with my hair, and i felt great and happy and free. but the guy im dating–he is not attracted to girls with a natural and “hippie vibe” (that is what HE calls it, not me!) and he always wanted me to wear makeup/part my hair to the side instead of the middle/wear high heels/wear black when we went downtown/go tanning/get my nails painted. i resisted it for three years. but damn its hard when i see him checking other girls out that fit his “ideal”. so i have to confess.. ive kind of changed to fit more into that category. am i pathetic or what? im really sad and kinda mad at myself when i think about it.
@lennui, You’re not pathetic at all. Don’t put yourself down like that. Sometimes we change for the people we love. I cannot say whether it was right or wrong for you to do this, but if it really matters to you maybe just be up front with him. Tell him you like how you naturally look and you would feel better if he just accepted you the way you are. Just don’t put yourself down :)
@lennui, So how did you start dating? Sounds strange that he dated someone he did not find attractive?
Be you. If he does not like you then moulding yourself into a doll will only make yourself unhappy.
Maybe this is just how some people do it. I guess many/most girls mould themselves to fit into a situation. It’s a shame. I sometimes feel that being a individual is frowned upon these days.
@lennui, when looking for your next parter;
find someone who brings out your natural feminine flirtish being. Then he gets to enjoy your true inner feminine beauty and you give back by collaborating to the stream of his masculine energy. Together it forms the ying & yang synergy that passes any society imposed beliefs.
Phew. This is a big one. In your question, you’ve focused mainly on clothing. I would say that for people, how they think they “look”, and how they “look” and perceive others comes down to a whole lot more than just fashion. It’s a cool place to start though.
Why does how we look shape how we feel about ourselves, and others? For me, my personal response to how I perceive “I look”, is not only didacted by positive feedback from others, especially in the public sphere.
It wasn’t always this way for me though. To give a slightly throwback example, when I was a teen, I often went to great lengths and efforts to curate my image to serve/belong to the group I was identifying with at the time. Yeah, I went through a scene kid stage, for example. In retrospect, the mullet cut probably didn’t serve me as well (it hair cut itself was freaking atrocious, seriously) as it served the “image” of the early 00’s Western teen, but it did serve me in providing a visual cue to others around assumed shared values and tastes in media, and gave me a sense of belonging amongst other counter culture peers. You mentioned that when you are wearing something nice, you are more likely to be more confident. and that when you are wearing a dirty shirt you’re more likely to feel “sub- par”, below average. Are you setting the bar for what’s normal, or average for you? Or are others? It does make me wonder though… does how you look shape how you’re feeling? or maybe, does how you’re feeling also shape how you “look”? reflect it, perhaps? sometimes, how one looks can be symbolic of how one is feeling, and surely the two might feed into, and then compound the other? They are surely quite connected, and one can create a feedback loop between the other. When I’m going through stress or sickness, or have had an upset with a friend or lover, I feel quite wretched. Sometimes, I wear the same comforting old shirt or baggy dress and don’t focus so much on my usual self nurture, love and care. Probably cause I’m not feeling as free as a bird and connected to the moment as I’m here to do. Other times, when I’m having a more challenging time and want to improve my mood and my moment and I’m alone, I actually consciously take the time to clean and cleanse, have a long hot bath, moisturise or even simply put on a silky or organic feeling item of clothing that makes me feel grand, beautiful and embodied. Strangely, it can make me feel more connected to that BEYOND ME and to all the big, grand, cosmic chaos magic. Super loved, and super present. In the past when I’ve been going through these times, I sometimes overcompensated after that by wearing heavier makeup, or sometimes spend more time crafting my clothing & appearance to boost my sense of “self” and act as a visual cue for myself when interacting with others. It certainly can make me feel more confident and present, but when I’ve been having a hard time, I’ve noticed that sometimes it can make me feel like I’m being less authentic with my true experience and more performative, y’know, like I’m using the clothing as a cloak, as well as a cue for myself and others to curate and try to control how I am striving to be perceived in that moment. I mean, it makes sense, right? Especially when we are people who have obligations, and sometimes feel hectic messy feelings that make us uncomfortable. Sometimes, I just gotta show up and do the damn thing! So yeah, beyond the practical reasons for clothing (it can get nippy!), I think fashion is really just a sensory stimuli for the observer – either for the one wearing, or the one seeing it upon the person- that acts like any cue does, and says as much about the wearer as the see-er, depending on their individual response to it. I guess beyond the wearer’s internal mindscape, it more often that not suggests things about the wearer’s cultural “beliefs” and identifying traits, interests, status, or even what role they are playing at the time in the case of uniforms or the public sphere. And more importantly than all that, I think clothing says A WHOLE DAMN LOT about the values and interests of the society or environment in which it’s worn – and can act as a symbol. This one’s a cliche, but I feel it suits (forgive the pun). Have you ever wonder what the deal is with a tie? They’re everywhere! Rituals and routines such as work, funerals, weddings are decored with people wearing them, and it’s become a symbol of a functioning, contributing modern man. As a woman, I haven’t had to personally fuss with one too much. I for one, still can’t shake the subliminal association with a noose. My understanding is that ties were created by this French King in the 17thC as uniform for his mercenaries (this is way before buttons.. I think?). It ensured their shirts stayed up as they were slaying the shit outta enemies on the battlefield. It was pretty practical for the acts they were performing, I guess. Anyway, without getting into a wild character assassination, including him exiling his own mother and his sanity being questioned, the guy clearly was crafty and he had an eye for style (he is known to have been kinda chuffed by the appearance of his men). Anyway, couple of centuries, world building, advertising and masculinity symbol making later and the tie is much more than military uniform, though I guess in a way the tie is still a symbol of the wearer’s perceived status, contribution and functionality in society… and perhaps their subscription to its norms. I guess the real distinction starts with how much importance/significance one places on other’s perception of our appearance, for starters. The second, would be that it depends on WHO (I, or you? and what role are you playing?) is doing the LOOKING in WHAT CONTEXT. For me, how I look, how I feel, and how I might PRESENT to others are linked but not necessarily identical. When I look at you, am I seeing me, or you (or maybe, an “other”)?
People today expecially young adults are so superficial that it is scary. Nobody makes friends or gets to know them anymore. I get to know people by their character, not there actractiveness. I feel that one can have a since of modesty and look good. The way one carries themselves and how they conduct themselves is how it should eb and indeed in the right groups it is. “Society” and pop culture expectations are just a way to become like everyone else with no real human values and character. I’ll dress in rags and hang out with the homeless and disenphranchised before I sell my morals and become a sheep.
I am very inspired by what you say. to summarize how it resonates with me I never really like makeup all that much either but there’s just SOO MUCH PRESSURE to wear it and buy new clothes and get a fake tan. About a year ago I had an existential crisis and dropped out of college to go work on a farm in Hawaii, that was the turning point for me to stop suppressing my authentic feelings in order to keep within my comfort zone. I am still struggling to get past this part of my self acceptance tho. In the summers in a wild land fire fighter so I work with all men every day and obviously don’t wear any make up or do my hair and I feel great however after summer when I go to my waitressing job I feel like j absolutely cannot show up without a painted face and I’ve just recently been looking into dying my hair and tanning and I’m in here like WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!! It’s just so scary to take the step and I find it hardest for myself when I visit my friends in the city and they are totally into their own outer appearance so I feel like they’re also measuring my value off of my beauty and possessions.