I really don’t know how the debate all started but somehow we ended up pseudo-arguing about whether Bacne was risky or not. It was as if we were competing on who was the riskiest out of us all, because no matter what risky always sounds way more exciting than boring and safe. Along the way, a comment was thrown to me, something along the lines of, “Oh, but I’m definitely riskier than you.” I weaved in and out of listening for the next few minutes, but suddenly my mind stopped. I reversed back. Stopped. And took a closer look at that comment again. A thought slowly started to form. (My mind usually works faster than that. Like way faster. Imagine the speed of light. But faster. I know your physics teachers all told you it’s the fastest speed, but apparently they forgot to include Lala’s mind power into the mix)
Am I really that non-risky? Will I be forever known as that safe, boring Asian girl?
For a while now, I’ve realized self-perception and other’s people’s perception of you are often quite different. For instance, in high school, my perception of myself was normal, average, and quiet. However, I was surprised when all my friends thought I was weird in high school. Really now? Dang, I must have been born with the weird gene because if I was weird back then, then I must be really weird now. Self-perception is often formed from what you want to see yourself as. But ironically, I didn’t want to see myself as the average nerd girl in high school. I wanted to be different in an artsy-cool way but was too afraid and my self-consciousness always pulled me back into my “safe” shell. And now I’m facing another contradictory perception about risk.
What does risk mean anyways? Does it mean flashing a truck driver? Cheating on a final exam? Running around naked in public? Jumping off a cliff?
If risk means any of these things, than I am definitely not risky. And I would be happy being non-risky. But there is one thing that I will not let my non-riskiness influence me on. And that is fashion.
Perhaps why I was so curiously bothered by that comment was because I think I am rather risky when it comes to fashion and style relative to the people I am surrounded by. Or I self-perceive myself to be anyways. For me, the ultimate insult is to call my fashion sense safe and boring because somehow I translate that to my personality. If I wear to express myself then you are implying that I am safe and boring. Boring is death to me. Like death on a stick.
I may be the wackiest dresser in my suburban neighborhood but when compared to those trendy Euro kids or Japanese cosplayers, they win hands down. It’s all about relativity. Ever since starting college, I encouraged myself to take more risks every morning when choosing what to wear. I took little steps to break out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t forcing myself but I was positively reinforcing my desire to self express through fashion. And that is what I think is so important about taking fashion risks. It’s not about taking risks for the sake of taking risks because that to me just seems like you’re a big mess of attention-seeker. Rather, it’s about taking risks that peel off the layers of your self-consciousness and allow you to open up as an individual.
However, tonight I’ve come to the conclusion, that in the end, it doesn’t really matter what other people think because risky will always be a personal subjective matter. Dressing in total avant-garde may be totally normal for one girl but may be risky for another. Really, taking risks is a personal exploration in defining yourself.
A little list in making fashion risks:
- Wear something that you are automatically gravitated towards. This is often a very easy thing to do because if you like you it’s probably because it resonates with your personality or what you’re trying to express. For example, if you see a cocktail hat that you absolute love but are too afraid to wear it because people don’t wear cocktail hats to school, you should take a fashion risk because it’s for your own personal benefit.
- Don’t hesitate. Just do. Second guessing yourself is a killer. Looking in the mirror over and over again seeing if what you’re wearing will be too different is just going to make you run back into your normal t-shirt and jeans.
- Look for inspiration. It’s everywhere. Just open your eyes and you will find it. Incorporate that into the way you dress.
- Start slow. Taking one risk at a time makes you less self conscious than taking it in all together.
- Be happy with your risks. Don’t wear those funky shoes if you hate them. Wear them because you are happy when walking in them or you smile when you look down on your toes and see your funkadelic shoes.
- Think with your ♥ instead of your mind.
- And if you want to wear a swan dress, I say go for it!! I personally loved Bjork's swan dress. I'm still waiting to find one like it or just waiting for the time to make one. I feel a summer project coming on.
So there goes my sad attempt at giving fashion advice.
Lately, I’ve been feeling stuck and in a runt so I need to be taking some of my own advice. If I were a graph I would be declining right now. Help guys! I need new fashion risks!
Actually. I need to sleep.