If you have ever met me or seen me, I think that you would agree with me when I say that I don’t look my age. Even now, at the ripe old age of 23, I still often get asked what High School I am attending. Delightful (major sarcasm intended), isn’t it? I’ve considered all of the possible reasons for this: my height, the style of my hair, the way I dress, my lacking make-up skills, as well as my genetics. Upon some real reflection however, I have to admit, that some fault definitely lies with me! Growing up, I was your average tom-boy, climbing trees, playing outside, and getting all muddy. Clothes and looking pretty were of no real interest to me. Even to this day I feel more comfortable in a good pair of jeans than in anything else. That’s not to say that I have never tried or wanted to look pretty. Oh no, quite the opposite actually, currently my cupboard is filled with beautiful dresses, skirts and shoes! In fact, clothes, shoes, and shopping in general can be classified as a weakness of mine. You see, the problem doesn’t lie in my lack of style or my ability to put a great outfit together, it lies within my fear of “putting myself out there”… the fear of being judged. That, coupled with the fact that I am either in my exercise clothes, or tracksuit and swimming costume as I drive to and from work.
Growing up in an all girl school certainly had its difficulties; any achievement, conversation, or even movement was commented upon and broken down. By the time High School came around I realised that by taking a back seat and avoiding the spot light, I could avoid the digs and nasty comments made by so-called friends and “nasty girls.” I’ve always been confident and a go-getter despite obstacles and challenges, but I am definitely guilty of letting people get the best of me, and dimming my light (corny I know, but true). I’ve grown up a lot since then, my confidence and personal drive has returned ten-fold, BUT I still feel that somewhere I am missing something. I believe, I truly do, that it lies in my appearance and my confidence to stand out and be looked at. I have had people in my life whose ultimate concern was how they looked and dress, and to be honest, I am actually jealous of them to a small extent: they don’t mind being looked at or being the centre of attention, in fact, that is what they want! I wouldn’t say that this is what I would want for myself, or what I want to be compared to as I believe that there is more to life than perfect hair, make-up, and picture perfect photographs. But, I want that confidence! I want to be able to wear my beautiful clothes and not think that the eyes looking at me are a personal attack.
I’ve made a conscious decision, and have promised myself, to try and push myself out of my comfort zone in this regard. In reality, there is not much point making the effort to look fabulous right before I go to work as a swimming instructor; my gorgeous clothes ruined by chlorine, and make-up running down my face. However, that’s not to say that I shouldn’t make the effort to dress up a bit when I go out or when I am given the chance. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t ever go out looking like a mess, my hair is always presentable, I wear mascara and a bit of eye-liner regularly, and I certainly don’t go out in my PJs and sweat-pants, but I’ve fallen into the habit of only wearing a few selected, plain and boring items in my cupboard, and this needs to stop! I got the ball rolling when I went and bought myself some incredible animal cruelty free make-up. I mean real make-up; liquid eye-liner, eye-shadow, dry gold glitter and lipstick (*proud moment*) from NYX and Wet ‘n Wild that I cannot wait to try out and experiment with. I’ve also made a solemn vow to myself and to my boyfriend NOT to wear jeans the next time we go out. Jeans will always be my favourite item of clothing, but I think I must just give them a little bit of a rest every now and then.
People will always have something to say, whether it’s out of jealousy, honesty, or even adoration. The only thing that you should concern yourself with, is how YOU feel, what YOU want, and how YOU want to live your life. In other words, and this is something that I wish I realised a long time ago, don’t shy away from the haters and attention- rather give them something to be jealous about!
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