Thursday, November 17, 2011

Self image is a funny thing. I suppose I don't really think about it most of the time. Then I wear something different and feel uncomfortable all day if it doesn't fit with that imprint of myself I carry around inside.

Take today. I decided to crack out the 'new' dress I bought in Sydney in May. This was an allowable purchase since it was a refashioned, upcycled vintage dress. It has a very 80s pattern printed on a red background, gathered short skirt, and a refashioned bodice with slightly puffed, elbow length sleeves - not the kind of thing I'd usually go for, but it looked groovy so I bought it. Only when I got home did I wonder if what looked good in Newtown would look quite so good in Launceston.

Anyway, what's the point of buying something if I'm not going to wear it? The temperature seemed about right for a short dress with the requisite leggings, so I got daring and put it on.

Look in the mirror, think 'that looks ridiculous', don a belt, ask Frank if it looks alright, and shrug. One of the great things about getting older is caring less about fashion. Feeling stupid this morning provided me with a chance to wear whatever I like and not let the 'is it fashionable' question stop me.

Except the voices in my head kept saying 'That looks ridiculous, you don't have the legs for a short skirt, you're way to old for that outfit, it looked good in Syndey but it's outrageous in Launceston, blah, blah, blah....' I scurried into work with my head down and a gigantic bag of teddy bears held such that anyone looking out the window would not see my legs. Dropping off the bears, I tossed my head and sallied forth bravely.

And nearly every one I bumped into said 'Cecily, you look great today,' or 'what a pretty dress'. Sagging with relief on the inside, I babbled on about refashioned clothes, and Sydney, and my worries about whether the dress worked, and, and... and I should probably learn to shut my mouth and accept a compliment.

I put it all down to self image. There's some picture hidden in my mind of how I should look, a persona I carry around with me and express through what I wear. Today's dress didn't fit that image. It looked fine really, it just didn't fit the picture in my brain and I was uncomfortable until I received enough external positive feedback.

So. I should just wear whatever I want and ignore the voices. I'll be a whole lot happier, and probably look just fine.


At 11:36 pm, November 17, 2011, Anonymous deevar said...

Nothing I wear fits the image I have in my head! Gave up long ago! [As I remember, I liked your dress. Possibly because it was from the 80's!]


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