What’s wrong with being confident?
What’s wrong with being who you really are?
Not a single thing.
And if that opening line appears familiar, it’s Ms Lovato’s anthem (I love you, Demi). If it isn’t yours yet, I urge you to give it a
So, I was staring at my blank screen, seeking inspiration to craft the story behind this look. That’s how it works actually, I look at the photographs, the location, the expressions on my face, something sparks a thought, a memory, and the writing begins. As I was looking intensely at the laptop, I started humming the song. Out of the blue. Although, in my mind, I edited the lyrics a tad. I hummed, “What’s the matter with being confident, a-haaa!“. It runs in the family, in fact, this innate ability to revise words/names/songs, as my dad and my brother would attest. Fact: my mother is very skilled in rebaptising people and renaming roads.
I KID YOU NOT.
Why the topic “confidence“, you ask?
Well, as I said, I was looking at these photos and I realised the extent to which I’ve evolved over the past few months. When I began blogging in earnest last November, I wouldn’t dream of venturing outside of my backyard and the sheer prospect of wearing colours and/or prints would send me fleeing, screaming, in the opposite direction. Yet, here I am, decked out from head to toe in a very graphic, very striking print, posing on the fringes of a construction site. Without a care in the world for the passing cars and gawking pedestrians. Oh, how things have changed indeed.
I'VE BECOME BOLDER. MORE CONFIDENT.
Credit must be extended to my photographer, Sofia. The woman may be tiny but she is fierce and she is funny and she coaxes you into doing things you never thought you would, all in the name of capturing that perfect pose. I must also thank Eve. My very first shutterbug. Without her
encouragement not so subtle suggestion, I would never ever have entertained the idea of hiring a professional lenswoman in the first instance. And even now, she’s my biggest cheerleader (and official behind-the-scenes prompter).
Because of these two, I don’t even pause to feel shy and awkward anymore. Much. And should the desire to crawl into a hole in the ground and disappear strike, I just put on some really dark sunnies. That’s it. That’s my Popeye-spinach thingy.
I’m even going so far as to attempt yet another new thing tomorrow. I’m going to change in the car. Because we’ve planned a location shoot and that’s what you do when you’re shooting on location. You change your clothes in your car, with nary a cringe nor grimace #vanitytrumpssanity
If I’ve learned anything at all from this blogging gig, it’s confidence. Which is so ironic because, in truth, I’m the most shy and insecure woman you’ll ever meet. I’m the epitome of gauche. At parties, I’ll be the one hiding in the corner. Hoping no one will come over because I’d just die from the attention. And then feeling mortified anyway because I’m left all alone, with nobody to talk to. A sad wallflower.
Ever since I started taking blogging seriously, it seems as though I’ve been doing nothing but peeling and chipping. Peeling away layers upon layers of deep-rooted insecurity. Determinedly chipping at my wall of non-existent self-esteem. And it’s showing up in not just my clothes, but also the colours I choose to wear. I’ve gone from Black and everything that falls under the category of dark shade, to some of (the occasionally blinding) brightest shades known to man. It’s a metamorphosis. I hesitate to liken myself with a butterfly because that’s far too cliché an analogy but I think you understand what I’m saying.
I'M TALKING THE TALK & WALKING THE WALK.
I dress for me. And I dress the way I damn well please. I’ll pair a plaid with a grid print, if I so choose. Throw in some neon yellow along the way just because. And if I feel like wearing the most graphic pair of booties ever, well then, I shall. For every sidelong glance thrown my way, I’ve earned a compliment on Instagram. For every, “But you shouldn’t“, I remember how a random stranger took the trouble to tell me that she thought my outfit was perfectly styled. And for every person who tells me I’m too old to wear something, I think of all the women who, like me, thumb up their noses at this ridiculous notion called “age appropriate dressing“.
I shan’t lie. It’s terribly easy to let negativity get to you, and it’s certainly easier to believe in naysayers than it is to believe in yourself. But I’ll tell you this. People are genuinely interested in and appreciative of creative and unique outfits.
Isn’t that the premise of style? Isn’t that why street fashion has become such a big thing? An ode to being original? Being different. Being yourself.
p/s photos by Sofia Touassa
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