Why I’m proud to be different (and you should be too)
This post is an ode to the alternative spirits. The quirky types, the ones who aren’t afraid to be different. The people who defy labels, the faces who stand out from the crowd. You are unique and you are inspiring. I like your style!
You see, I’m one of you. It’s taken me a while to accept it, but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact I’m a little unusual and that’s OK. Here’s why.
In the past, I’ve always been a bit put out when someone describes me as ‘alternative’. To me, that constructs a very specific image. I picture body modification, lots of tattoos and very bold hair – a look that challenges society’s expectations in every way. If that floats your boat then you do you, hun – but that’s just not my style.
But I’ve come to realise that the way I look does challenge societal norms. People stare at me on public transport and eyeball me in the street because I look different. I see that as a massive compliment.
Generally people are very appreciative of my quirky style, but that’s not always been the case. I once lost a job I was very good at because management didn’t like my hair colour, claiming it was too artificial to be professional. That was tough. Really tough. For almost a year I found myself battling with my look and my self esteem. Was I too weird? Should I try to be more ‘normal’?
‘No’ is the short answer to that. I realised I should never feel obliged to change who I am for someone else, and you shouldn’t either. The world would never move forward if it wasn’t for the square pegs who were fed up squeezing into round holes. It’s impossible to be groundbreaking if you’re too busy concerning yourself with fitting in with everybody else.
Choosing to pursue your own look requires guts. I think people (and especially employers) should see that us alternative spirits are armed with a thick skin, a creative soul, and often a great sense of humour. You need a big personality to pull off a bold look!
If you’d rather buy your outfit straight off the mannequin in Topshop then go for it. If for you sweatpants are life that’s cool. But if you are alternative, either in appearance or style, never be ashamed of that.
I’ve come to love my body even though I’m not shaped like an Insta model and I’ve embraced my style and given up trying to conform to trends. I’ve decided to dance to the beat of my own drum instead of someone else’s. Accepting yourself for who you are is so freeing. Seriously, give it a try.
So here’s to you, my alternative friends. It’s your quirks that makes the world an interesting place. If you’re up to anything really different, whether that be your style, hobbies or creative passion then I’d love to read about it in the comments below.
Keep being you!