Being a “Grown-up”.
So, my 24th birthday is coming up and to be honest, I don’t like thinking about it much. I have no real problem with aging in itself, I just don’t like being reminded that I’m that much closer to death and I still have a lot of goals to accomplish.
It has, however, made me wonder about some of my fashion choices. In my very early 20’s I tried to tone down my appearance. I was a very flashy teenager, with colored hair, colorful accessories, mismatching patterns, knee-high socks, you name it. This, actually, is always how I’ve dressed. As a kid my older sister always used to tell me I reminded her of Punky Brewster with my inability to match, or at least my very little concern with making things match, and affection for colors/patterns.
Me at age 16.
When I hit 18 I did, as it seems a lot of people do, in thinking that I had to be “grown up” and abandon the things I used to do. I went with a neutral hair color, and stuck to solid and darker tones. Strangely enough, this was also the time in my life I was at one of my most self-conscious.
However, as I hit 23 and started to gain more confidence and really tried to enact the whole “self-love” journey, I found myself right back to where I was before. I was compelled to wear bright colors and flashy cocktail jewelry again.
And this month, I did this to my hair.
However, as 24 approaches I seem to question whether this is “okay”, which is kind of ridiculous. On the one hand, there’s still part of me that worries about being judged. As a journalism student, I wonder if I’ll be taken less seriously by my peers and especially my professors, who are all for the most part seasoned newspaper reporters.
On the other, and probably more important hand, I love the way I look. When I see myself in the mirror with this vibrant color in my hair, it makes me happy. When I’m wearing what I want and it stands out, I feel confident and upbeat, like I’m being me.
And as far as my future, my plan was always to be behind the camera anyhow, not front and center for CNN. I also was always more compelled towards alternative news sources.
I tried googling the situation out of curiosity to the kinds of discussions that were going on about it. Because when in doubt…Google. The thing I found funny was that it was often referred to as “dressing like a teenager”, which is slightly odd to me. I don’t see why one such style of dress or hair should be pinned for one such age-group. People go through phases and grow out of things, sure, but that is nothing more than a person experimenting and finding out that they felt much happier looking another way. What if a person finds they STILL remain happy with the style they’ve chosen in youth? What then? And perhaps, more people would remain in that style if they hadn’t been pressured to look more “conservative”.
I think the answer is that I need to just say “screw the world” and do whatever makes me happy.