… by its cover! Except, I’m not going to talk about books today, but people and clothes. Have you ever been judged by what you’re wearing or how you look? The fact that you have tattoos, piercings, blue hair or geeky shoes? I know I have.
Just like with books, we judge by people’s “covers”. I think it’s something we all do without even realising – we’ll see someone who is really scruffily dressed and think they’re a hobo or dropout, while a woman wearing lots of bling will be thought to be rich and famous perhaps. But it could just be that the person in the scruffy clothes didn’t feel like dressing up that day and all the bling is fake. Snap judgements are so often wrong.
I used to have a boyfriend who was a biker so of course I bought a biker jacket and I wore torn jeans and all the rest of the gear necessary to fit in with his friends. My parents hated the clothes and weren’t thrilled that I was going out with him, but they were kind and allowed me to bring him and his friends to hang out at my house. And once they got to know them, they realised they were a great bunch of guys who looked out for each other and just happened to dress the way they did because it fit the image (and was practical for riding a motorcycle).
Soon after, we moved to Japan and that really confused me fashion-wise! In Sweden, it had been easy to copy other people’s styles as there weren’t that many to choose from, but at my new school I was suddenly confronted with a lot more choice and had no idea where I fit in. I think that’s when I finally began to evolve my own unique style – I stuck to the biker gear for a while, but also started to mix in other things like pretty girly tops, Swedish clogs (just to show where I came from) and green nail polish (which wasn’t common back then). I discovered it was fun to stand out rather than blend in – who knew?
While growing up, my dress style followed fashion to a certain extent – like everyone else I paid attention to hem lines, trouser styles, shoe styles etc – but I always chose things mostly because they appealed to me personally and I think that’s what you have to do. It seems to me that following fashion and wanting to look like everyone else is a sort of coping mechanism before you’ve found your feet with regard to your look. Once you know what suits you and decide what you really like, you can spread your wings.
For me, fashion should be fun and everyone should dress to suit their shape and their own taste. If I had the money, I’d buy some of the lovely Jean-Paul Gaultier stuff in these photos. I get bored easily so would love to have Goth days and Steampunk days, biker days (yes, I still love those clothes!) and rock chick days. Most of the time I have sloppy ‘at-home’ kind of days, but I also love dressing up for parties with four-inch heels. The key word is FUN – dressing should be an extension of our personality and no one should be allowed to judge us by what we wear – it’s only the outside after all!
The best thing anyone has ever said to me with regard to my style was when my sister-in-law once looked at me and said “that’s very Pia”. And it was – uniquely me 🙂