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Loud shirt phase


My sister told me she thought she was going into a "loud shirt phase": something that's apparently unprecedented. She usually liked tasteful tops, something with a little class, or maybe something with style or statement. She says she thinks her boyfriend will hate her loud shirt phase, but that she means to enjoy it.

I think I've always been in a loud shirt phase.

Actually it doesn't stop at shirts. I like loud clothes and loud looks. Not necessarily tacky outfits (though some have called them that), but something that makes people look twice. Jazzed-up braided hair, or skirts made out of a fringed wrapped material, or shoelaces wound around my pigtails, or a shiny shirt with planets all over it. My mismatched socks and glittered eyes do what they're supposed to: They make people look.

And then I don't quite know what to do with that look.

I've always liked attention, but I'm not exactly comfortable in the limelight either. It's like I've spent a lot of effort trying to get looked at and then I'd rather people just look away. I'm not sure I like myself in pictures, but I like posing for them; I like that I was interesting enough to capture on paper. I rather flinch at some images of me in photographs, not liking the way I was smiling or the way I was standing or the way it looked like I had no eyes when they were hiding under my bangs. But even if I don't really want people to see, I always seem to want them to look.

I think maybe it revolves around my desire not to be looked at, but to cause that response. I'm creative in my everyday life and I guess I just like my appearance to work toward proving it. I'll be in the craft store and see some iridescent gift bag twist-ties and think, Oh, perfect for tying my braids, or I'll find some fake ivy leaves and tuck them behind my ears, imitating the pixies. I watched The Grinch too many times, admired the ridiculous Seussian eyelashes on every character good and bad, and responded by making my own fake eyelashes out of an old blush brush, applying them with eyelash adhesive to make cute tufts in the corners of my eyes. I put tassels intended for window curtains into my pigtails. I used a secondhand necktie for a belt.

I guess it turns out I don't particularly enjoy getting looked at. If that was all it was, I could do weirder things for the attention, like getting eight places on my face pierced or wearing life-sized lizard earrings. Or I could wear tight and revealing clothing, since I could probably turn heads if I want to. I think what I want is to be admired for my creativity and ingenuity, which isn't usually possible unless everyone I pass in the mall reads my books or looks at my Web page. I do up my hair with wire-stem flowers and some people look and think Hey, that's pretty cool. I go out with my friends wearing costume fairy wings and people think I must really be secure in who I am. And the ones who are not admiring me will definitely think Boy, what a freak and go back to their beers. Some of them don't notice at all, and I don't really care. But with my loud shirts and accessories, I have help telling the world who I am without opening my mouth. And in a world that judges so much on appearances, that can be a very good thing.


Ingenuity and creativity all too often go unrecognized, unappreciated. But genuine artists like ourselves do the world a great service just by daring not to look and talk and think like everybody else. Plus we're having fun, and isn't that all that really matters? :) [shambles]

I just wanted to say that i've always admired your fashion sense and taste. You really inspire me. This is coming from a jeans and t-shirt guy. Although I like to wear kinda weird t-shirts too. Not for attention, but because I look so damn cool. :o) -B

And the winner of the Best Dressed Award goes to: Ivy! I'm glad you're such a creative person. *hugs* [katqueen]

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