Minding Appearances: Style, Truth, and Subjectivity

“To what extent does my appearance style represent or create truths about who I am? How do my ways of being, becoming, and appearing interface with those of others?”

When I read this it really made me think of how much my appearance used to matter to me. I feel like those questions sort of sum up the standards I’d hold myself to every day for about 8 years of my life. I’m not saying that I don’t care about my appearance now, of course I care. I just have a completely different outlook on how I dress myself.
“Patrizia Calefato describes how a ‘look’ functions doubly as an image and as an expression of one’s outlook on the world. A look articulates a way of being in the world and of creating a social universe.”

I can remember exactly when I started to put extra effort into how I dress, which was for me, when I made the connection of thinking about who I am or who I want to be can be communicated through my clothing. This moment of time took place at the beginning of 7th grade. That was when I started listening to bands no where near top 40, and when I started to realize how different I felt from my peers.

By high school I had grown into the differences and it showed through my clothing and makeup. It helped that I had a small group of friends that shared my likes and dislikes. All of our combined looks created our own little social universe at school.

Me, 2003. why am I holding my chin?






“Style is a process or act of managing appearance in everyday life; this process characterizes the visible identity constructions through which individuals can articulate social yearnings – yearnings that aren’t only aesthetic but also political in nature.”

For years I’d put limits on myself on what I could or couldn’t wear. It’s funny how that is, I was representing myself to the fullest, but how was I doing that by denying myself color and styles I admired? I know it was partly because of pressure from my peers, but the majority of it was because I was a very sad kid who thought too much and had a preference for anything relating to death. I suppose in my case strange social yearnings and politics lead to strange clothing choices.
I realize that I related this entire chapter to the dark years in my life. It’s just that this book and class in general keeps making me think of that time.


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