Marissa is currently a senior at NYU earning a degree in Psychology. In her spare time she enjoys writing, singing, and experimenting with her look by changing her hair and trying to perfect her winged eyeliner. She aims to integrate her knowledge of Psychology and her love for people, places, and things and have a successful career in Marketing.
I often find myself smiling and nodding absently when people give me negative and unsolicited critiques, opinions, and advice about my outward appearance. Whether it be about my hair, body, make up, or my shoes, people have always felt very comfortable asking me questions and doling out advice about what I should do to remedy whatever fashion/judgment problem they think I have. Allow me to paint a picture of the most recent occurrence.
Last Sunday, after the service was over, I was greeted by one of the older couples and politely made small talk for a few moments. Things were going smoothly until the older gentleman interrupted me to ask with visible horror “what have you done to your face?” . I was surprised by the interruption but knew that he was talking about the glittering silver septum ring resting in my nose. I chuckled nervously and explained that I had gotten my septum pierced at the end of the summer because I had always wanted one. He rolled his eyes, told me that it was a poor choice, and said that he would pay me the money I spent getting the piecing done if I took the ring out and let it heal. At this point in the conversation, we had gathered a small audience and I had shipped myself off to my happy place where people allowed you to make fashion choices for yourself in peace. Eventually, his slightly embarrassed wife guided him away from me and I politely wished them well and continued on my way.
We have no choice but to a lot of time with our bodies. We also spend a lot of energy adorning them with clothing, accessories, and modifications. What is beautiful, what is fashionable, is subjective. My septum ring makes me feel super cute but to a 70 year old man, I look like a bull. The piercing is not the only risky fashion choice I’ve made in the last year; since May, I have colored my curly natural hair purple, cut it down and dyed it cotton candy pink, shaved an undercut into it, and finally shaved my head clean. I enjoy being bold with my choices for my hair and makeup because I like having looks that reflect my can do attitude. The same goes for my clothing and body modifications such as my septum ring. I love the many choices that I have to look and feel different and even if those choices sometimes inspire people to be a bit rude, I enjoy being who I am.
I suppose the number one piece of fashion advice I can give at this time is “don’t afraid to be bold”. I know that sounds a bit cliché but hear me out; imagine what the fashion world would be like if no one colored outside the lines. Runway shows would lack innovative ideas and creativity, models would be uninspiring and dull, and make up would be unimaginative and one dimensional. I know that sometimes what we see on the runway seems a bit wacky, but that’s the fun of it! If you find yourself holding back from fear of what others might think of your bold choices, I’m here on the other side to tell you that you’ll be glad you colored your hair, or wore that dress, or bought those shoes. Make your fashion choices keeping in mind that the first person you have to impress is yourself. You spend a lot of time with your body, why not make it even more beautiful than it already is?