During my time in Berlin at a creative workshop in collaboration with a big brand (see article below), I had the pleasure of meeting many different, wonderful and creative young women. Five of them especially inspired me with their outfits and their confidence to wear whatever they want, so I interviewed them about what they thought about fashion in regards to Self-Expression and Self-love. Here’s what they had to say:
I think that fashion can contribute a lot to Self-Expression, because you can emphasize certain characteristics through it. If you’re confident you might wear things that show that, so that even people that might not know you realise: ok, if that’s how she dresses, she must be confident. Therefore, it is an easy way to see some characteristics of a person right away. It definitely gives you a certain amount of control over how people see you. I also think that through fashion you can reinvent yourself over and over again. On one day I could go to [the supermarket]looking very plain, in sweatpants and t-shirt, as if someone had just pulled me out of bed, and on the next day I might say Okay, today I want to put in more effort and look more striking. That can transform you into a completely different person and that’s how you can express your individuality.
They don’t say “You are what you wear” for nothing. There are experiments where a team has taken a homeless person from the street and gave them a completely new look through styling. Someone who people would normally walk past can suddenly look like the boss of a bank – a person that you would respect and expect a successful life from. Success, of course, is very relative, but you would think that he has a wife and kids, a big house and that he goes on vacations a lot. And it’s still the same person and I just think that that’s insane.
I just love being able to transform myself into different shapes and forms of myself. I love playing with different textures and silhouettes, volumes and colours. I don’t feel the same every day and on some days I want to look fierce and more edgy, and then I want to be all girly and soft and frilly. I love that fashion allows you to be who you are every day – new and every day a little bit different.
Well, self-love used to be more difficult for me. It only really started working for me in regards to fashion once I stopped caring what other people thought. Ever since I started thinking Screw it, this is so comfortable and I like it so much, I’ll just wear it, no matter if it’s a trend now or if it was one 20 years ago, or if it’s considered unflattering. I also think that we shouldn’t always have to change ourselves a la “hide your curves” or “create this illusion”. Just be yourself, it doesn’t matter what other people think – no matter if curvy or skinny is in fashion right now, you don’t have to change. Just show what you have and screw other people!
For me, fashion is a way of expression, not so that other people can see but to show how I feel on the inside. It’s difficult to explain but I always feel like the more love I put into myself, the more love I can show on the outside – including through fashion and makeup.
I can also do it the other way around though and give that self-esteem and self-love to myself. When I am having a bad day, I might put extra effort into my outfit and wear something that I feel either very comfortable or very pretty in and promptly love myself a little more on that day.
I think fashion can be an important material for self-actualization, to express who you are and to be creative and artistic. I think that can be incredibly exciting and good for self-esteem, especially when you wear an outfit that you picked out yourself. I don’t understand people who say that they don’t care about fashion because even they choose what they wear every day. Also, every look is unique because we are all different. There’s a lot of beauty and diversity in that.