I have wrestled with self-esteem issues all my life. It seems totally normal to have a crush on a guy and be rejected, but it hurts more when it comes from someone of the same sex. I’ll never forget when I was in junior high and I overheard a high school girl say, “Ew, it’s that little weird girl.” Weird became my identity. If that’s what they thought of me, it felt somewhat liberating to know I could be just as weird as I wanted and it wouldn’t change anyone’s opinion of me. Can you imagine the freedom?
It was great, but I was still biologically a hormonal teenage girl, and I was just as sex-obsessed as any other teenager. Guys weren’t really into my weirdo persona, or if they were, they were too embarrassed of what their friends would say to admit it. I’d have tried to fix myself up, but I still rode the bus, and being the first pickup meant an hour long ride. I did not feel like waking up before 6 a.m. to impress anyone. Big middle finger.
So Weird Girl remained my identity. I learned, during senior year, that some brands of weird are more appealing than others. The tie-dye shirts, overalls and rainbow toe socks weren’t really popular (even though I’d seen ska bands rock those sombiches), but somehow black platform boots, black hair and black lipstick made me cool. It’s like the outside had to make sense to people in comparison with the personality, and then it was okay.
I fell somewhere between goth and industrial, though I enjoyed metal circa 2000. That was my first journey into being accepted as one of the guys. These guys were used to bands like Coal Chamber, and as far as they were concerned, you need a chick to round out your entourage of awesome (yes, I picked up bass guitar for a while). The whole thing worked really well until I had to find a job. I envy people in cities where there are jobs available for people with unpopular style. In small town Texas, you’d better dress conservatively, or plan on selling gas and cigarettes. My comfort bubble of identity popped. I didn’t know who to be. I tried to do the makeup thing, but I was so awful at it, I wore it out of the house maybe once before deciding it looked stupid. It seemed like annually I would buy different makeup to give it another try. When I was home alone, I’d have makeover night and experiment with different looks. These dark, dramatic eyes that are so popular now? I used to do that in high school, but adults kept telling me I looked like a clown, so I’ve been really timid about eyeshadow as an adult myself.
But let me tell you right now, I’ve been inspired. Thanks to Youtube, I’ve found some totally weird ladies who totally rock makeup. They embody my insecurities, but their powerful presence and expertise seem to scare away the haters. Seriously, you’d expect comments on Youtube to be just awful, but these ladies get love and admiration. Here are a couple I follow:
I’m also starting to realize that we are coming to the edge of an amazing time. The internet, as a general rule, is a place where trolls live, but lately so much positivity has been building. That positivity is intolerant of bullying, and for every person who has something hurtful to say, there are a handful that will come to your defense. I can’t guarantee you’ll never have to see a negative comment, but don’t let that ruin your adventure. What’s 1% anyway? Politicians couldn’t dream of 99% approval. Come out and have some fun, will ya?