January 2, 2015

The art of blending in?

I’m so tired of hearing people say things like ‘there should be more people who stand out' or 'the majority just blend in with the gray crowd’. Whenever someone’s asked about the street fashion scene, they usually complain about the lack of creative/crazy/artistic/trendy people on the streets. But when you actually go against the stream and look different, wear what you want and just be yourself, you’re labeled as ‘weird’. And I am at the point in my life where I’m finally okay with being labeled as a weirdo. But it doesn’t mean it’s right.

Where I come from, people are very conservative and innovation is still an unexplored land when it comes to style. I mean if a guy is wearing platform sneakers or has a manbun, there’s something wrong with him and it’s ok to stare and call people names. Is this really the society of today? And yes, I’m talking about myself, but the thing is, I don’t consider the way I dress as shocking or something that would make people act the way they do. I just wear stuff that makes me feel like myself and compared to some major cities like London or Seoul, I would pass as a ‘normal person’. But not here, at least not yet.

I’ve been a weirdo all my life in one way or another. When people hear me say that I don’t eat meat or don’t drink or smoke or don’t go out they usually think that I have some issues. Like why would it be so wrong to try to be as healthy as possible? As a vegetarian, I feel discriminated almost every day of my life. And I am fine with it, because it’s my choice and my belief. But I strongly disagree that having a big place for animals in my heart is a bad thing as I so often hear so much hate directed to people like me. And what I don’t get is where does it come from? What is the trigger to make people dislike or even hate everyone that is different in one way or another. I remember that some time ago I heard some stupid story on the news that said the EU would ban some special kind of smoked meat and I heard people around me getting angry and saying things like ‘those vegetarians, they’re the ones to blame’ and it just made me so sad.

I just wish people were more understanding and have more compassion. And, dear reader, if you’re also a weirdo, just stay true to yourself and don’t set boundaries to who you are just because you feel that you have to. And remember, I’m a weirdo too, so that makes at least two of us.

Do not blend in.


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Maira Gall