When I wake up in the morning (after several snoozes, of course), one of the first things I do is choose what I’m going to wear for that day. It doesn’t take that long for me to choose an outfit anymore as I’m well aware of what works together and what doesn’t.
This fashion instinct came over time as only about a year ago I had no fashion sense; everyday was the same: a t-shirt, leggings, and a fluffy pair of black cat ears everyone on campus used to know me for.
It’s now been a year since I ditched the cat ears and I’ve never looked back. I was consumed by the wonderful world of pastel colors and being “kawaii.”
Kawaii culture to me tells a story of never growing up. Society often forces teenagers my age to “act like an adult” and to stop liking childish things. I felt pressured to drop things I love like cartoons and stuffed animals.
I wanted to rebel. So I ran into the world of kawaii culture, which happened to have the same ideals as I did.
“As kawaii suggests, cute culture first originated in Japan, emerging out of the student protests of the late 1960’s. Rebelling against authority, Japanese university students refused to go to lectures, reading children’s comics (manga) in protest against prescribed academic knowledge.” said Hui-Ying Kerr.The Conversation
Rebelling against adulthood is nothing new, and I’m sure I’m not the only in the school who’s doing this in one way or another. In a world that’s so stressful and seems like everything is going wrong at points, feeling more childlike can be a source of comfort to some like me.
“Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.” said Walt Disney.Walt Disney
There is so much focus on negativity in the world, stepping into a different reality with your fashion can be therapeutic. Even if everything is going wrong, and everything seems to be out of your control. You can choose what you wear, which can give come control back into your life.
“When we put on a piece of clothing we cannot help but adopt some of the characteristics associated with it, even if we are unaware of it.” said Professor Karen J. Pine.Mind What You Wear: The Psychology of Fashion
I choose to dress as an anime character, as some students point out to me, because it’s my form of escapism from a world I have no control over. It helps me mange my Depression and feel more happy in my own skin.
When I wear my pastel clothes, I feel like Sailor Moon and other magical girls. I feel powerful and I feel like myself.
A lot of people don’t understand me. I have had a lot of kids ask me why I dress like this, even some adults tell me to ‘grow up’. What I wear is for me and nobody else. If you like it, I’m glad! If you don’t, that’s okay, too. That’s not going to stop me from wearing cute and kawaii clothes.
This is who I am and I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.