Monday, April 28, 2014

How I Stopped Being "Basic"




So in case you have been living under a rock and aren't familiar with the term "basic b!tch", it means basically  (see what I did there?) to not go to any troubles to stand out or make any sort of statement through beauty and/or fashion. To me this is a rather offensive term, to label someone as "basic" for their clothing choices, when they could very well have a complex mind and life. But for the purposes of this post, let's stick with that shallow, too-Hollywoodesque definition.

All through my school and even college years, I was the walking definition of basic:

- Wearing everyday makeup for me meant applying powder, blush and lipgloss.
- On special occasions I'd go all out with some mascara.
- The first time I owned a respectable hair straightener was three years ago, one my Mother-in-Law gave me.
- I bought hundreds upon hundreds of tops and t-shirts. But I hardly ever purchased any accessories.
- I wore the same ol' gold chain my boyfriend at the time had given me. Statement necklaces? What's that?
- I got by with two or three bags that I switched depending on the occasion and didn't see the need for more than that.
- My skincare routine simply involved a scrub, sunscreen and makeup-removing wipes.
- I could spend well over a month with bare nails and would be totally fine with that.

Now don't get me wrong: I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I was too preoccupied with my studies and  social activities to pay much attention to becoming "un-basic". I am now, however, the complete opposite. I love makeup, and clothes, and have developed quite an addiction for statement necklaces and bags. But that's not what made me "un-basic". It was much more than that:

- I dress exactly how I like now, without wondering if I'm being judged or not.
- I feel more comfortable in my skin than I ever have before. That, in turn, made me a much more secure person in many areas of my life.
- I used to dress for other girls: to conform to what I thought they required me to dress like. Now I dress to appeal to myself, period. On occasion, to appeal to my husband too, of course, but he just couldn't care less if I was wearing a garbage bag, to be honest.
- I feel sexy when I apply a red lipstick, or layer necklaces, or wear a nice pair of diamond stud earrings. And I am certain I do it not because of some Hollywood standard I need to adhere to, but rather because it makes me feel good and confident. I am a sales manager, and whether I like it or not, my personal image does impact the way people perceive me. I want to be perceived as professional and serious, so now I dress the part. I have thrown away the hundreds of Aeropostale and Abercrombie t-shirts I owned in favour of a more "grown-up" wardrobe, and I completely love it.
- I used to second-guess every outfit I put on. Now, if it makes me feel good and comfortable, I will wear it without a second thought.
- A few years ago, the idea of posting an outfit of the day would have petrified me, for fear of what people would think of it. Now I have done it more than a couple of times, and some people probably have thought I look hideous but I don't care. Those are outfits I love, and that's what matters to me now.

In my opinion, being basic doesn't necessarily have a lot to do with wearing ugg boots and the same gold necklace every day, but rather with your attitude towards it: If you are ignoring your style and the clothes that truly define you for fear of being judged, that's pretty basic. If you are dressing a specific way because everyone else is too, that's as basic as it gets. Start being honest with yourself and discovering which way you feel more "you", truer to your essence. I have to admit that a few years ago, whenever I bought anything, I would carefully consider whether my friends, classmates, etc. would wear it before even asking myself if I would. It doesn't get much more basic than that! I found that resources such as Pinterest, Instagram and the thousands of beauty/fashion blogs out there are great sources of inspiration to start discovering what styles you relate the most to. Make mood boards, take notes and find out exactly how you feel your best.

And don't forget to get out of your comfort zone a little, too! Then you'll really start having fun and I guarantee you will look, if not like the biggest fashionista, at least the truest version of yourself which in itself is no small accomplishment!








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