And did exactly what we wanted?
I know, it sounds crazy, but hear me out.
I think the world, and people would be a lot more interesting if we just stopped caring what other people thought about us, and did what we want.
I’ll be honest – I have been and am still quite terrible about judging other people and their lives/choices/etc. I’m trying to be a lot better and I honestly feel really guilty about what I’ve thought or said about others in the past. I feel pretty confident that a lot of people have also judged some of my life choices as well, however, though that doesn’t justify my own behavior at all.
Lately I’ve been reading about, and thinking more about clothing and appearance and the rules. As in, the rules about what women can or can’t wear after the ages of… well whatever indeterminate age. I’m sure I’ve read somewhere about how women shouldn’t wear mini skirts after a certain age – 25? 30? Who knows, but I’m well past it… and still wearing mini skirts.
I will fully admit that I have some age issues. I think most adults probably still feel like they are somewhere between 20-30 (I personally feel I’m still about 28. My husband insists he still feels 18… for those of you who know him, that probably explains a few things). But here suddenly I’m 34. I’m like… mid-30s. But I don’t feel old. And I don’t think I act old. Therefore, I’m sure as hell not going to dress old. Or conservatively.
I don’t know why, but lately I’ve felt like I want to live my most authentic life. I’m tired of feeling like I can’t do/or wear/or whatever X, Y or Z because I constantly worry that people will judge me. I am pretty sure that this constant worry is not only because I have been very judgmental myself, but because of the very socially conservative place I was raised (MN). As a young person I battled constantly with conformity – and I still do. I don’t really want to conform – I just want to be myself and have others accept me for who I am. I want to wear a bikini at 35 because now I finally have the body confidence to do that, without being shamed. I don’t want people constantly commenting on how I’ve gained/lost weight, etc. My husband wonders why I refuse to wear tank tops anymore, and all I can remember is wearing them (pretty much living in them) in my early 20s and being told to “put some clothes on” by a friend’s then boyfriend.
So now I’m in my mid 30s and… I’m really tired of people commenting on or judging my body and what I wear. I should be a lot more confident in the way I look now – I’m in my 30s – I’m healthy – and I’ll wear what I like. But I actually can’t get over these ingrained hang-ups – because someone might judge me. D tries to remind me that people actually won’t notice/don’t care/are too focused on themselves and don’t pay attention to others (generally). Maybe it’s my American heritage – where people feel they can comment on what others look like and wear? I’m not entirely certain. Or it’s just maybe a difference in manners?
I mean, life (and fashion!) would just be so much more interesting if we all had the confidence to just do, wear, and look like how we liked, and not just what we felt we ought to, or was ‘appropriate.’ Because generally, when someone starts discussing what ‘appropriate’ means, it’s often aimed at girls and women, and more specifically – about how they should behave or dress modestly, covering up or treating their bodies, etc. This is not just a problem of women, it’s a problem of society, how boys and girls learn to interact with each other, and eventually grow into men and women.
It’s a very complicated world out there, and navigating the life choices (especially as someone who has taken a less conventional life path). It doesn’t get any easier as we get older. And even though I keep reading that I will eventually not give a f–k, that day isn’t here yet. Until then.
5 thoughts on “What if we all just stopped caring what other people thought?”
Absolutely there are expectations (ie. shame) put on women for wearing certain types of outfits and it’s ridiculous. You have to look pretty, but not TOO PRETTY. You have to be age appropriate, but not old-fashioned, sexy yet professional. I mean, what? Come one! (Who told you not to wear tank tops? That’s like, the most regular thing you could wear.)
As someone who doesn’t go out on fashion limbs very often I haven’t had a lot of overt critiques on actual clothing items, however, walking around fully pregnant does embolden strangers to randomly make comments about your body and my reproductive choices. (No, I’m not having twins. Yes, I “know how that works.” No, I don’t need to tell you, stranger, if it was planned or an accident — Seriously, people can be so rude.)
I heard something recently about how we can re-wire our brains to be more positive simply by taking a few seconds a day consciously thinking kind thoughts and well wishes about the people we see around us. Maybe if more people took the time to do that we’d have a kinder, less judgemental society. Maybe you need to take some time to consciously be kind to yourself as well.
I say go for the tank tops, bikinis, mini skirts and dinosaur shoes! If you think you look slammin’ then do it! Throw the judgement in the trash!
Ooh, I can imagine you know better than anyone atm! I must admit I am guilty of totally jumping on the bandwagon and asking people when they are having kids (straight after getting married. #facepalm).
People actually ask if the baby was planned or an accident?! Sheesh. Also, why would you be having twins?!
Haha, yeah I haven’t actually worn a tank top in years… for some reason that has absolutely fallen out of my wardrobe rotation. But mini skirts are still in full swing. 😉
Just wanted to say this resonated with me as well. That whole being raised in the socially conservative rural MN where everyone judges everything…it’s so hard to NOT CARE about what others think of you when you’ve been judged constantly in your formative years. Equally hard to not judge others as well for the same reason. There are times, though, that I don’t care at all what I am wearing in public. And there are other times I make sure I look somewhat presentable in case I run into someone I know.
I know. I honestly wonder if there is a much higher innate “judginess” about being raised in MN? I’m trying so hard to ‘deprogram’ myself from thinking these negative thoughts about others, and worry less about what people might be thinking about me because honestly, people are probably not thinking about me at all (at least, I hope they aren’t). 😀
I’m really starting to care a lot less about what I look like at work, though admittedly some of that is the culture of my workplace. No one else seems to care at all or wear much make-up or dress beyond tidy casual… so why should I bother if I’m wearing the same outfit again in a week or less? Or do much beyond the most basic of make-up?