PC310039
Fitting In

I can’t remember ever wanting to look like anyone else.  I have always just wanted to be unique. Sure, I had a doctor blouse (remember them in the sixties–prompted by Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey?) and the later refinement of the the doctor blouse, the sissy blouse–merely a doctor blouse with ruffles added?  I also wore pedal pushers, madras and short skirts–all in their day.  But the purpose never was, as I recall, to look like everybody else.  It was because I liked the fashion, but wanted to be unique within that fashion.

In the past thirty years or so I haven’t really even known what the fashion was.  I just saw clothes and bought them because I liked them and they didn’t make me look fat! (Even if I was–ha.) I have friends who come to Mexico and buy the wonderful embroidered blouses, then tell me when they go home they never wear them because they just don’t seem “right” in Wyoming or even California!  This seems so weird to me.  If I like certain clothing, I wear it wherever it is climate appropriate.  Why would anyone want to wear what everyone else is wearing?

The same goes for hairstyles.  I don’t know what is “in.”  I just know when I have a hairstyle that makes me look like how I feel. Certain haircuts make me feel “right” and I am happy for the time it takes for them to grow out and for me to get a new haircut that isn’t right–such as the one I have now. I think perhaps this is why I never quite fit in anywhere until I went to a culture so foreign that I wasn’t expected to fit in and was accepted because I was different.  Somehow, the American culture has never quite evolved to the point where those who are different are accepted.  Perhaps that’s why I have always preferred to live abroad.

(The picture is from my New Years Eve poor taste party several years ago. I’ve staged these in three countries–so much fun.  In addition to dressing as tacky as possible, everyone brings a dish they are secretly embarrassed that they love, in spite of the fact that it isn’t “in style.”  Mac and cheese and homemade Twinkies and hostess cupcakes were three of the dishes.  Can’t remember the rest. If anyone pictured or who was there remembers, please comment!)

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Style Icon.” Describe your personal style, however you’d like to interpret that — your clothing style, your communication style, your hair style, your eating style, anything.

19 thoughts on “Fitting In

  1. Olga

    I remember going to a hair dresser years ago and being told to never wear my hair longer than my chin because of the roundness of my face. Well, now that I’m no longer doing the “right” thing to look good for work, I feel more like myself with longer hair. Cheers to being yourself and following your own style.

    Like

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      In a way, in concept, but most minorities who come here in great numbers experience a sort of pressure to fit in , I think. If they strongly maintain their own culture, I think there is a sort of nonacceptance on the part of the established society. This was true of the Irish, Chinese, Jewish, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Mung, Vietnamese and Somalian immigrants. When the U.S. is described as the great melting pot, the expectation is that immigrants will melt in and mingle, but this is often not true and prejudice results. Not on my part. I love the diversity. But this is not the way that everyone thinks.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. granonine

    Seems to me most of my friends tried very hard to be different from “The Establishment,” but they were all different the same way. Few people have the courage to dress the way they want to, no matter what. At this point in my life, I dress how I want to, and I don’t care if the fashionistas like it or not 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      Exactly! I remember my most liberal (as in Maoist) hippiest friend scorning my ordinary-ness (compared to him, since I was pretty liberal but just didn’t dress the part.) Now he seems like a raving conservative to me while I am a bit further left, even, than I was forty years ago!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. mjennings

    So many mixed messages in the U.S. America prides itself on “individuality” yet so visibly eschews nonconformity. I think you’ve the right attitude, personally. Wear what you want, style as you wish. It’s YOU, and that all that matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    Judy you are a woman after my own heart. I would love to attend to one of your bad taste parties. My food offering would be curried tinned sardines and I’d probably try numerous options in clothing. That is half the fun of dressing up, the number of times you do it before you are ready.
    Your hair rang a chord with me and my thoughts on the matter can be seen
    http://irenewaters19.com/2014/11/02/bite-size-memoir-bad-hair-day/
    Hope to see more of you. Cheers Irene

    Like

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      I loved your bad hair day posting. At one of my bad taste parties, thrown at my sister’s house when I moved back to the states, we put an oilcloth on her fancy glass table and put a tin of sardines with a fork in it and a bottle of Bali Hai wine–I think it cost about 97 cents. Actually, on the dining room table we had better food..that table was mainly for effect. At the party here in Mexico all the food was good–just things we were sort of embarrassed to like. Would you like to borrow my hat in today’s post to cover up your hair? Do you think it would be any improvement? Actually, I like your hair..what fun to have that many choices of how to wear it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
        1. lifelessons Post author

          And you will take pictures and tell all, correct? One friend brought a toy plastic wheelbarrow, tipped it over and put chocolate pudding thickened with crushed oreo cookies to make dirt and had gummie worms crawling all over out of it…Delicious and fun!!! And definitely in poor taste, for a hostess who has a worm phobia. One person made hamburger cupcakes with mashed potato icing. One brought a cake she’d cut and eaten several pieces out of before she brought it. The friend in the fur stole knew it was tacky–it was left over from a favorite aunt, perhaps. In Australia, the first poor taste party we threw was a Bazza McKenzie party..you might or might not have heard of him. https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/08/07/remi-speaks/

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  5. Insach

    Great post and the title is spot on, when it comes to style, fashion etc. the focus mainly goes into fitting in rather then on being unique or most importantly comfortable. Society conforms people and it is a sad truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.