This week, I chose a counter-factual identity and had a lot of fun with it. Thursday morning I woke up and wasn’t sure where I was going to take my look, classy or more grunge-hipster? Last year, I attended Warped Tour and I dressed up for it in an outfit similar to the one above. I thought I’d make a play on my facial piercings: nose ring and lip ring. I have always wanted facial piercings and tattoos but somehow my style has never matched the look most people associate with tattoos and piercings. I usually dress more like the first picture above but I realized through this activity that I don’t identify with my usual “look”. The funny thing is, I felt more like myself when I dressed up to play the part of my “counter-factual” identity. I was filled with confidence, felt good about how I looked and found myself smiling more as I walked around campus with my head held high. I felt almost liberated. Maybe my personality along with my tattoos and piercings do fit into the stereotype, maybe I am not a stereotype at all but someone who enjoys feeling empowered with red bold lipstick and tight black clothing. That’s what made me feel beautiful, different than everyone else, I felt empowered because I felt like an individual, someone mysterious and unique. I felt my fun and rebellious side coming out and I loved it. I grew up so fast, got ahead in life so quickly that I had forgotten that fun, crazy, slightly wild side within me.
Maybe it was the confidence I was radiating that made people treat me different that day.
I am usually a shy person, mostly a people-watcher and generally keep to myself, scared t say anything too bold so I don;t scare people away. With my combat boots clicking on the cement I felt like I was floating on air, people were opening doors for me and I know this might sound funny-but recognizing my existence more than people usually do. I had more eyes looking my way, it was almost as if my confidence demanded a level of respect or appreciation. Maybe it was all in my head and the confidence made me notice things that normally happen, maybe I was looking for reactions.
I posted a picture of my new identity on Instagram, and I got a lot of likes, and more comments than usual which were nice and complimentary.
I found that maybe I fit this identity more than my usual persona, that everything I was emitting and everything that I said I was into (punk rock, the Ramones, tattoos, piercings, grunge music, singing, concerts, music festivals) were actually things I’ve always liked. I got a lot of compliments that day and even got asked out on a date.
I was flying out to Northern California later that day and found my new look allowed me to not be so shy, I felt good so I became more social. I made friends with the people sitting next to me, the girl complimented my makeup and boots and I found myself enjoying more conversation with all kinds of different people with different stories.
Also, I realized people noticed my facial piercings a lot more than usual. Normally, it takes people meeting me 4 to 5 times to realize I even have them. One time I got hired and was working for a whole month before my employer noticed I had a nose piercing the whole time. But Thursday, people were like “wow, I didn’t even know you had that”. Maybe it was the bold makeup or just my counter-factual style, but it definitely was not like any other day.