Who Are You Trying to Impress?

A photo by Clarisse Meyer. unsplash.com/photos/UvQtTVdFi9I

Like any other school day, I had to spend 15 minutes waiting at the bus stop, and as per usual I was greeted by a text message from one of my best friends.

A quick glance at the screen revealed she had texted: “are u doing anti-guy day????” To which I replied: “huh???”

According to my friend, “anti-guy day,” as it was called by a group of girls at our school, was a day in which girls wore T-shirts, sweatpants, their hair in a ponytail, and no makeup and/or jewelry. I looked down at the outfit I was wearing with a smirk. With the exception of sweatpants, what I was wearing fit the bill. Ripped jeans I usually wore hiking, a plain, white T-shirt with a picture of Wonder Woman, old running shoes, my unruly curls pulled back in a ponytail, and not a hint of makeup anywhere on my face.

Simple, basic, quick; in other words, my typical style.

But there was something a little off about our overall conversation. Even though we joked that I was apparently giving off an “anti-guy” vibe every day of the week, my friend was clearly annoyed with the situation.

Why? Because even though all the girls were in on it, wearing your hair down, putting on a hint of mascara, or just dressing how you want was seen as trying to get the attention of boys. And that’s pretty ridiculous.

Wearing T-shirts and braided hair wasn’t my idea of telling the guys at my school I was uninterested; it was just how I liked to dress. It was an easy way to change into my bathing suit during practice, and buying expensive clothing that would eventually become paint-stained seemed like a bad idea. I dressed to fit my lifestyle — not the opinions of those around me.

And the hundreds of girls who attended the same school who wore their hair down, decked out in every shade of lipstick imaginable with fashionable tops and skinny jeans, were only doing so to impress themselves.

Well, let’s be honest, everyone can admit to putting on their favorite outfit in an attempt to grab the attention of their crush, but “anti-guy” day implied that it’s the only reason girls dress nicely. Just a few minutes after arriving at school, it was pretty clear: a lot of girls had traded their typical styles for a more “rolled-out-of-bed” look. It was definitely different from what I was used to seeing, and I give them kudos for being confident in their own skin…

…but why label it as “anti-guy” day? Maybe because there’s this idea that wearing makeup makes you look “fake” and that dressing nicely makes you “attention-seeking” — but expressing yourself through fashion has a much deeper value. It can make you feel more confident and less insecure. It gives you a sense of power and beauty that no one can take away.

There’s nothing wrong with showing your true colours through makeup, not a single problem with expressing yourself with the perfect pair of jeans, and let’s face it: Life’s too short to impress anyone other than yourself.

 

 

 

img_20160301_125557-2Olivia is a journalism student from Montreal, Québec, who loves everything bookish and artistic (because honestly, what else is there to do when it’s -30°C and snowing). Even though the frigid temperatures of Canadian winters are oh-so alluring, she plans on continuing her studies in Portugal and learning a third language. One day she’d like to become a print journalist, write a novel (or two), and spend her days sketching la belle province, but for now she’s trying to find enough time to study for midterms.

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