It’s frustrating to be put in the position to constantly have to defend your own identity. It’s not something I’m new to, I’m just tired of it. When I first started expressing myself by wearing bold hair colors and rainbow outfits, it wasn’t always well received. In fact, over the years I’ve received everything from hate mail to death threats, just because of the way I look. You only have to look at the comment section of early articles written about me or watch some of my most popular YouTube videos to see what I mean. But I persevered because, while I didn’t invent rainbows or rainbow hair (like so many people feel the need to unnecessarily remind me) I did invent myself. Yes I love colors and cute stuff but for me it’s always been bigger than an outfit or a hairstyle. Choosing to wear the very thing that I wanted, whether that be a voluminous pink tulle skirt or a rainbow crop top, made me feel more in control of myself and my identity than anything I ever experienced.
It was the first time in my entire life that I allowed myself to set aside the opinions, beauty standards, negativity, judgment, abuse, and expectations of others to make space for me and what I actually wanted, and it was exhilarating!
Now I only get dressed for the sake of my own self expression, comfort and happiness. I’ve been doing this for seven years now and I’m never going back! There was an unexpected byproduct of me sharing my personal style online. To be honest, the thing I was more surprised about than the hate I received, was the love and connection. I quickly started to find out that there are people like me all over the world who are fighting every day to carve out that space for themselves to exist exactly as they want to. It was especially impactful to find so many other Black women and girls who either expressed themselves this way or desired to (but felt like they couldn’t because of judgemental people). And that’s when I began to understand my purpose. I knew that it was my job to continue to do this work of showing up, as often as I could, as my most authentic self regardless of the opinions of others. I never imagined how powerful and fulfilling it would be to help others feel seen. And I’m so grateful that it’s something that I get to do all the time. It’s a very reciprocal experience because I feel seen and accepted by you as well.
When I get dressed I don’t do so to follow a specific subculture or genre. I don’t follow anybody else’s rules because that would blow this whole thing, when the very purpose of my personal style is liberation. So regardless of what anybody says or thinks about me, I will persevere. Thank you for being here with me. 🤗🌈💖