“I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.” -Yves Saint Laurent.

Many people believe that individuals dress a certain way solely on the basis of “trends”. Although historically, this has been proven to be somewhat true, the overall theory needs to be “revamped”. People always seem to think that the way you dress is based on your “style”, when in reality style is simply the way something is expressed (physically, verbally, emotionally, etc.).

True, culture does normally dictate the style in which people dress, but what if it means more than that? We all judge people based on how they look; first by their outfits, then by their face, hair, makeup, and we just keep judging them until we come to a final decision of who this stranger is.

This fact is undeniable; it is human nature. You judge others based on how they appear; their appearance is the only thing you “know about them,” until they openly express their personality and/ or their life to you. The thing people do not seem to understand, however, is before you judge someone they have:

1. Already judged you.

2. Already judged themselves 1,000 times over.

3. Already know you are judging them.

Individuals; us, you, me, we all judge ourselves. Our whole existence stems around if we are “good enough”. It does not matter how confident you are, at one point in your life, you felt down about yourself because you thought you were not good enough, no matter what the reason was.

A person’s fashion is based on how they feel about themselves, and what message they are trying to convey to the world about who they are. The clothing people choose is never 100% based on their “style” or culture; it is usually based simply on how they feel that day. Whatever their level of confidence is at is going to be in direct relation to how they clothe their bodies.

Women that cover up and are very conservative are seen by different groups of people in different lights. Women who show more skin and wear tight and low cut clothing are judged by all people. Men who bare more skin than “normal” are immediately judged by other men and women. Men who wear suits and ties are judged by others, as well. I do not think I need to specify the judgments, because as soon as you were presented with those scenarios, you immediately thought of an image in your mind, and made a judgment based on it. It is human nature, and no one is free from it.

The biggest place this has become a concern is in the media, particularly with young girls and body image. Young girls are now being attacked for their want to look and feel older while they are still so young. Being a young woman in today’s society, I can sympathize with them, a lot. People, especially older generations, always tell you (as a young girl/person) that you need to cover up and “enjoy being young while it lasts.” And yes, to a degree I agree with this; but to a larger extent, I do not.

I would love to be a child again. I would much rather live without a care in the world, in a time where trying to memorize Vocabulary Workshop definitions was the biggest stress I had. I would not, however, love to go through all of the issues young girls have now. Having a younger sister reminds me of how mean girls, and the rest of the world, can be. Young people are living in an age, literally and figuratively, where you are too young to act like an adult, yet too old to act like a child.

These girls want to express themselves, and sometimes fashion is their only outlet to do so. Personally, I sympathize very strongly with these younger people. Having attended a private catholic school from Kindergarten throughout high school, I was restricted by having to wear a uniform every day. Every day when I got home after school, I would put on at least 12 outfits before I decided to do my homework. I didn’t do this because I was going anywhere, had anything to do, or even someone to impress; I did it simply because I wanted to feel good about myself, to be different, and stand out. (Also to be comfortable because those uniforms were really uncomfortable.) All things I could not do in a uniform.

I am by no means saying young people, boys or girls, or even adults, should dress in scandalous clothing and show everything they have. I do, however, believe that fashion and your own personal style is one of the greatest ways to express yourself while simultaneously increasing your sense of self-confidence.

In addition to that, I understand we all have “off-days”. Sometimes you have to appear homeless and completely oblivious to what a shower is. We all need those days. It is important, however, to ensure that those days do not become more common than not. No one feels their best or most confident when they are dressed like that, but again, sometimes you just need to be hideous.

All in all, if everyone were to feel amazing all the time, supermodels would become less super. We would all be perfect, stylish, and wonderful. But alas, we do not feel amazing all the time, and supermodels are still very much super. The way you look and act affects the way people perceive you. The way you look also affects how you feel about yourself. It is important to understand that no one is perfect, and not everyone is going to like you. But at the end of the day, it’s you that has to live your choices, not everyone else. Dress how you want. Be yourself, and look great doing it.