By Venus Wright
Am I lying if I portray an image of myself to the world that is different or opposite of the genuine image of myself?
When I meet new people, I’m often told that they thought I was intimidating or even scary at first. One of my past roommates told me, “I didn’t expect you to be as nice as you are before I met you.” This probably is because of the piercings in my nose and ears in addition to my alternative style, my RBF (Resting Bitch Face, it’s involuntary), and my proud walk. When new people get to know me, they find that I’m warm and even a little bit bubbly depending on my mood. When people get to know me, I’m told that I’m welcoming and supportive, nothing like the person they thought I was at first.
Now, I could dive into the depths of why I come across this way to the world. Is it a defense mechanism? Do I not like people? Is it a style or a facade or am I just following a trend?
Anyone and everyone makes all kinds of judgment. Some may say that I’m “lying” about who I am. Some may say that wearing black (the funny thing is I really don’t wear that much, check my closet for proof), heavy jewelry, chains, and lots of makeup, is showing a “character” of myself to the world that is not who I am. The problem with this logic is the denial of the “character” I portray being part of my own being as well. It is the denial that humans, including myself, are highly individual beings with traits deeper than one label of “goth” or “cottagecore” or “stoner-skater”. Personally, I prefer to show myself to the world in a way that I believe exemplifies who I am in totality. That includes the harshness of my alternative style and the softness of my inner being, which is the truth of humans: we are multi-faceted beings. Both facets combine with every other aspect of myself to become me, Venus.
For the vast majority of people who “aren’t who they portray”, they receive similar critiques from outside parties. Those people may be dressing for an image, but personally, I dress the way I do entirely for myself. Other people can comment or think what they wish, but I dress to my best perception of myself and what I want. I want to perceive myself as someone who I find interesting and aesthetically attractive, not romantically, that could be a little weird, but with an aesthetic that I want to indulge in. I don’t want other people to immediately assume I’m a mean-spirited or scary person, but that is typically what happens. I believe that to be due to how society tends to view alternative fashion though, not in the way that I treat people.
If strangers speak to me they will find that my RBF turns to a friendly smile, no matter who they are.
I walk with pride and confidence, maybe an overexertion, purely because I don’t want people to assume I think down on myself and take advantage of that.
I dress in a way that is “intimidating” to ward off the people that have no real interest in getting to know me, and sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised by who breaks the barrier.
I have thirteen piercings because I think they’re cool and give me “flair”.
And again, the RBF is involuntary; that’s just my face.
Some people say that I’m not being truthful about who I am. I say that I’m being the most truthful to those who really want to understand me. I’m not lying, because I know I’m telling the truth. If I’m lying, then so is everyone else.