Every day I try to make myself out to be someone who doesn’t have anxiety and isn’t afraid of much. But, in reality, I am afraid of a lot. And it just so happens that I am really afraid of something that I really like: fashion.

Here I am though, writing about fashion because I live by this mantra, if you are afraid to do something you better freakin’ do it.

When I was a little girl, I took on the persona and style of a tom boy. I played sports and was pretty active, so I wore jeans, t-shirts and basketball shorts 24/7. Pink was vile and dresses were literally the worst. I rejected all stereotypes of what it meant to be a girl and I felt the heat from that.

Probably around middle school, I started adding other items to my wardrobe, like color. (What?! No!) And then, at some point or another, I unfortunately wanted to look and act (apologies to my mom and her bank account) like every other girl in my school to attract boys. This carried on through high school and into my second year of college.

It wasn’t until I discovered thrift shopping that I decided to shake things up a bit. I often visited the Blue Ridge Hospice Thrift Stores because my mom and and some other badass ladies (who now have their own shops, which are linked below) worked there and I slowly fell into a trance. Everything was so cheap and so cool. I wonder now if that bohemian woman was somewhere deep inside me, but I never thought I had the funds to facilitate that style. Most of the stuff I had never seen anyone else wear and that was attractive to me. That was the beginning of something amazing for me and it led me to here, where I wear whatever I want whenever I want and I believe in the kind of girl that I am. She came to light somewhere between my first tattoo and feminism.

I use fashion to express how I feel, what I believe in and who I am. It matters to me because it’s something I do everyday that is wholly and entirely for me. (See more about this in a couple paragraphs.)

I still wear jeans, t-shirts and basketball shorts, don’t get me wrong, but I add in some hipster, boho vibes to create the most “me” look. I know it’s cliche’, but I feel best when I feel like I look my best. Here’s some of my best.

Now, to why I am afraid of writing this very blog post.

First things first, fashion is subjective. I can think I look a ten and anybody on the street can be appalled by what I put together. Every time I post a photo of myself on social media I am taking the risk of receiving criticism and judgement. Every time I post a photo of an outfit that I think is fire I am saying I think this is fire! It took me a long time to realize that I shouldn’t care what other people think of the way I dress and that I deserve to have an opinion. In fact, I shouldn’t give a rat’s ass about what other people think and I should shout from the rooftops that I dig culottes and crop tops! I’m not saying that I don’t have those moments where I am drawn to a piece, but I question what people will say if I wear it. I have, however, trained my brain to say screw it, if you like it, wear it.

And secondly, the media and the communities I have lived in have convinced me that because I am a curvy lady I don’t deserve to feel good in my clothes and that my opinions about style are invalid. How could I possibly have a fat ass and like bellbottoms? Inconceivable.

But, I am proclaiming it now that life is too short to not wear the clothes that you want to wear! And to continue on that train, life is too short to care about what other people wear. I’m cool, you’re cool, we’re all cool.

We were made to be just the way that we are and it’s a shame to not express ourselves and make our voices heard, whether that be through activism or fashion.

So, get ready readers, I’m writing about fashion. Stay tuned.

And while you are waiting for me to post more about fashion, check out those badass ladies I mentioned earlier who now have their own shops:

Rachel Gibb (@edgingsoundingusername) – Edgy Sounding Shop Name

Rebecca Miller (@canthavenicethingsvintage) – Can’t Have Nice Things Vintage