Some people hold onto previous incarnations of people they know. We all change over time, and we’ve all had embarrassingly awkward stages of personal development, but things that were drastically different from what they are now can still stick around to haunt us in the form of Other People’s Opinions.
In middle school I owned about five band t-shirts that I was willing to wear, along with a pair of jeans and khaki cargo pants. I was so body-conscious as a teenage girl that I masked it all as a tomboy personality so baggy clothing could hide any rolls of fat that were there, if not actually on my body then in my mind.
This poor fashion sense gradually went away over time – it was no overnight switch, and I’m always looking to improve how I dress. But I’ve reached a far better place with the clothes that I wear, how I coordinate them, and overall how they make me look. I’ve come to better terms with my body without resigning to ugliness, so I feel better presented and hope to look better presented. I have good colour coordinating skills, a vast improvement from nursery school when the teacher called my mother to discuss the terrible matter of my mismatching socks. I don’t dress the same every day with routine accessories, different from the seven necklaces I wore every day in high school, and I even wear dresses and skirts willingly from time to time.
But the opinion of people who decided to settle on their impression of me in earlier years will still think I don’t have a good sense of style. The same goes for how clean I’m able to keep my personal space, my level of interpersonal skills, the issues I care about, and how I like to spend my free time. People change, and sometimes, to be more specific here, people improve.
I think it’s beneficial for growing optimism and better health to have enhanced my appearance as I’ve aged. Getting better at something is encouraging to continue. It helps that I don’t have a nostalgic feeling for how things used to be. It makes it easier to get rid of things I no longer look good in, or never looked good in to begin with.