In the few months since I’ve started my blog, the most asked question I get is “what is it you want to be?“. It’s a good question. In fact, it’s so good that I’m struggling with answering it every day.
It’s a question that’s been asked since I was in preschool. And I can assure you, I haven’t given the same answer twice. My answer changes more often than my haircut, and I’m not one to shy away from the scissors. But our answers, along with our attention, seem to become more split every day.
With every new season, there’s a new trend. Right now we’re all opinionated on football, immigration and plastic waste. Last fall, it was vegan food, calling out the patriarchy and getting headaches over President Trump. You don’t have to choose between being a stay-at-home-mom or having a career anymore. You can be a vegan, Capricorn mom with a degree in marketing spending her time blogging about hemp leggings, and you’ll be applauded.
It’s the golden days of the modern Renaissance man. With all the alternatives ready for us, you’d think it would be easier to narrow down what you want and need to do, but that’s not the case. Studies have found that all the many alternatives offered makes it harder for us to choose just one.
Meanwhile, North Korea sports only two choices of women’s hair styles, thus speeding up the process of decision-making immensely.
I really can’t help but wonder, with all the thousands of options and possibilities ready for us, how can we ever really choose what’s right just for us?
What’s the modern dress code for living?
In my mother’s day, it was basic custom to get married, buy a house, have kids and die somewhat bitter and judging your children. In a few generation’s time, history has done remarkable progress further and faster than ever before. You can live, move, work and talk in ways that were not conceivable 30 years ago.
Nowadays, men aren’t even 100% necessary for reproduction. Less people are tying the knot and those that do often remarry time and again. Due to the economic state fewer people are buying houses. Many work multiple jobs, and basically no one stays in the same trade for their entire career. Birth rates are at an all time low. Non-traditional (ie feminist) views on society, beauty and individuality have turned the tables 180º and upside down.
Honestly, the collection of opportunities we have today is absolutely wonderful. We have the privilege of witnessing a time of immense change and modernization. Let’s not forget that.
A few months back, I turned 25. By many culture’s definitions, I am now an adult. This apparently means that I have a stable economy and a budding career or at least a sensible education. I’m expected to have a monogamous (and probably heterosexual) relationship with a man I’ll eventually marry and have children with.
This is an outdated standard as ill-fitting as granny’s actual panties. I’m afraid it’s way too normative and constricting for me and many others. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I sometimes wished it would be that simple. Etiquette is thrown out the window as part of the new spring collection where you’re trying to replace last years’s season, here meaning the patriarchy.
We – I’m mostly thinking of women, trans people and the more emotional side of heterosexual men – are for the first time given the privilege of space and opportunity to speak our minds and make our own rules.
Why is it so hard to exercise that privilege?
There’s something thunderous brewing in this progressiveness. I’m sensing an anxiety to live up to everything we could be, and a fear to fail to do so, because we have all the opportunities in the world. Because we’re educated and opinionated enough, therefore supposedly should know better. Because the ultimate human being is a modern, minimalist feminist. We’re told we’re supposed to conquer the world, in one way or another. Anything else is simply worth less.
Basically, we’re shaming people for not being social media whores boasting and posting their narcissism at every opportunity. We’re pricing external flash over internal goodwill, making how things seem more important than the way they actually are. That’s unfashionable, if not plain rude.
There’s a pressure on aiming for this fictional greatness. A greatness much like any pride that cometh before the fall, something biblical yet contemporary enough to match our modern silhouette.
Part of all this supposed freedom would be to make the rules and standards for our own lives. To define your own version of “happiness”, “love” and “success”. Because although I believe in equality, I’m afraid that word is misleading. Equality should aim to make everyone equally safe and happy. It doesn’t take equal amounts of stimuli to achieve that for people, though. And that’s where we stumble.
There used to be a clear cut version of right and wrong. Call three days after the first date, marry or remain a confirmed bachelor, be a cat or dog person – those rules don’t exist anymore. We have Tinder, polygamy and pigs for pets.
And this is all wonderful. We’re evolving into a more accepting world. But that doesn’t make it any easier to make right decisions that work for you. There are still standards to uphold and values to cherish.
What’s a girl to do? More precisely: what’s this girl to do?
After wrestling with the maze that is the new dress code, I figured I’d make my own rules inspired by tradition but decorated with modern values I can proudly stand by. Long story short, I want to write. I want to be a writer. Not for any other reason than that if I don’t, I don’t feel like myself. Though my bangs might come and go, that still remains.
It’s the go-to option when nothing else seem to fit me or my life. It’s the classic little black dress, something to wear throughout the seasons. It’s the short bob with side swept bangs.
Timeless, classy and fits like a glove.