I’ve been thinking a lot lately about personal looks and its connection with fashion and so have a lot of bloggers too. Some people have the advantage of striking resemblances to models that though they doth protest, in my opinion helps a great deal in their ability to wear certain outfits. Some have a penchant for the jolie laide (ugly pretty) features that work for them much better than being picture perfect.
This may be a deep and personal ride but I’ll throw it out anyway on the chance that people will sort of see where I’m coming from and not laugh, deride or hurl abuse (ok…so those things are a given on the blog anyway…). Let’s just say me and my looks aren’t exactly best friends. Being taunted for being ugly at school didn’t help. Having quite frankly some horrific teen years including highlights such as being called an ‘ugly moose’ online by a former crush also didn’t aid the cause. So I resigned myself to accepting that whilst I may be very good at say baking a banana cake, I’m just not aesthetically good looking. The smiley positive people will argue ‘No! Every person is beautiful in their own way.’ But there it is. The added ‘in their own way’. I think we are adult enough to accept that not everyone is born with the beauty genes.
Therefore I pride myself on skills and attributes that go deeper than the skin but having zero confidence in the skin can sometimes cause barriers. My head-over-heels, delve-right-in, get-stuck-in love of fashion wasn’t initially hampered by my utter lack of confidence, correction, regard for my looks. In some ways, I think it might have helped me escape into a world where I could fool myself into thinking that as long as I clothed myself in beauty (ok..so some of my outfits aren’t beauty incarnate but they are conscientiously considered and born out of a passion…), what my face looked like might not matter so much. Sad but true, but there you go, 14-15 year olds have funny notions in their heads.
The ugly truth: Susie Bubble’s love of fashion was born out of the ugly. Snappy headline, eh? Fast forward to the present and you’ll find someone still growing into their skin with past horrors still knawing away despite having people telling you differently (that would be Mr Bubble) and that does matter a great deal. Yet somehow, those old monsters will occasionally rear their ugly (operative word huh?) heads and hiss away at you ‘What makes you think you can pull off that top? Just you remember what they called you in primary school…’ So very occasionally, it does hamper my fashion choices.
I don’t always have 100% conviction in what I wear precisely because those past monsters will come and haunt me every now and again. I’m deeply passionate and act on whimsy and desire with my style yet probably the one thing holding me back is my ability to be 100% comfortable in my own skin. To illustrate, whilst I have no shame about photographing my outfits in all their various mishapen stages and developments, the camera stays firmly over my face. It’s an open invite to view my love of fashion and how I express that in my style but I’m also saying ‘Look at the outfit…. not the face…’.
Reading about jolie laide made me think of those that I admire style-wise that have jolie laide features: Carine Roitfeld and her strong brows, the late Isabella Blow and her pronounced teeth, Anna Piaggi’s smallish eyes, Lou Doillon’s wide mouth, it should hit me in a Eureka moment that just maybe that I could be of the jolie laide ilk too! Perhaps that realisation will come later but for now, it’s still growing pains and you will never know how fashion saved me from depths so low that it verges onto uncomfortable blog subject matter.
I highly anticipate many comments of there being no correlation between how one looks and how one dresses but I’m just presenting a personal experience that I still grapple with and as this blog has been known to muse pointlessly, I hope there has been no offense caused.