I have early memories of dressing up, wearing my mother’s high heels, and rummaging through her cosmetics stash. When you’re young, you can’t always articulate why you’re drawn to certain things, but as I’ve gotten older, I began realizing why I’m so enamored with aesthetics. There is power associated with presenting a strong and memorable image to the world - an image that tells a story, makes a statement, and serves as a silent method of communicating.
There are many ways for people to express themselves – through spoken word, artistic creations, music and song, writing, etc. But using your visual identity to send a message is one of the only ways you can make an immediate impression by just showing up. Making a strong style statement can have a profound impact on someone you may never even know exists. A person can you see from across a room, on a crowded subway, or at an event, and you can shape the way they see life, the world, or even themselves.
The way you present yourself DOES matter, and in a world that often celebrates the superficial – it’s important to learn how to use that to your advantage. I’m a huge proponent of being equally stylish and smart – you must have something substantial to offer underneath that pretty packaging. But most first impressions are based on visuals – and those impressions are formed in a matter of seconds. Taking the time to pull yourself together shows that you’re looking to beautify the world in some way, and that's a total boss move - because let’s be honest, the world is watching.
So you may be wondering how I became “The Fearless Fashionista.” When I was younger, I fantasized about growing up, getting a job, and dressing up every day. I just wanted to look cute and be stylish. I secretly wanted to become a model, but for whatever reason, that never came to fruition. Despite my failed fantasy of walking the Paris runways, or gracing the covers of high fashion magazines, my love of style and fashion has only grown stronger over the years. I’ve heard people say that you should shop for the life that you have, but I must confess that I shop for the life I think I was meant to live. I guess I’ve bought into all the subliminal and overt messaging that targets girls and women, promoting glitz and glamour. Or maybe I was just born this way.
I'll buy a full length sequins gown, a fishtail bridesmaid skirt, or a tutu, just in case some type of fancy event comes up - I’ll be prepared. I have items hanging in my closet, just begging to be worn, but they’re just a little too fancy for the life that I’m living right now. When I get desperate enough, I’ll figure out a way to force one of those pieces into the rotation, by dressing them down a little, or organizing some type of get-together, just so I’ll have a reason to get some use out of them.
Throughout my travels I have won a number of fictitious awards, including “Best Dressed on the Floor” in my office, “Best Dressed on the Train”, “Best Dressed in the Building”, etc. - and although I haven’t gotten any trophies or monetary prizes in conjunction with those awards, I’ll take them. That means people are looking and paying attention. And once you get peoples’ attention - that can lead to bigger and better things.
Just remember that people are studying and taking notes, so give them something worthwhile to look at!
Oh, and tonight the NAACP awards are airing. Just like the Golden Globes, I never received my invitation, but I dressed up for the occasion nevertheless. This is a dress that I bought almost 6 years ago for a milestone birthday. And I'm happy to say, it still fits.
Be Fearless. Stay Fashionable. Have Fun!