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Can't Talk | August 8, 2020

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An Ideal Aesthetic

An Ideal Aesthetic

Welcome back guest writer and Twitch mod Vianey for a piece on the most important aesthetic: Respect.

I don’t have an aesthetic.

If I’m walking down the street, I’m usually wearing something casual—a nerdy T-shirt, jeans, sneakers. If there’s a chill, I’ll put on a hoodie or a long, cozy sweater. Autumn is my favorite, because then I can wear cute scarves without feeling like a marshmallow inside a heavy coat.

I tend to shun dresses or skirts. I hate dressing up for weddings or interviews, because anything too revealing or form-fitting makes me uncomfortable. Besides, it’s hard to move around without giving a free show, you know? And don’t even get me started on heels! I’m much too clumsy, and my poor ankles don’t deserve the torture.

I also don’t wear much makeup. The art of mixing colors using those beautiful palettes like you see in online tutorials is lost on me. I think my eyes are too small to show off eyeshadow anyway, and lipstick makes me feel like a clown.

I don’t even like to wear bright colors. I gravitate towards black. It goes with everything, doesn’t it? That I am sometimes mistaken for a goth kid is okay with me. However, perhaps it’s worth mentioning that I’ve recently started to branch out with more adventurous colors like grey and a dark plum.

There’s really nothing exciting about my wardrobe, and it’s been like this since puberty.

Because I’ve learned that if I perform my gender, if I present myself the way a woman is expected to look, I stop feeling like myself. I stop feeling like a person.

I’ll catch people looking me up and down, scrutinizing my curves, and it makes my stomach turn. I’ll notice the way men glance down at my mouth when it’s painted. Even wearing bright colors draws the eye. It becomes an invitation for everyone to look at me, to judge me, to objectify me. I become an exhibit for others to gawk at and evaluate. So then what’s the point? After all, if no one sees me, I belong to no one but myself.

I’m trying to teach myself that regardless of what people see on the outside, it is not a reflection of who I truly am. My worth is not determined by the onlookers’ approval. My body is always my own, and it is a unique and beautiful landscape. I am allowed to pamper myself without guilt or shame and present myself differently according to my changing moods. I have a right to do all of this and still feel like a human being.

And that’s an aesthetic everyone should have.

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