I am eccentric (such a shocking revelation, isn’t it?). I do not hide my eccentricities from anyone. For those who meet me, this is one of the first things they realize about me. I wear unusual kinds of clothing (I don’t think there is women’s and men’s clothing exclusively, either can wear both), I read books on complex subjects for fun, I like to debate anything and everything (friendly debating of course), I like wearing some makeup, I like having my nails long and painted (many a girl has been envious of my nails), I am so open that I will answer any question no matter how personal and have no problem asking others such questions as well, I love all animals to the point where I will go out of my way to move one to a safer location (if I see
a spider at the college, I will be sure to pick it up and release it outside so it does not get harmed), while I cannot recreate it I am a music whore, I am a science geek (those who know me seek me out when they have a questions of this sort instead of looking it up), I am a theatre hang-around, I am a tech geek, I have an odd sense of humor and can usually find a way to joke or laugh at anything and I am ‘different’ in many other ways.
So what is the point of saying that I am eccentric when it is plain to see for most? The point comes from when I was shopping with a friend of mine. She revealed that she wanted to dress more eclectically (specifically she loved the style from the mid-80’s), but for a couple reasons, she couldn’t. The first
was money, which is understandable, this is a problem I myself have had on many occasions (this is the main reason I started to design and make my own clothing) so I gave her a few tips on finding unusual clothing cheaply. The second reason is she was slightly worried about how it would affect other’s reaction to her. This saddened me, as it is a legitimate concern.
When I was younger, I wanted to dress differently, but I was afraid to. I was afraid of how my family would
react and how my classmates would react as well. I was already one of, if not the least popular person in my class, so its consequences would be quite unpleasant. Eventually I slowly started to change my style and
I discovered it had a strange effect on me. It seemed that the more I experimented with my style, the more confident I became. The more confident, the more others respected me. Since then, I have gained more
respect from others then ever before. I believe this is more a reflection of my attitude and not my style, as others who dress different and do not have a similar attitude do not receive the same
respect. But my style is what allowed me to develop my confidence in the first place.
My friend has the right attitude (she is very bubbly and friendly, I really do love spending time with her), as such, I believe she would not be treated differently after she started dressing how she wants. It is just the conversion time that she may find hard. When you start to change your style in any way (be it dress,
musical taste, how outgoing you are, college major, etc.), people begin to ask all kinds of questions and sometimes even ostracize. Society often believes that a personal change means there is something wrong
with said person. It is rare for society to consider that it is just a person changing as they tend to do.
I am considering trying to see if I can find some clothing laying around somewhere that fits her
style just to give her so that she may begin to dress as she wants. If you know anyone who is in a similar situation, do the same. If you come across something that you know they will love, but that they are afraid
to go out and get for themselves, buy it for them. You don’t have to do it as a birthday or similar day gift, just as a whenever gift. This will mean so much to them. It will show that not only are you a good
friend, but that you truly know them. For those who are going through a transition (or wants to), many feel that others do not know them at all, to find that someone does and who supports them, it will mean more
to them than you can imagine.
Be eccentric if you are, do not hide it, be damn proud that you are one step away from crazy. There are
people around you who will envy you for it. These are the people that you and you alone can help feel better about themselves. A more ‘normal’ individual will not understand enough to do anything about it,
they might even tell them that it is ‘foolish’ and dissuade them from doing what they truly want. Take these people under your proverbial wing, you will gain a very close friend and they will gain confidence.