There’s a particular aesthetic that I associate with radical self-expression. It’s like, sparkly and glitter-on-face-y and colorful and impractical and frankly it makes me a little uncomfortable but whatever, that’s on me.

The thing I’m not sure about is, how suspicious should I be of just that first sentence? Like you’d think radical self-expression would be diverse enough not to have an associated aesthetic. But that’s not necessarily true, there’s all sorts of ways it could do, and anyway I might be wrong to associate it with radical self-expression at all.

But still, I can’t help but suspect that at least some of the time, people who claim to be going for radical self-expression are actually just trying to look like the sort of person whose radical self-expression makes them look like the sort of person who fits in here.

Which, when I put it in words, yes, obviously that happens. I just don’t know how much.

I do think that shininess, colorfulness, and impracticality are all things you should expect from humans focusing more on doing stuff-they-want with dress, even if these specific people look weirdly close to each other.

When you look at examples in nature of entities showing off to entities with humanlike vision, shininess and colorfulness play a big role, and the same is true in human fashion unless you’re countersignaling. And practicality is a huge constraint on dress. People looking for dress fulfilling specific artistic criteria that aren’t about practicality are almost never going to land on something more practical than average.

What incarnation-issues said. But also, from my perspective, when I wear sparkly colorful impractical clothing, it’s not about radical self-expression. It’s about colors and sparkles as ends in themselves. Trying to be different from everyone else is like running up the down escalator, so I don’t try to do it anymore. I’m a weirdo like all the other weirdos, but the way I am, aesthetically and otherwise, is a good way to be no matter how many people are doing it. I’m just another normal anomaly.

I acknowledge that the above is true for many people, but I personally associate wearing shiny/colourful/impractical/showy clothing with *coercion*. “Oh come *on*, we’re going somewhere *fancy*, you have to look *nice*!”

Sometimes radical self-expression is utility belts and hiking boots and wearing the same few Lands’ End outfits all the time.

(for people unaware, Lands’ End is a clothing store that sells very plain and practical and comfy clothes [link]: I highly recommend them)


#clothing #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #reply via reblog

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