Long time no see, glamistas! I am fully aware of the neglected state of the blog these days, but you all know what we are up to at the moment and I trust that you will find it in your hearts to forgive this fashionista for the radio silence over here (and the astronomical amount of spam on her Instagram Stories, hahaha)
I wanted however to share the latest photos we took a while back, when Cambridge’s flowers were still asleep but the sun was coming out to play one day at a time. I would then get my outfit ready, put some make up on and proceed to scour the whole of the city in search of an un-blogged location where Mr Vet would get only mildly annoyed at cars/people photobombing our session. Luckily enough, this quiet spot was round the corner from our now ex-apartment. After 30 minutes of shooting, our mission accomplished, we were back home having a delicious Sunday roast –am I British yet?
And from that day I remember the winter sun disguising everything in summer hues, not the first time this happens in England, believe it or not; I remember choosing this aubergine round crochet bag because my mum made it not long ago and I hadn’t shown it on the blog before, shame on me, I know! I remember bloody loving putting this outfit together, not only because well… denim (make it double, will you?) but also because it made me feel great, comfortable but put together, kick-ass but girly and feminine…
And I remember thinking “Rebel girls wear velvet shoes” is going to be the title of this post. Not sure what on Earth made me think a Canadian tuxedo paired with velvety block heel pumps can be considered as rebel, but perhaps it’s this slogan tee that brings out that feisty side of me that only truly incompetent people and hunger usually do!
The truth is that I never thought myself a rebel girl, rather the opposite…
In my mind, rebel girls change the world.
They are fearless, even though they know they might get hurt. They fight for other girls’ rights, they stand up to oppressing governments and intolerant peers, they write brave and inspiring speeches that move others to join in their fight, they do not content themselves with the world as it is. No. Rebel girls change the world.
If you would have asked me, I would have said I had none of that in me. I was always very good at playing by the rules, even made up new rules to be followed, and judged people who didn’t –textbook Virgo. I was convinced that rules provide some of the order that is lacking in our chaotic world, and as you can imagine a teenager’s world has its own share of chaos to account for.
In any case, not being a rebel girl, I always found it much easier to be obliging and compliant, happy with the world as it was, happy wanting the things that everybody wanted: the same clothes, the same music, even the same boys. It brought me closer to my peers, it avoided conflict and inspired unity.
Rebel girls end up alone. Rebel girls can get hurt.
Then one day something gets into you, or rather something clicks, and with a shrunken and almost upset stomach you hear yourself saying “no” to your best friend’s suggestion to go to that club you hate, or stopping your boyfriend’s unsolicited hand slipping up your bra.
The fear of rejection thumping in your ears, once the moment has passed you realise that no lightning has fallen upon you and that you can breathe again normally, and that actually your friend still wants to hang out with you the following day and your boyfriend doesn’t think you are a prude. Does it sound familiar?
If you have a self conscious personality and are the kind of girl/boy who prefers to avoid uncomfortable situations like my teenage self did, it is more than likely that these experiences would have sent you right over that imaginary but so powerful comfort line we cherish so much. However, if I am totally honest, once the “let-me-die” moment was over, I would feel a sense of empowerment that would reassure me I was doing the right thing by speaking my mind. And so it got me thinking, what are these but small acts of rebellion against the person you don’t think you should be and steps towards the one you actually want to become?
Every time I managed to express how I was really feeling, as opposed to acting as someone else was expecting from me, I considered it a small victory in the war of reclaiming my true self for myself, which only gave me the strength to keep going. And with each small victory, the certainty that the following time I had to face a similar situation, my voice would be less shaky, the fear of rejection would sting a little bit less and a freer version of me would come out at the other end of it.
A disclaimer here: even though I am by no means traumatised by my teenage experiences (partly the reason I can talk about them over here with the whole of the Internet), I do find that the inner battle to change the always-compliant trait of my character was something I had to work on for years until I reached a point where I didn’t feel guilty about my decisions, even if it meant disappointing other people or not meeting their expectations, and I am sure this is true for many of us out there.
One thing I have realised over the years is that order and rules are great –and necessary– to live in society, but they can also be quite crippling to our potential and creativity (sacrilege!), so perhaps it’s not that terrible that we don’t blindly follow ALL the established ways set by society/family/friends or even our own minds, and that we act as rebels every once in a while. Who was it that said “rules were made to be broken”? 🙂
Another thing I have realised over the course of many years and many uncomfortable situations, is that even though the things that paralyse you or make you boil will change in shape and form, there will always be something calling you to break free of your fears or rebel against: a patronising boss, a cat call late at night, a ridiculous beauty standard, an abusive friendship… What can we say? The world is far from perfect, just as we are, but some things we needn’t accept as they are and they are worth speaking up against!
I wrote last winter about how I think developing a bold attitude in life will help us achieve our goals and dreams, and writing these lines now I realise that perhaps, in my mind, rebel is just another word for bold.
And that perhaps not all rebel girls are meant to fight their government or face terrible dangers in order to change the world. Perhaps rebel girls are also those women who are confident enough to stand on their own feet and talk about the good, the bad and the ugly in a picture-perfect Instagram world, and perhaps rebel girls also dream of a better world and take small steps towards it in their velvet shoes.