We are in a time where self-expression is at its highest. People of all ages are trying new things with fashion, hair, makeup, body art, blurring gender lines and bucking societal norms. Yet, in this time where self-expression in many form is celebrated and even encouraged, we should remember that, on the converse, some people will not agree with some of our expression choices. While some of us may be experimenting with green hair and cut-off shorts, some may not agree. Some are uncomfortable or uneasy or even embarrassed—for whatever reason. And the two-edged sword of self-expression allows them to voice just that.
Even still, it takes a brave individual to step outside of boxes and cross lines. Many of the fashion icons and trendsetters of all time (including our time) did things that were, at one point, considered socially unacceptable. Think about it. There was a time when society said a lady must wear pantyhose or a gentleman’s shirt choices were limited to the whopping options of blue or white. But, because people decided that the masses cannot and will not limit or define them, many of us are afforded the liberty to “do us.”
All this to say, just because somebody doesn’t look like they got dressed in your closet or isn’t styled like the mannequins at *fill in the blank* mass-marketed retail chain clothing store doesn’t mean that there’s a problem. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, you should probably reevaluate that, not so much this individual who has made a decision to “do them.” In the end, you should respect the next girl’s (or guy’s) black nails and septum ring, just like you want them to respect your jeans and t-shirt.