Scorpio Risen

Conformity.

Posted on: 21 February, 2007

I’m going to buy new clothes and accessories and start dressing like every other girl in my sixth form.
I’m going to tone down the Courtney-Love-red lipstick and stop wearing crazy coloured make-up which pretty much sets me apart aesthetically from every other girl in my sixth form. I’m going to just wear the “natural” look, cleverly created with just the right amount and tone of foundation, and a bit of eyeliner and lipgloss to go a bit nutty with.
I’m going to shave my legs every other day, I’m going to pluck my eyebrows daily – ‘cos God forbid I ever get a single hair – I’m going to wax my mons, I’m going to shave my armpits whenever necessary. I can’t be slacking off with hair removal!
I’m going to listen to exactly the same kind of bands as everyone else.
I’m going to start drinking, and drinking, and drinking, and take photographs of me and a bundle of mate consuming blue alcohoic liquids.
I’m going to take “mirror pictures”, without piss-taking.
I’m going to stop being so anti-pornography and I’m going to give up my feminist beliefs, and just go with the flow. I’m going to dilute my opinions down. Hopefully I won’t have any left, other than which member of Fall Out Boy is hottest.
I’m going to completely and utterly, heart-and-soul, body-and-mind, conform.
And you won’t be able to identify me in a line up.

Wow, doesn’t that sound like fun?!

It feels like that is my choice. That, or just being me.
I’ve felt for quite a while that, if I was to completely conform my life would be easier.

The truth is, this is a subject which really hurts me. It is only because I’m feeling emotionally raw at this moment of time that I am writing about it. To vent. To release steam. It’s probably going to come across as really selfish.

I don’t think I’ve ever really felt like I’ve exactly fitted in nicely anywhere. This doesn’t mean that I am willing, or would be willing, to mould myself to fit in with other people as such, more that I’ve always looked just to be accepted as I am, for being me, while being allowed breathing space. At my old school, things got pretty shitty from year 10, possibly before then. But from year 10, I felt like my social status was going through a very cyclical process: I felt pushed out by a group of mates, then things seemed to gain a balance and things were fine and dandy, then I felt pushed out by a group of mates, then things seemed to gain a balance things were fine and dandy, then…Well, I’m sure you get the picture. My best friend F and I stuck by each other, which helped. But, the thing is, it made me feel pretty miserable. I’m quite a people-person really; I like being with others, I like company (not all the time, mind), I like helping others, I like cheering others up, I like showing affection to others. So I take this kind of thing pretty damn hard. This made me angry. This made me bitter. Which didn’t help matters, and it made it a vicious circle, as you can probably imagine.

At least, in year 11 I had hope. Because, it was only one more year, I was going to start a new sixth form. -Insert name of my sixth form -, one of the largest sixth forms in the country, and I already had a few contacts there. It seemed like I’d have a fresh start, and so I was optimistic. I was looking forward to meeting new people. Diverse people.

When I started -Insert name of my sixth form -, I was still optimistic initially. I was confident. I smiled at everyone. ‘Course, that probably made me look like some sort of pervert. However, although I initially stuck to one particular group – most of whom I knew beforehand, who were also new to -Insert name of my sixth form – – this group made new friends, and eventually I felt kind of pushed out. Again. Outside of this group, for the most part, I felt like an outsider. I just didn’t fit into any groups. Maybe I’m just not compatible with the whole group dynamic. But this made me feel, to be honest, kind of shit. -Insert name of my sixth form – was supposed to be a fresh start, not a continuation of the same old bullshit – but, it felt, on a bigger scale.

I hate it. I hate feeling so alone. I hate feeling so ignored. I hate feeling so desperate. I hate sitting there, hearing everyone talk, and be happy, and I’m sitting there imagining what it would be like if I was actually dead, right there, right now, and who would notice. I hate feeling like I’m drowning. I hate that it’s made me feel so crap about myself. I hate that it’s cracking my self esteem, after it took me fucking years to get some. I hate that people just haven’t given me a fucking chance. I hate that I’m scared of rejection. I hate that my fear of rejection has driven me to become more withdrawn. I hate that now, when I’m talking to someone, I’ll realise my eyes are darting all over the place; they never did that before, I think it’s a defence mechanism. I hate that I feel like I’m just tagging along behind groups, desperately wanting to join in. I hate that I feel so fucking weak and pathetic and like a victim. I hate that I look so fucking weak and pathetic. I hate that, in a way, I do care about what people think – in the sense that I care that I don’t feel accepted – when I’ve always felt I’ve never needed to care what people think, and in some respects I still don’t. I hate that it’s made me feel pretty damn low, and that it’s made me cry so, so many times. I hate that I left my old school with so much bitterness and resentment towards it, and I know I’ll most likely leave -Insert name of my sixth form – feeling the same unless things don’t change. I hate that I’m so angry.

Why was it that I was feeling like this? Why did I feel like a bit of a social idiot? Was there something wrong with me? To be honest, I think it’s because I am openly individual. Although I think I was quite restrained initially, I have since got more open about my opinions and have readily contributed answers and discussion points in class (I’m a geek, especially in Sociology). From the very first day, I wore my bright make-up. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I know: make-up and the capitalist patriarchy go hand-in-hand. I can see where you’re coming from, I respect your point of view, and I particularly respect your decision to abstain from this, or whatever you choose to do, but I have somewhat different views about make-up. I do not wear my make-up in a way which is necessarily stamped and approved by patriarchly concepts of “beauty”, whatever that is, for one thing.)
Now, I see my bright make-up as saying, OK so I may not have the coolest new fads in accessories, my arms aren’t laden with bracelets and chains and whatnot, but I see myself as a bright, quirky human being, and I choose to represent this by wearing crazy, zany make-up. I like to do this for myself, it is fun, I like being quite Artist-like with a cotton wool bud and eye shadow. However, my theory is that many people – as I realised, looking around the common room – are not so keen on parading individual tastes (maybe they don’t have any, haw haw haw, Amy is bitter), and so are wary of people who do not go around in an Identikit Clone Uniform.

However, today, I was on msn, and I was talking to a guy I’ve known since Year 10. He is supposedly very wise and good with dishing out advice. I ended up trying to reach out to him, pouring my heart out about all this. I burst into tears, but he doesn’t know that. However, his immediate response was to suggest I see a psyschiatrist, and ask if I was on medication. Apparently, I’m a headcase.

He made me feel to blame for everything. I’m sure some of it is, but not all of it. Apparently, my make-up comes across as attention-seeking. This upset me and angers me now. Essentially he told me that some people (and these people have got to be my mates, and people I’ve met, and I can hedge a guess or two at a couple of them at least) have commented on the so-called “fact” that my make-up – rather than being an outlet to reflect and symbolise aesthetically some of my quirkiness, or to please myself with pretty, fun colours – is for the benefit of other people, by way of (that dreaded word) “attention-seeking”.
It’s sad that someone can be themselves, with a bit of a sparkle – or in my case, eye shadow – with the chief aim of pleasing themselves, rather than for an audience, and be accused of “attention seeking”.
Why would I want people to pay special attention to my exterior, when I’d rather them pay attention to what I had to say or think?
Why is it that, because I don’t subscribe to one particular standard of “beauty” – i.e. the so-called “natural” look, which isn’t necessarily au naturel, or a more subtle look – I should be criticised, or blamed for being lepracised (OK, that may be something of an exaggeration but meh)?
GAH!!!

It sucks. That it do.

On the plus side, I’m not a complete loner at -Insert name of my sixth form -; I have a few friends, but no particular group (and I can’t compete with the groups when I’m with a friend). However, on the extra-plus side, I feel so, so grateful to T, my Manchester Mate, who made me feel a wee bit better 🙂 It’s great that, despite the distance, we both know we have each other’s backs 🙂

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: