Monday, March 17, 2008

I’m Not Who People See

To the world I present myself as a “normal” everyday person. People tend to see me as mainstream and somewhat conservative. The interesting thing to me is that I do not intentionally perpetuate these myths. I suppose it is the fact that I am not “over the top” weird that keeps people from thinking of me as less than the typical Midwestern small town girl all grown up and behaving myself. I have no piercings other than the ears (only one hole each), no tattoos (though I have two in mind that I intend to get at some point), and no pink in my hair (pink seems to be the “in” highlight hair color these days). I don’t dress provocatively at all, wear little to no makeup and just don’t look the part I guess for anything but a prude. I am comfortable with how I dress and don’t dress in a particular way to send a particular message. I dress the way I do because it is comfortable. I’m all about the sensible shoes because they are comfortable. I’m all about the high collars because then I don’t worry about my bra straps showing. I’m all about the longer skirts because then my legs don’t get cold. It’s all about the comfort, not the “message.” Also, if you ever see me in designer anything it would be because I picked it up at a thrift store for $5 without a clue that it was designer. I once had people rave about a purse I had because it was a knockoff of [I have no idea who] but I had only bought it because I liked its functionality and it was on sale for a decent price. The point is I dress for comfort, not to project the image of anything. That’s just not how I work.

This has come up more than once among my friends in the bi group. Their perception of me is that I’m very quiet and conservative and most likely shocked by some of the things they say and do. Nothing could be further from the truth! Nobody has ever shocked me with any of their stories from their lives. As a matter of fact I believe they would be shocked to learn some things about me, and I know they have been shocked by a few tidbits I’ve shared here and there (mention of the recent FWB being just one).

My thoughts about this are spurred by trying to look at myself and see what it is that I am projecting to the world, what I would like to be projecting to the world, what I really am, and seeing what changes I might need to make to align those elements with one another. I am an enigma of sorts. I do not fit stereotypes. My values, my beliefs and my outlook on life sometimes can seem contradictory to those who don’t understand me and yet they make perfect sense to me.

I guess I just want people to stop being shocked that it doesn’t bother me if they smoke weed in front of me. I want people to stop being shocked when I share the number of sexual partners I’ve had. I want people to stop being shocked that I enjoy the occasional alcoholic drink. I want people to understand that just because it disgusts me when drugs or alcohol or anything potentially destructive become more important in someone’s life than anything else it doesn’t mean that I condemn the behavior in moderation. I want people to stop being shocked that the person I am inside is not what they thought it would be based on the outer packaging. I want people to be willing to get to know me, the real me, before assuming that I “must be” this or that based on my looks.


Bunny said...

Amen, sista! I have fought against this sort of thing all my life. I look like a "nice" girl, sweet little stay-at-home mom and people treat me accordingly. As though I couldn't possibly ALSO be a sexual being, politically and socially liberal, and shocked by very little.

Then again, sometimes it's fun to surprise people!

The Silent Male said...

I am shocked people would be shocked like this. I mean, its just shocking I tell ya.

Summer said...

Unfortunatly people judge on outward appearance. I don't think that will ever change.

Trueself said...

Bunny - Somehow the thrill of surprising people is gone for me.

SM - I am shocked that you are so shocked even though it is rather shocking.

Summer - Yep, people are shallow.