Alternative.

I read an article yesterday on Bustle listing seven reason alternative style should be allowed in the so-called ‘professional’ world, something I feel rather strongly about. It’s sort of become a personal mission in my own small world.

Far too many people negatively judge those they encounter simply based on the way a person looks. We are all guilty of it. It’s a mark of our society. But it’s a destructive habit that needs to be squashed once and for all. (A lofty, idealistic goal? Sure. But what can I say, it’s in my nature.) Self-expression shouldn’t be a derogatory mark on someone’s character. No one should be made to feel guilty for outwardly manifesting who they are inside. Self-expression should be celebrated. It is a remarkable and freeing thing. And I think it’s one of the best and safest highs a person can get.

I’ll never forget the day I finally—after years and years of wanting to do it and being afraid of people judging me—had my blue ombré hair done. I’ve never felt more myself or more comfortable in my own skin. My self confidence, which has always been a major issue for me (a topic for another day), quadrupled. Before, I basically hated looking in the mirror, because I was always judging myself. Now I love seeing my ‘peacock hair’ reflecting back at me. It’s helped me learn to love myself more and to not judge myself so harshly. In short, it’s helped me embrace who I am. I won’t being going back to (entirely) natural colored hair any time soon…maybe not ever. I love it too much. I love the way it makes me feel. It’s amazing how one small change can result in such a massive shift in perception.

Whatever form(s) of self-expression you prefer—art, music, tattoos, rainbow hair, no hair, beards, suits & ties…the list goes on and on—just remember this: be yourself. Find your truth and own it. Do and wear whatever makes you the best version of yourself. And be kind. Try not to judge people, especially those different from you. They are what makes this world of ours so interesting. Embrace the difference.

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