“Anything can be art. Anything can be self-expression. Now you take the weapon and run with it.” (Gerard Way) I believe in the confidence that freedom of self-expression gives you, whether through image or action, to be yourself. I choose to express myself a lot through my appearance and interests. I like to wear dark clothes and makeup because it makes me feel like myself. I also have an interest in tattoos and piercings furthermore, I love the whole idea of body modifications and alternative beauty. Many people, however, do not agree with me because “Why would you want to look like that?” or “Aren’t you worried that it’s permanent?” and it can be discouraging sometimes, to know that people are still superficial enough to judge others by their appearance.
As a child, most of my views and opinions were based on what I was told by my friends and family and what I saw on TV. I may have acted confident and outgoing, but I’ve always been self-conscious and insecure about the way I look. As I got older, I could start to change my appearance on the outside to express how I felt inside. I could stop wearing the bright colors that little kids like and begin to show people where my interests truly lie. Some might think that I am acting “rebellious” but I just want to be happy and comfortable with who I am.
One of the times I struggled most with my confidence was eighth grade when I joined the cheer team. In modern society, cheerleaders are often seen as either the ditzy, dumb blonde or the mean girl. This made me feel that I had to always be overly kind to everyone (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I’m not naturally an outgoing and nice person.) I was also very afraid of getting an answer wrong in class or saying something silly and ironic and having people think it was the way I thought.
The last way I usually expressed myself was through music, whether it be the bands I listen to or the songs I play on the piano and the guitar. I typically enjoy listening to bands like My Chemical Romance, Panic! At the Disco, or Fall Out Boy. This was different from everyone else who liked listening to Justin Bieber, Rihanna, or Selena Gomez and were generally viewed by my peers to be weird and emo. People still get shocked when they find out I don’t listen to the “popular” artists.
My whole life I’ve never really thought highly of myself, constantly suffering from a lack of self-esteem and sometimes not quite knowing why. Once I got older and was able to meet all of my friends and live in so many places around the country and experience the differences that came with each city it really helped me to start discovering who I am as a person. I was able to express how I feel in a way that helped me to feel a lot more comfortable and confident in myself, which in turn increased my self-esteem drastically. Perhaps in the future, as I grow older my views on society and the world around me will change, influencing the way I feel about myself and how I choose to use my self-expression in the future.
In conclusion, the confidence I gain from the freedom of self-expression is crucial to how I’ve developed so far as a human being. Through my image and actions, I have not always put forward the personality I really have, but as I grew older and started to change my appearance to fit my feelings as well as not being afraid to be myself with the music I listen to, I have become a lot more confident with who I am as well as hopefully encouraging others to do the same.