The other day, I had a chat with a boy who is still in his adolescent years. He told me that he loved the way I present and dress myself. It’s nice to see that I can inspire younger boys, and encourage hem to be themselves. Even though it makes me feel like I’m a bit of an oldie, haha. Nevertheless, it’s a great compliment when other people find you inspiring. This boy really could tell a lot of what he wanted to be doing, but he was constantly thinking about problems, which withheld him from actually doing it. Even when I told him that he should do what he loved and care for nothing else, he still couldn’t. He was too preoccupied with other peoples’ opinions, and worried about what they might think of him. I recall myself doing this as well during my adolescence. My bachelor in Educational Child Science also taught me that adolescents are very influenced by their peers and opinions of others.
Seems like such a waste of time. What’s the purpose of this mindset? Does it allow us to fit in or survive in the society ruled by mature people later on? That doesn’t seem right, well not in my case anyway. I’m perfectly happy doing what I like and wearing what I think is beautiful. Even if that makes me an outsider. Maybe it’s the learning experience of first doing what other people like, before realizing that it doesn’t make you happy. People will always have opinions and you will never fit in perfectly because nobody really knows what ‘normal’ is. I do think back to my adolescent years and think it was such a waste to conform myself to others. So here is my advice to the adolescent boy or anyone else for that matter, like Rita Mea Brown said:
The reward for conformity is that everybody likes you except yourself…
Pictures: Anne Oosterheerd
Styling: Elio Heres
Look: Blue vintage coat from Marbles & Vintage, yellow vintage sweater from Bij ons Vintage, vintage bag from Episode, pants by Cheap Monday available at Weekday, loafers are from Solestruck and the earring is from Topshop.