Individuality and Developing a ‘Style’

Do you ever meet someone who just, entirely, seems to have it all going for them?

They look cool. They’re not necessarily confident, but comfortable in themselves. They’re well-liked and are very laid back. They like all these fun, obscure things and have social media jam-packed with amazing looking parties and brilliant hair. They’re just so… nice. It’s infuriating.

As someone with wonky self-image anyway, meeting this person can be challenging. It can give a sense of insecurity, feeling like you’re not up to their standard. You feel… boring.

I’m not about to preach any anti-social media sentiments, given that I very much support, you know, knowing what my friends are up to without having to hassle them every hour of the day. Effortless keeping in touch, I love it. However, I do think that social media is pretty significant in feeling inferior to that person you met outside your lecture and promptly searched up on instagram. Let’s face it. We’re all guilty of it. We only put the fun stuff on social media, stuff that will make us look cool and interesting. I’m not about to post about my trip to Tesco, but I will make sure to mention the really nice outfit I wore while spending a day exploring the town. To some people, it might appear that that’s just a typical day for me, when in actual fact that’s a one-off occasion, and my life is about as eventful as watching paint dry.

I guess that’s comforting? These awe-inspiring people do their washing up just like everyone else.

This isn’t really what I want to talk about, though…

I think everyone has someone they know who they wish they could be like. I know I certainly do, and now I’ve started university, it’s even more obvious since my friends are scattered around the country now. To be frank, the things I’ve considered studying at degree level, other than Politics and Primary Ed, are English Literature, History, Fine Art, Illustration, Costume Design, Journalism and History of Art. There’s a lot of creative stuff in there, and that’s probably why all the people I’m in awe of/jealous of/wishing I could hate but can’t because they’re too nice, are art students of some sort. Or, students of the arts might be a better way of putting it. My boyfriend is studying Digital Film, and I wish I’d done that, sometimes. My friend doing Creative Writing? Why didn’t I? English Lit? I could’ve done that. There’s so much I wanted to do, sometimes I wonder why I didn’t choose a creative subject…

The gist is, all the people I think look, and are, wonderful, and who I want to be like, study a creative subject. There’s an art student look, isn’t there? They have interesting colours in their hair, sometimes, or it’s not in a ‘conventional’ style. They wear those fun vintage clothes with clashing patterns. That sort of thing. They have weird badges, and obscure posters on their walls. I love it. I dig it.

Equally, though, I love my own style. I’m not about to cut my hair into a bob any time soon. I like my floaty dresses and jingly jewellery, all my paisley bits and colourful vases. Whereas, when I was younger, I’d try and emulate the admired style as best I could, now I’m a bit older – and have a much better sense of my style and personality – I now prefer to pick and choose  aspects, and combine them, into a wonderfully odd cocktail. Isn’t that what a personality is?

So, yeah, I have strange badges on my coat and posters everywhere, there’s independent shop advertisements blu-tacked onto the frame of my mirror, and… it works. It’s very me. I’m much more comfortable like this.


As a teenager, I felt I had to fit into a style or subculture, but, really, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s so much easier not having to fit into the rigorously structured box you’ve made for yourself. In fact, it’s stressful. It’s so much more… fun… to be able to take inspiration, without giving up your individuality. Plus, in all honesty? The people you think are so cool have probably, if not definitely, done the exact same, because I don’t think it’s actually possible for someone to solely like things which fit their online vibe to a T. Let your style grow and evolve, you can always change it again, after all.

I guess the point of this is, as much as you may envy someone else’s life/style/whatever, there’s nothing stopping you from being inspired by it – which, in turn, doesn’t mean, necessarily, abandoning all the things which you like. Be happy with your own style because it’s yours. Alternatively, if, like me, you’re someone who lives for the validation of others (haha, that’s healthy, I’m sure), be happy with your own style, because someone’s going to come along and think your bohemian/gothic fusion is incredible.

(Ooh, style fusions… they’re bizarre and I love them!)

new badges, because I need them back in my life

In case this isn’t obvious, be sensible/sensitive when borrowing aspects of a style. If the thing you think looks cool is something of cultural or religious significance to the person – and it’s not a culture or religion that you belong to – perhaps it’s better to admire it from afar. Don’t take something for aesthetic value, which may have a deeper meaning. Look groovy, but be considerate. (Just thought I should mention this. I doubt anyone needs to hear it, but it’s better to be on the safe side.)

A Note About University: I’ve started my course now, and it’s… good. Yeah. Not much else I can say about it. It’s good and it’s very busy. I’ve been pretty neglectful of this blog, and I know for a fact that I’m not going to be posting with any frequency. I might put some poems up, but I don’t know if, or when, since they’re meant to be spoken, rather than read. Whatever.

That’s enough notes for now.



Published by

Zara Robinson

Twenty-year-old trainee teacher, hippie and weird jewellery collector living in Brighton.

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