When I was 22, I left an abusive relationship that I had been in for 4 years. Now, I’m living at my parents house, in the small town I went to high school in. I work and do Zoom university. I Snapchat and iMessage my friends. I miss living in the city.
I grew up in a small town in Canada, after my family moved from England. It was the tiniest town you could imagine, one school, one grocery store, one restaurant. I was made fun of for everything I did, including the way I dressed.
I’m a free spirit. I was raised like that. My cat, Dusty, and I used to adventure every summer day. We would find frogs, pick dandelions, make mud pies and potions. It was glorious. I was wild. It was everything I needed and more. But, when I went to school Monday through Friday, it was a burden. I had different ideas to everyone else. I dressed “funny”. I had “yucky” things for lunch. I didn’t believe in God, and was not a practicing Catholic. The more I grew, the more I fell into a sort of Paganism. I didn’t label my religion, I never had a boyfriend, I had a “weird” accent, and I liked cheese sandwiches.
To an adult, none of these things are cause for concern. To kids sheltered from anything different, was was like aliens had landed. This weird, skinny, knobbly kneed, freckled, ginger was obviously there to be picked on.
One of the first things I can remember getting excited about is clothes. The feeling of putting on an outfit that I had thought of the night before, and seeing it all come together. The way that I felt when my outfit was on par. I felt electric, like nothing could stop me. The insults hurled my way became less devastating.
When I was 10, I got my first pimple. I was the first person in my grade, the grade above, and below to get one. I told everyone it was a cat scratch as I was so embarrassed. I had severe cystic acne for years after that, until I was 17 and went on the pill. Skincare became something that kept my skin looking nice, rather than something, “magazines tell us to do”, like the other girls in my class.
It took me years to gain the confidence that I have now. I know that I dress nicely and that my outfits, while out there, are gorgeous, frame my figure well, and show off my personality. I wanted to share that. If I was able to read a blog when I was 8 and sobbing in my room because the dress I thought was so cute labeled me an “orange picnic blanket” by my grade, I would have felt better. I wouldn’t have felt alone.
I think clothing and fashion is looked down on. People downplay the importance of feeling your best in clothing, and how much a good outfit can change your outlook on the day. This is a safe space, I get how you feel.
Now that I’m back at my parents house, I have a lot more time. Some of this time will be dedicated to this blog, in every way that I can. I envision outfits of the weeks, how to style x, information about fashion programs to take, internships, fashion marketing, skincare, makeup reviews, one brand focus, etc.
I’m on Instagram @stephdickerson_ and TikTok @whoshewore. Come see me.