The Glow Up, Part 1: Aligning My Style With My Writing
My clock goes off at 5 am every morning before I hit the snooze button to get 10 more minutes of sleep. Sometimes that ends up being an hour and a half. When I finally get up, I realize that I didn’t pick out an outfit to wear for the day, so I stand in my closet for the next 5 minutes trying to decide on something to wear. After nervousness about getting to work on time sets in, I finally jerk the first pair of pants and shirt off of the racks so that I can take what now has to be a very quick shower. I slick my hair back into a bun, the easiest hairstyle I know, and I ignore the frizz that defies any and all gel that I use to get it to lay down. I spread moisturizer on my face and Eos lip balm on my lips before grabbing my lunch, my purse, and running down my apartment stairs to drive to work and make it there before 8 am.
This ordeal is something that I do almost every day, and over time, it has robbed me of my personal style and my authentic self. I love wearing vivid colors, experimenting with my hair and makeup, and coordinating accessories with my outfits, but in the blur of the morning rush, I rarely take time to do these things. As a result, I usually sit at work feeling like I’m not looking my best, like I’m not me.
I’ve always wanted to give myself an image makeover, but recently I’ve found a connection between writing and personal style that makes this style evolution a necessary step in my growth as a writer.
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To be a great writer, you have to be great at being you. You have to be an expert on you. One of the best ways to explore yourself and learn more about who you really are is taking time to hone in on your style. Every time you find yourself gravitating toward one color more than another or one style of shoe more than another, you learn what your preferences are, and those preferences hint at the deeper elements of your personality that make up who you are.
As I look over photos of some of my favorite writers, I notice that their style seemed to change as their writing became more intimate, nuanced, and boundary-crossing. Pictures of a young Toni Morrison show her wearing an Afro, straightened, corporate looking curls, and finally the locks that have become an integral part of her legacy as an icon in American literature. They are a visual representation of the evolution of her thoughts and philosophies on black womanhood, the black community, and how those things are affected and affect the American psyche and culture.
The personal style of some of my favorite writers seemed to change as their writing became more intimate and nuanced.
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Creatives in other fields go through a similar transformation as they become more in tune with what they really want their message to be and how they want that message to be portrayed. We’ve all watched Beyoncé transform herself from a shy, faddish teenager who always played it safe to a woman who infuses the influences of her culture with Afro-mysticism and her own personality to create creative work that is simultaneously beautiful, uplifting, and therapeutic for many black women. As she pushed emotional, spiritual, and intellectual boundaries, we saw and evolution in how she physically presented herself to the world.
I’ve watched so many people as they go through their own journey through this type of transformation, and I’m ready to go though it myself. I’m ready for my own “glow up”. For me, it’s not about the clothes, the makeup, or any of the physical things that may change. Those are only markers of the internal work that has been done and the evolution that is taking place on a much higher level.
The "glow up" is more about evolving toward a more authentic self than it is about clothes and makeup.
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This post is the first in a series of posts that I’ll write about the changes that I’m making to come closer to my authentic self through my personal style. I invite you to join me so that we can learn more about ourselves and our writing together.
Do you think your personal style is aligned with your personality? If not, what are some steps that you think you can take to change that?
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