When you live in a small village, it can be hard to let your freak flag fly. Clothes that had compliments raining down on them in London and served me well in Aberdeen mark me out as the local oddball now.
I'm not exactly Isabella Blow or Daphne Guinness, but my wardrobe is eccentric enough in parts to get attention. The problem is appearing to have worn something purposefully to be different or have people look at you, when you've done it because it makes you happy.
A week before Hallowe'en in 2014, I bought a sailor playsuit in the Asos sale for £11. Seeing that it also came in pink, I thought, "Sod it! I never wear pink!" and got both. It wasn't the romper suit with a sailor collar that had me stepping out of my comfort zone- it was the fact it was pink!
I wore the blue one night (honestly, I just didn't have the energy to find nude underwear for under the pink one!) and swapped the tie it came with for a brown belt to make it less costume-y.
As you can see, I was totally slaying it and headed to the local pub, where I was informed by a local girl around my age that I looked "like Hallowe'en gone wrong". She said it in one of those jokey voices where you can't really argue without being told that you have no sense of humour.
I was really upset.
Last weekend, I went to the pub and knew the same girl would be there. I stood in my underwear, raking through my wardrobe for something, anything that wouldn't stand out too much or look like fancy dress to the jeans-and-tshirt brigade. I'd just had my hair cut short again, which I know suits me but always makes me feel unfeminine and insecure.
And I thought, fuck it.
I wore the pink one.
Let your freak flag fly. Wear and do and be exactly what you want. It's really difficult sometimes if you're not constantly surrounded by like-minded people, but that's where the internet is an amazing tool. The blogs I read and the people I talk to on twitter keep me going.
I used to give in and wear something that would keep me out of sight and out of mind, but I'm the opposite now. When I feel like a freak, I go for it even more and I always feel much better for it.