Saturday, 10 October 2015


Reader Rachel talks about her style choices… and how she has learned to blank the negative comments!

Rachel-Lee says:
The alternative scene has become more accepted in recent years and more popular in the media. Celebrities have joined in on some of the fashion statements, like the tattooed Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga and Katy Perry with her colourful hair… but this is a fashion trend I have been following since the age of thirteen. Over the years I have had an array of piercings and every hair colour imaginable. My favourite shoes were a beat-up pair of Doc Martens and my wardrobe was almost devoid of colour.

I'm now twenty-two and I have seventeen piercings and thirteen tattoos. I still love my Doc Martens and still wear mostly black, and at this moment my hair is blue and purple, but that could change! Looking this way has it's downside… people think it's OK to make various comments, like 'You'll never get a job looking like that'; 'What does your boyfriend think?'; and 'You'd look so much prettier without all those piercings.' In school, I had to wear plasters over the piercings. I got sent home once because my trousers were too baggy and were classed as a 'health and safety risk' and I was frequently made to go to the bathroom to wash off my eyeliner.

This all sounds very negative and for a while this bothered me. At seventeen I took out my piercings, dyed my hair brown and wore maroon tea dresses for a year. This changed my perspective… I realised I no longer felt like myself. The comments and stares stopped, but I also stopped smiling when I looked in the mirror and I was no longer excited when buying new clothes. I realised then that the most important thing wasn't the acceptance I got from others but the acceptance I had for myself.

Now I am older, I know that the negative comments from others were nonsense anyway. For example, I've had the same job for two years and they celebrate me for my work, not my looks. I have a boyfriend who loves the way I look and calls me pretty every day. I have amazing friends who like me for who I am. People are entitled to their opinions and if they think I'd look prettier without piercings, fine - but I love them, and it's my choice. People will always judge you; for how you look, how much money you have, how smart you are. It's a human instinct, how we classify things on a daily basis… but that doesn't mean you should let your opinions impact negatively on on others. Just because you think they look scary, or like a bad person… well, that doesn't mean they are! And if you are on the receiving end,  never let these judgements hurt you. As long as you can look in the mirror and smile and feel like yourself, everything else will come to you in time.

Cathy says:
I think Rachel-Lee's style looks awesome - and I also agree that others can be far too quick to judge people. Would YOU ever dare to follow an alternative style? And do YOU agree that following your own heart is an important part of growing up and learning to be yourself? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. I for one think you look really cool! I like wearing black too and went for 4 months with dark purple hair. People tease you but its your style! I'd love to be as brave as you...

  2. She is gorgeous! I've led a similar life to her, I've been wearing alternative accessories since I was 10, I dyed my hair purple when I was 11 (and I've been many colours since!), my face is more metal than flesh - I have 9 facial piercings now - and I wear whatever clothes I like. I'm aiming for an androgynous punk look at the moment. People have different opinions on how I look - some people think I'm a disgrace and others think I'm "bonny" or "visually stunning" but although it's very nice of people to think about me so often, it really doesn't matter what they think. I like how I look. I like my piercings. I like my blue mohawk. I like my biker boots. And my kittens love me. As long as they accept me, I'm happy!



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