what is self expression?

I feel like so many people claim to dress like an individual, and express themselves through their clothing, but to me, it seems they've only taken someone else's style.

I just wonder what it means to self express. Is it the act of creating your own image, your own identity? Or simply borrowing that of another until you can find your own? Or even claiming someone else's style and pretending it's something you created to express yourself?

And does this mean inspiration is something borrowed?


Inspiration is borrowed. It's completely borrowed. But if we create ourselves through inspiration, doesn't this mean that aesthetically, we are borrowing our own individuality? Attempting to better understand ourselves by clinging to that which we identify? And is attempting to identify equivalent to self expression, even when the identity we claim isn't spawn from our own creation? But moreover, perhaps even more importantly, is this wrong?

Is it wrong to borrow in order to identify?
Is it wrong to borrow the identity, the style, the personality of someone else and then deem yourself an individual?
Is it wrong to care so much about physical identity?

Lately, I've been questioning the importance of fashion and clothing. While picking outfits is still important to and fun to me, I also recognize that it's almost pathetic that I feel physical identity is so important. Shouldn't I be more concerned with emotional and personified identity? How I treat others, how I feel, how I act, what I do, my interests, my goals, my passions? Isn't that the truest identity? Can identity really be defined through clothing?

I don't think so.

Because if the clothes we wear constantly change, we are just continually shedding and adopting new identities, new forms of self expression.

But then again, doesn't this continual change mirror our own emotional growth and development as individuals?


Is identity even rational? Is it rational to long for identity? To try and identify by means of woven threads that drape over our shoulders? Why do we live in a society where identity is stressed so heavily through physicality rather than emotional health and treatment of others?

But what really gets me, is what is right and what is wrong in this scenario.
Is it wrong to worry about physical identity? To worry about emotional identity?

Honestly, I don't understand why we all care so much. Why am I even worrying, why am I confused? Everything should be simple. Life should be simple. We shouldn't feel the need to discover our identities. We shouldn't feel the need to identify.

I think self expression and identity are very different. I think self expression is incredible, because it is the ability to express parts of you through thousands of mediums and acts, and as these parts of you change, the way you express them can too, and to me, that seems simple and beautiful.

Identity is like a heavy stone, and we need to stop trying to lift it. 


  1. i really love this. i feel like a story should be written that tries to answer these questions but then deliberately doesn't because life really can be simple and it's also okay to leave questions unanswered sometimes.

  2. I feel like we all try too much be something that our identity is not when we talk about self expression. Self expression is about what people want the world to see about them, what they want to be and not who they really are.


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