I’ve never personally felt the pressure to listen to the right music, dress the right way or to go to the “coolest” places to project an image of myself. Recently, however, I was asked if I could be photographed for street style in a magazine - which will forever (for obvious reasons that will become clear) - remain unnamed.
Standing in the middle of Convent Garden with the blistering wind and an immaculately dressed intern - photographer in tow - the pressure may or may not have got to me. I answered the first questions with ease; Freya Rosedale, Seventeen, London – easy right!? The dream of having my name written on glossy magazine paper (whatever the circumstances) was coming true.“So, Freya, how would YOU describe YOUR style?” This should have been the easiest question and I should have replied: “well Sophie - in your perfect Phillip Lim Coat, Ferragamo shoes (that are obviously borrowed from mummy) and beautifully highlighted blonde wavey of hair - I would describe my style as…”
… but I was stumped. Suddenly all I could think about were the people who would see the magazine and see “I kinda just choose things I like” and them criticizing me. Echoes of “who is this girl and WHY does she think she can say SHE’S minimalistic when she’s wearing THAT?!” rang through my head. I felt the pressure that I had before been so proud I hadn’t experienced before. But being me, what only can be described as “word vomit” of the projectile kind, came out of my mouth.
“I don’t really know if I’m honest, this is a really awkward question, I like clothes I sorta just wear what I like if you get what I mean? I mean like if I see something I’ll buy it wouldn’t really say I could describe my style and label it or me errmmmm…”. Sophie, who will furthermore be known as: Spawn of Satan, then got out her Parker pen of pain and drew a large cross over where she was writing my details and whispered to her henchman, who had miraculously sprouted a hunch as my dreams fell apart around me: “just scratch her, SHE’S OBVIOUSLY JUST HAVING A GOOD CLOTHES DAY.”
Not only was I offended but - it’s all I’ve thought about since that day. It’s not that I’m only bitter about having my mainstream glossy magazine debut but instead it’s really emphasized to me how much pressure we as a generation are under to be labelled. So many people are so precise and picky over what they wear, how they dress, what they listen to, whom they’re friends with and where they want to be seen. It’s the biggest cliché but I just wish people would care less about what other people think.
With this is mind it wasn’t the question and what I thought people would think of my answer that disallowed me to be articulate. Other people are easily able to answer it (and on closer inspection of the magazine I was due to take center stage; in Grace from Surrey described her style as “alternative with a hint of preppy” - WELL DONE GRACE, WELL freaking DONE) but it was how I didn’t actually have the answer. I can’t describe my style because I don’t have one. I honestly do just wear what I want to, listen what I want to and hang out with who I want to so UP YOURS SPAWN OF SATAN.
Embarrassingly so, this has just been a ramble of my thoughts, ideas and how I’m so angry at today’s society (even though worrying is my number one hobby). I leave you with a quote from my best home girl Carrie Bradshaw:
"One thing you have to remember about labels - they only matter if you let them stick.”