Last night I headed off to the O2 for Garage Nation, with two of my old friends from Brighton.
I'd been set a bet the week before; that I wouldn't wear short shorts. £30 if I had a photo taken to prove it.
I arrived at the hotel before my friend, so I took the chance to try the shorts I'd bought (£3.25 from a charity shop).
I'm someone who doesn't feel comfortable flashing large areas of my body. It's only in the last year that I've challenged myself to wearer shorter skirts, rather the only mid-shin. I don't tend to have my cleavage out either.
This used to be linked to how I felt about my body, but after making health and diet changes to my body over the last 15 months, it isn't that anymore.
My fear when I first put these shorts on isn't linked to whether I think they look nice. It's more about being a girl who would wear very short shorts.
We all hold beliefs about who we are, or who we want to be. The choices we're willing to make, or the clothes we're willing to wear.
So my standing point about shorts were that they were for other girls. I liked the look, but they were not something I'd ever want to wear. Perhaps with thick black tights in winter, but with my nude legs? Na-uh.
I decided to face the challenge, and win the bet. As I took my snap of proof, I actually felt ace.
I'd hit a milestone. It felt good.
Back in 2008 I started my first major style change. These pics start at the beginning of 2008, and end up in Dec 2008. Six years ago now.
I'd started looking at photos of women online, and thinking I'd like to look like them. An old university friend of mine recently told me that even back in uni I'd spoken about wanting to dress in a rockabilly style, but that I wasn't brave enough to do it. Or maybe I didn't think I was worthy?
Back in 2008, the changes I made felt so massive, which feels alien now, but I remember the nerve it took for me to stand out, for me to change who I would be percieved to be. Our look speaks so loudly to the world, and completely changing my message felt like a big step.
They're just clothes, and anyone can buy and wear them. Yet we create barriers for ourselves. A lack of confidence is so restricting!
Playing around with self-image gives me such joy now, and yet, as I discovered with shorts, I still carry my own barriers.
Each and every day I get to create myself. What fun! The clothes, make-up, and even faux hair, and of course my many tattoos I have now, my glasses, all create my image.
I do not 'natural'. I get so much joy from this image-making.