As you may have noticed, I like fashion! And if you ever meet me, you’ll know that I LOVE fashion by the way I look! Then again, we live in a millennial age where almost everyone dresses like a hipster — and I am guilty for dressing like one! But I don’t mind!
I get a lot of compliments from my friends about how I dress. It feels good to be noticed you look good when you put effort into picking out the right clothes or outfit for the day. Other times, I don’t put as much effort into it and yet still get compliments despite my lack of trying.
I got the hats, the skinny jeans, plaid shirts, long basic t-shirts, boots, Converse shoes, the whole shebang! I’m proud of the way I look! But just because I love fashion and try to dress the best, does that make me even more “gay” than your average straight guy? I don’t think so!
Dude, I know gay guys who dress like your typical straight guy and wouldn’t give a crap what they wear. On the other hand, I know straight guys who are insanely in love with what they wear too! Sometimes they even outdo me! Do I get a bit jealous? Perhaps.
Here’s the thing: clothes shouldn’t define our sexuality! Why? Because you might mistake someone for being gay by the way they look and totally embarrass yourself when they are actually straight, or vice versa. Also, you’re putting someone into a stereotypical category, and I don’t think that is really helpful either.
If someone wants to dress nice, then by all means he should go for it! The real question is why do you actually dress nice or not nice?
If your answer is, I really don’t care! I’ve always dressed this way, and I love the way I look!, then alright! Good for you!
But if your answer is I want to impress people, and I want to portray something I’m not, then we might have a problem.
And oh yeah! I’m speaking in general terms, so your answer may be different from these two. I’m painting this topic in a broader spectrum.
As for me, I used to fall into the second category!
Back in my high school and early college days, I hated the way I looked! I was a skinny, fearful, awkward, shy person who idolized the appearance of other people or wished I looked like the athletic, muscular, confident guys.
I so wanted to change my appearance, but I didn’t know how! So, I looked at fashion magazines to figure out how to dress myself and look good.
As the years went by, always trying to impress people I met, I had this mentality that people were judging me by how I looked. This was a total lie I’d made up for myself, though, because of my own insecurities and doubts. God had to take my heart and make me look at myself and my own thought processes and confront them full-force.
Why was I dressing this way?
Layer by layer, I had to look myself in the mirror and examine my imperfections. Yes, body-image was a major thing I had to deal with, but that will be a separate post of its own one day.
I’d made up a standard in my head that I tried and tried to reach, but I was practically setting myself up for failure. It was a hard lesson to learn, yet I knew I needed to deal with it.
It was a slow process, but eventually I learned to let go of impressing other people and love the way I look and how God had molded me in His image.
After God dealt with me in that regard, I had to decide if I still wanted to be in love with fashion — and if I did, I had to change my mindset of dressing for other people versus doing it for myself. On top of that, I had to make sure I wasn’t doing it for any selfish or narcissistic reasons! Again, it was a slow process, but I had to tear down my idols. God had to rebuild me.
Nowadays, I totally love the way I look, even if I don’t always look my best! I still dress like “Mr. GQ,” according to my friends, whatever that means! Today, my mindset when I pick out some clothes goes basically like, Eh, this will work, instead of totally freaking out, OMG! What am I gonna wear today?! What will people think of this?! like a teenage school girl.
Again, sometimes I don’t even notice that I look good until one of my friends calls me out on it.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think you should take your time with how you look every now and then. It’s okay if you want to look good or sexy! And I’ll be honest and admit this: I still look for help and fashion tips on Instagram or Facebook, just to get that last detail right for an outfit! Mostly because I’m lazy and don’t want to think about piecing it together in the future.
Here’s the thing: as long as you don’t make it — meaning fashion, clothes, or trying extremely hard to look like someone you’re not — an idol in your life, I think you should be fine.
Have you experienced battles with body-image? Do you idolize other guys by how they look or what they wear? Do you care if you look good?
* Photo courtesy mireiaezquerra, Creative Commons.
Hey! Glad you like to look good. It’s good to look at folk who dress well. I like to match things but don’t do fashion things much – too old for that anyway. And at home, anything goes. Just be comfortable. Wear nothing if there’s no one around. Lol! Very fashionable birthday suit! Haha! Totally agree about the stereotypical thing though. We do need to get away from that, badly! Lol!
Yeah, dressing well does help out a lot, even with self-confidence! But as I said before, you should probably do it for the right reason.
Haha. Birthday suit! Whatever works for you man! But being naked is way too easy to do……for some people. Haha!
Best dressed guy I know! Seriously, I want to go shopping with you one day and have my wardrobe revolutionized.
I’ve definitely had my share of body-image issues from skinniness to acne to weirdly shaped muscles. I also admired/lusted after the better looking and better dressed, and I certainly still do, but I’ve also realized I can control a lot about my appearance. I can do push-ups in the morning and have biceps too. I can run everyday and get abs too. I can even acquire more trendy clothing and feel better about my appearance instead of dressing like a slob. I’m glad you honed in on motivations, because those are key. It’s about self-confidence and good health more than anything for me.
You know how a lot of people who don’t play video games say they just “mash buttons and hope for the best?” That’s me with clothing. I grab clothes and hope for the best. I mean… I try, but I really am stuck with khakis shorts and a T-shirt.
Don’t ever change, John.
Well, change a little.
But mostly, don’t ever change.
Oops! I hope you not telling him to never change his clothes. Lol!
Love you too Tom 🙂
I really like fashion. I like clothes, I like looking good, I like being creative and expressive. Becoming a father, however, has changed the way I dress more than anything else has. I can’t wear necklaces that might break easily because I know one of my kids will be sure to grab it and pull at some point during the day. I have to be careful about wearing anything I don’t want to get poop on. Half of the time, people will not even be able to see what I’m wearing in its entirety because I’ll be holding a kid(s), or not standing up straight while picking up a kid, pushing a stroller, etc. I used to spend a lot of time and money on fashion, but I simply can’t do that now with much more important, pressing needs. And I’m okay with that. It took me a while to give up the love of fashion in my life, but I realize now that it’s not that important and there’s more to me than just my appearance. Maybe one day, when my kids are older, if the Lord provides and allows, I’ll be able to dress like a million bucks again. Or even fifty would be nice.
Yeah, probably a good idea when they’re older. Haha! Hey! You can surprise them once they’re teenagers, and embarrass them! Haha. But I understand, it can be difficult once you do have a family.
[…] grateful for Matt’s post this week. It’s not wrong to want to look good. It’s not a bad thing to want to be attractive and […]
[…] grateful for Matt’s post this week. It’s not wrong to want to look good. It’s not a bad thing to want to be attractive and strong […]
I do like to look good, I just find it very difficult to find clothes that fit me well. Small guy problems, I guess. This morning, I decided, I’m going to spend an extra 5 or 10 minutes to make sure my hair looks decent and I’m not dressing like a slob. It’s amazing the difference in confidence it makes just knowing you’re looking your best. On the other hand, I don’t want to let my appearance consume my every waking moment. But there’s nothing wrong with getting a nice haircut or making sure you get a t-shirt that fits you well.
Do tell ;P
My parents talked to me about being fat (chubby as I recall) when I was 7 or 8 years old, like I could control it somehow and was being bad for putting on weight. I hated my body and compared it to other boys/men for most of my life. I never felt good enough or like I belonged in the man club. I wasn’t athletic, muscular, lean, or anything I associated with real masculinity. Needless to say, this was one of the puzzle pieces that helped shaped my same-sex attraction. Not feeling that I was a guy–a real guy with a good body. Lots of envy was there. I wanted to be someone else. I admired good looking guys and felt I was inadequate.
Clothes were somewhat important to me. My parents seldom allowed us to spend much on fashion clothes that were stylish, and my dad cut my hair (rather badly) for years. So I just generally hated the way I looked and wanted to look like someone else. Eventually I sexualized that body envy. Much, much later, that body envy turned into a gay porn addiction. Still dealing with that, but for the first time in over 40 years, I realized that I like my male body. I am OK. I lost 30+ pounds, started exercising regularly and it has meant a lot to me. Wow!
I also like to look good and stuff like that. I think it started out with trying to impress people. Now it’s more just something that happens. People say I’m hipster, I can see why they would say that, but I like to think of it as just dressing as me. My mom thinks I should open up a men’s boutique thing. A lot of my friends often come to me for fashion advice. A young couple at my church who has a one year old son says that when they are shopping for clothes for him, they think if I would wear it or not. If I would wear it then they would get it for him. He even has a shirt they call the Brandon Shirt. So yeah I am definitely right there with you about wanting to look good (as I type this in cut off sweat pants and an old baggy t-shirt…)
Love this piece man. I definitely went through some similar struggles but I’ve actually just realized that I love fashion too. It’s great! Anyway thanks for the post once again.
I know this is a very old post but I just found this website and very much resonate with this story. As a kid and in high school, i had so much body anxiety. I was skinny and short and my parents always dressed me in very baggy clothing which made things worse. Now, I get so anxious if I don’t look right or my clothese are too loose. I too try to dress in style, mostly with skinnier styles, hair, etc. It makes me feel good about myself and builds my confidence. i think one of the issues is how does one bridge the gap between the stylish cool look and being defined as gay for some of those styles. One of my issues is that I have a wanting to dress “gay” which is somewhat equivalent to the styles in the fashion world. In a way, it may also be sprouted by exhibitionism and the desire to show how cool I am to the world. Can my attraction to the fashion world and look make me gay or just a desire to be confident?
I hope I can look good
But I don’t like fashion and don’t like shopping too because I used to my father buy for me and I just wear .
I think i am suck with fashion but I hope to become better because it’s help to be confident.
I’m between a rock and a hard place because I’m lost when it comes to fashion. I don’t have too much of a wardrobe, first off because I’m so unhappy with my weight so why go out and buy new clothes. And secondly I have no idea what looks good on me. I never felt comfortable in my own skin or with clothes that I wore. Unfortunately, I don’t have anyone in my life that can show me the ropes of fashion, take me a long to the mall or something and give another opinion on what look and doesn’t look good on me.