It's already December and I'm already done with my first term in university. And so far, I've been loving it. And if there's one thing I absolutely love, it's the people here.
And how they don't give a damn.
See, when I got here I was culture shocked to say the least. Like a fish out of water almost. But I was absorbing everything and taking everything in slowly. Bombarded by students in campus and going on the bus and doing everything alone is a lot to deal with for the first few weeks. And I noticed that everyone didn't care about other people. And not in the rude way at all. If you've been in the UK, you would know that it is their second nature to ask "You alright?" to anyone. It's something I would love to be a norm back home. I've read somewhere that said the Brits are very cold people but so far, alhamdulillah, I've not come across a single person. It's quite lovely.
They don't care about people as in they don't mind at all about what you wear or how your hair looks like or how many tattoos you have or the make-up you put on. They just don't mind anything of the sort! Everyone minds their own business and everyone embraces diversity and differences.
Something we don't really do at home.
Everyone back home seems to be so kepoh with what everyone wears or how our hair is like and the make-up we have on. I had my hair in a bun once because it was blazing hot and my hair was getting in the way so I decided to twist my hair and it coiled up in a neat bun. But of course, I had a friend say
"Nadia, you look like an Indon maid"
and here, everyone has their hair in a bun and I don't see anyone giving her death stares because no one cares. At the end of the day, it IS my hair and it IS my life.
Or how if one wears too heavy of make-up, someone would go
Again, what someone puts on her face is her own decision and on her own grounds. Let her do whatever she wants to do. At the end of the day, she is the one who takes the effort to remove her make up and she is the one who puts in on again the next morning. It is on her own time and on her own effort (and her money because make up is mahal). If it doesn't affect you, let it be. Move on and let it be.
Here, everyone dresses differently (I have a lecturer who wears a fanny pack) and wears their hair differently (dreadlocks and the infamous British messy bun and all sorts of different coloured hair) and for the 4 months I've been here, I've only seen a handful of women who've carried a designer bag. Most of them were above 40.
And in Malaysia, if you wear a feather hair piece, you can be called a bird or Pocahontas. If you wear bright coloured anything, someone would comment on it saying it's so bright it's hurting their eyes. Or if you wear make-up, they'd say
"Nak pergi mana ni, Datin?" or they'd say loads of mean things about being plastic.
It just hinders our creativity, I feel. Because I always want to dress nicely but I'm always second-guessing myself about what I wear and how I look because of the way people look at you up and down and side to side. And you have it all planned out only to then change back to your old pair of worn jeans and a blouse. OOTD's suffer because of that! We should learn to walk past someone without giving two hoots about that persons appearances.
And we are so consumed with materialism and our constant and endless desire to be drenched in designer brands. Even willing to acquire a VERY obvious fake version of it. It's so annoying that people look at what bag you wear to determine it you're 'in' or not. It's ridiculous lah. If you can afford the bag then fine. Wear it. It looks hella good. But if you can't afford it, then it's not a big deal. At all. That Vuitton can wait. Y'know what? It ain't even that pretty. I've only seen, like I said, a handful of people who carry designer. I can even tell you what they were; a Prada, a Celine, and a few Chanels here and there (mostly adorned by fellow Asians). Whuuuuuuut. You can find everyone in KLCC and Pavilion toting a Chanel. It's because the locals here don't care! Your Chanel is as good as a Primark bag. No one cares.
I've grown to be a bit more confident in my dressing and in general thanks to the people here. And insyaAllah, after my 3 year stay here in England, I'll adapt this British habit and not care and put more effort into doing what I like and what I want because at the end of the day, my decision is mine. And your decision is yours. So if you want to wear that neon yellow beanie, you wear that neon yellow beanie! If you want to have your hair cropped short, you go for it! If you like that bag, then go get that damn bag and carry it whenever and wherever you want and show it off. They are your decisions and no one else's. Take it and walk the walk. We should care less about what other people think and care more about what you want. This is ofcourse, from an individual's perspective. But as a society, I think we should learn to be more accepting and embrace diversity. We're way too harsh on what and how everyone present themselves that more often that not, they're doing things for the sole purposes of pleasing society.
I don't know guys, I just felt like writing this after seeing a couple walking hand in hand in dreadlocks and torn and loud-printed baggy clothes and fanny packs with sandals and socks.
And no one looked twice.