In my first high school, I can remember there was a boy who suffered from poliosis, which is a melanin deficiency in hair. In this instance, the boy had jet black hair, with a single shock of white running through the front. It was beautiful. From that moment on, I knew I was drawn to things that were out of the ordinary.
I love ugly things. Anything that doesn’t meet the socially accepted standard of pretty. I love ugly shoes, ugly pets, and even uglier hats. I am even attracted to unconventional looking people. It’s not uncommon for me to hear my friends comment on how “weird” my tastes are, and they are right.
I would rather have a hairless cat, than have a fluffy kitten, or a scruffy, one-eyed mongrel, over a Pedigree Shih Tzu any day (that being said, I’d kill for a Corgi). And let’s not even get started on my fashion choices. Whether it be Glow in the Dark Dr Martens, or awful Halloween themed jumpers, you can guarantee I’ll want it.
My crowning glory, however, are my horrendous hats, like my green, red and white elf hat, complete with pointy ears and bells. Or my unnecessarily large, wolf faced monstrosity, with built in mittens. For someone that claims to dislike hats, I own ten of them, each one worse than the other. From bobbled beanies, to sun hats the size of UFO’s, if it will make you look twice in disgust, I’ll probably wear it.
But it doesn’t end there. I am frequently told that the people I am attracted to are… let’s say, less than typically desirable? Take The Avengers, for example – while most women swooned over Chris Hemsworth, or Chris Evans, I was all doe eyed for Tom Hiddleston.
OK, maybe that’s a bad example, since he’s a heart throb in his own right, but you get the idea. Flaws, imperfections, or scars; poliosis, or heterochromia (cue Dominic Sherwood induced swooning); anything that makes a person stand away from the crowd instantly makes my heart beat a little faster.
I couldn’t tell you where this attraction comes from; there’s probably some psychobabble reason about me projecting my own deep-rooted insecurities, but I prefer to think that somebody needs to love the imperfect.
We live in a world with incomprehensible, and sometimes unobtainable, standards. None more so than the pressures of appearance. From the painful foot bindings in China, to the Samoan tribal tattoos, or the torturous corsets of the Victorian era, history has seen men and women go to painful lengths for fashion.
Recent years have seen western civilisation become so consumed by shallow expectations, that body shaming is now a cultural norm, where we reject anything that doesn’t fit our accepted perceptions. But I think there is a quiet beauty in the obscure and unusual, if you only look hard enough to find it. After all, you can’t find a diamond without digging through the coal.