NOTE: there are some awkward inside jokes, but you can just giggle along and pretend you're in the know. There also some awkward jokes in general that are merely funny in my head. They luckily won giggles due to the fact that teachers are all "gold star superstar LOLing at errthang" while minerninerz are all "im2kewl4skewl." (I didn't win giggle from dem minerz.)
When I asked everybody what I should write my speech on, I almost always had the same response: “You should do it on fashion!” And I immediately knew one thing: I was not going to write my speech on fashion. “I’m interesting,” I thought to myself, “I have a huge array of interests! In fact, I’m going crazy with all the things I could talk about! Psshhh.” Long story short, turns out I overestimated my level of interestingness. So, Hello, my name is Lexy and yes, my speech is on fashion. But don’t worry, this isn’t a speech trying to convince you all to become rainbow vomiting fashion drones worshipping Value Village like myself; it’s about beauty, growing up, and following dreams. Let’s get started.
A lot of people have that infamous story that ends in “And that is when I knew I was born to be __________.” I, however, do not. As much as I wish I could pinpoint a specific time in my life when my interest in fashion began, I honestly cannot. Perhaps it was at the age of 2, when I began to walk and talk and, most importantly, dress myself. Colourful concoctions quickly replaced my mother’s colour palette of all and only black, a colour depression for anyone, but especially for a poor, helpless baby that just wants to be cute and happy. In fact, I think that my obnoxiously colourful outfits of today might be a bit of infanthood revenge.
Or perhaps it was at the age of seven when I was at play date with my bestie Claire and she showed me her new toy. It was plastic, pink, and I wanted it. It was an Easy-to-Sew! I was a jealous little girl and Claire already had an Easy-to-Bake so, naturally, I hated her a little bit.
Fortunately, Christmas rolled along and so did an Easy-to-Sew of my own. This was good news. I could now stop secretly hating Claire and start making things of my own. The first thing I made was a periwinkle dress with bright pink thread and “flower” detailing for my Groovy Girl, Josie Junkins who, according to me and my sister’s imaginations, was a Jewish rockstar in the band, Josie and the Pussycats and her dad, Jolly Junkins, owned candyland for all the other Groovy Girls to enjoy, including Celicia Sil whose mom was the president of Alaska!
Needless to say, growing up, I always had a passion for arts and creativity. As my grade 3 journal exclaimed, “My favourite subject is arts and crafts. I like it because artsy and craftsy.” The same journal also produced the question from my teacher, “Where do you see yourself in twenty years? What will you be doing?” My response at age 7? “I will be a fashion designer in New York.” Isn’t that crazy? Okay, that didn’t actually happen… But it’s not a far stretch from my original answer, “In twenty years, I would be living in Arkansas. I would. I don’t know what I would be doing…”
Anyway. Just like my dreams and visions have clearly evolved over the years, so has my style. From my mother’s favourite choice of “all-black baby depression,” to “La Senza girl or the nude,” to “Neutrals go with everything!” to the eventual, “Every colour and every pattern and every texture and everything in between goes with everything” of today, I would definitely say that my style has developed and changed as much as I have.
Personally, I believe that fashion is a beautiful form of self-expression. As unfortunate as it is, we all do it: judge others simply by how they appear. It’s awful and it shouldn’t be done yet, we all do it. When I see “Hollister” plastered over your chest, I will label you as a conformist until I know you better. And I’m sorry.
Of course, I’m not one to judge. My shopping buddies include old ladies and teen moms and the occasional hipster at Value Village and my mantra is essentially, “if it’s weird and cheap… buy it!” I don’t know what people think when they see my colourful legs or ridiculous shoulder pads, but my parents’ reactions are generally a good example. I am constantly greeted with a once-over from my own mother and the classic “I think I’m so funny” mom smirk as she says, “Oh, yes… You know, your grandma had a shirt just like that when I was growing up! Ha-ha-ha. I mean it as a good thing.” Or my dad, who does his usual WWSACS? What would Stacy and Clinton say? This is a reference to the show, “What not to Wear.”
Regardless, I’ve grown into having a unique style and I hope it reflects my individuality and creativity. Furthermore, I’ve grown – as much as I HATE this phrase – to have a “passion for fashion.” I absolute love this medium with all my heart and it’s painful to see it treated as frivolous and ignorant. Agreed, fashion is not changing the world, saving lives, or promoting particularly good values. Agreed, it’s not conventional, stable, or “smart.” But I see it as an art form; it’s beautiful, wearable art. Fashion isn’t the generic clothing you see at the mall. Fashion is about colours, and patterns, and shapes, and textures, and creation, and individuality. It’s about beautifying the world through creativity and passion.
Unlike other industries, nobody’s parents are begging their children to go into fashion. In fact, I think it is my lifelong love for arts, creation and fashion that has allowed my parents to be extremely supportive of my dreams and I am truly grateful. Even when my dad tries to lure me into studying sciences at university by claiming that he’ll let me sleep and study in our basement for a “very good price,” I know that he and my mom just want me to be happy. I am very grateful and love you guys so much.
There’s something about wanting something so badly that it’s scary to talk about for fear that it may not come true. That is like me and my dreams. But it’s even scarier thinking about not even going for it. I’m applying to schools I’ve wanted to go to since the start of high school. I’ve spent hundreds of hours on my portfolios and, one week today, they will have been sent in. It’s so surreal. It’s the biggest cliché of life, but extremely true: time flies. A look at one of my journal entries really shows this:
Tues, June 15th 04
Today was the last day of school AND lower school! My 2 years of LS at SJK (my school) has been so short. It has been a GREAT year, but I’ll miss all my teachers when I go to MS next year. I don’t think I’m ready!
Why I’m not ready:
1. New teachers
2. More homework
3. New part of school
4. More responsibility
5. I DON’T WANT TO GO !! [exclamation marks connected by a sad face]
I’m just not ready for Middle School. We’ll be the little fish in the big pond! [drawing of a little fish in a big pond] NO MS!! [sad face]
Wed, June 16th ’04 (Morn 7:20) *Note: Bless my little self for being up at 7AM on the first day of vacation
Last night I was thinking about some of the GOOD things about 6th grade.
1. I can start fresh (I can do that every year)
2. New teachers, new faves (yah right!)
3. New look? (No way!)
4. More/ New friends (HOORAY!)
5. I can use the vending machine (Yes!)
I’ve been writing for 7 minutes and I can’t think of anything else to write about…
I’d say that my 9-year-old-self was really, very clueless except for the “time flying” implications. Change should not be feared, but embraced, as should the future. If there’s one thing that I hope you get from my senior speech, it has nothing to do with fashion. It has to do with the future. In twenty years, I don’t know where I’ll be; you might see me in a magazine, traveling the world, or starving on the streets begging for your pennies. Nonetheless, the prospect of doing something I love for the rest of my life is very exciting. I am confident that my love for arts and creativity will be eternal. Life can be exhausting, but ultimately, you are all so lucky to be here today, not just because you got listen to my great speech, but also because it means you are going to a great school with so many opportunities for a great future. If you have something you love, go for it. It might be a career, a hobby, an idea, a person. Don’t let others dictate your life; not your teachers, your family, your society. Do what YOU want. Life is too short to be asking “What if?”
And so, I hope you all have an amazing life filled with bright colours and big shoulder pads and even bigger dreams. I genuinely hope that all your dreams come true because I’m a cheesy colourful fashion-dreamer and a real believer in “If you can dream it! You can do it!” Thank you!
Har, har. So if you read all that, then we are officially internet best friends. As the fact that you read all that proves that 1) you have no life (this is not an insult; I, too, do not have a life) or 2) you really luvvv me and you and I are destined to be. Therefore, being internet besties is definitely probable. If you didn't read that then, WTF YOU HAVE A LIFE WUT IZ DIZ?!
Regardless, what I really want to know is:
What are YOUR passions?
I'm super passionate about passions. They make me coo like you're a baby. It's actually a little embarassing, on your part. (To, you know, be cooed at like a baby.) But really. Go on: give me a sentence, a blurb, a novel. I'll coo. GO.