A few years ago, my older sister got me a fuzzy hat for Christmas. Complete with faux fur, ear flaps, and a chin strap, it is quite the hat. Not surprisingly, at first I was a bit reluctant to wear it, despite the excellent job it does in keeping the wearer very warm. So, throughout high school, I would wear it only until I arrived at school, and then immediately take it off before I got inside.
For whatever reason, many people have this strange desire to keep up appearances. If it doesn’t make us look cute or cool, we oftentimes won’t bother with it. Whether it’s wearing a fuzzy hat, last year’s jacket, or listening to a different kind of music, we all too often forsake the things that we enjoy or the things that are good for us simply because they don’t give us the desired appearance.
However, necessity has forced me to change this, at least in part. Due to my class schedule this semester, in order to make it to class on time, I have no choice but to ride my bike across MSU’s huge campus. This was all fine and dandy when it was 70 degrees and sunny out, but now, with the temperature dropping as winter approaches, it is not much fun.
In order to combat the long and cold bike ride, I bundle up. I wear leggings under my jeans, a sweatshirt, a heavy winter coat, a scarf, gloves, and – you guessed it – my fuzzy hat.
I feel that I look absolutely ridiculous, and this feeling is affirmed by the many strange looks that I receive from people I meet on my way (often, they are the ones walking briskly, trying to hold their hoods up against the wind – thank you, fuzzy hat, for your chin strap!)
So far, my attire seems to be proficient at keeping me warm, as I have not yet gotten sick from being out in the cold.
I wish I could claim that wearing this hat has given me the confidence to entirely disregard others’ opinions of me, but that would be a lie. I do care what others think and I do think appearance is important – just not as important to me as I thought before. Wearing this hat has taught me a little bit about being comfortable in my own skin. It has taught me to be myself and not try to please the world. I have the ability to make the decisions that are right for me and to be proud of my choices, because they are part of what makes me, me.