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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Them in Black

This mostly black look made me feel really powerful. I don’t wear black very often, and when I do it feels really different for me. I have talked a few times about how black & faux leather combine to make me feel and how others perceive me at that moment. 

I wanted to reflect on a few years of thinking about the importance of colour, as today’s look feels like a new appreciation for black and the way it makes me feel… 

I used to think that in order to show my character and personality my clothes needed to be a direct representation of this. Wearing colourful ensembles was my way of telling the world that I was fun and creative. However, I was recently rewatching Anna Wintour’s episode of 73 questions, where she was asked what she would never wear. She answered Head to toe black. So I decided to take this on as my challenge, and sartorial inspiration. 

However, to wear an outfit entirely made up of black elements would have terrified me up until quite recently, because it hides who I am. However, if blogging about fashion and my own style identity has taught me anything, it is not the outfit that makes the person, but the person that makes the outfit. 

A key example of this is the incredible icon that is Tracee Ellis Ross, who wears incredible outfits and looks divine. If you were to put those looks on another person I don’t know if they would be that show-stopping. Ross brings power to the looks, she is what makes them so amazing. So I decided to give it a go. 

The complex nature of gender identities means that over time - as I have evolved into the person I am - I have softened my outer appearance so that I pose less of a threat. This is partly subconscious and a conscious decision. I adore bright colours, bold patterns and soft shapes - outfits that have been referred to as clown costumes - make me look the closest I can come to approachable. 

The way I look creates responses from many that do find me sexy, but in a way that invalidates who I am as a person. They see me as a fetish, as a fun way to spend some time, as a visual representation of naughtiness. I would never shame anyone for their tastes, and I appreciate the need to validate kinks. However, being the visual embodiment of someone's kink is so dehumanising. 

Online dating is where I found out that I was a fetish. At first, I thought I was really popular, with people vying for my attention left right and centre. However, being asked if you’re a cross-dresser 37 times in a row is pretty tough to take. The fact that the only chance I had at some physical intimacy meant I had to change who I was - was incredibly demoralising. No one wants to be a sexual object - never seen as a person. 

The fact that today's look - a wipe-clean dream - would be just the ticket for the people who see me as a dark desire, is not lost on me. However, this isn’t sexy to me. This is just a fun outfit, that made me smile. I struggle to resolve that I hate the way people see me when it comes to sexiness and my image. They are simply not seeing the same person.

Thanks so much for joining me today darling, I’ll be back next week, who knows if it will be colourful, all black or a mix. Join me then to find out! 

Shot by Ruth Pechey


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