What are you lookin’ at!

I am not great in social situations. I am not great when propelled to the forefront against my want. I am not great when made to be a spectacle (unless on insta, where your double taps are encouraged.) But in most facets of life, I don’t want to be your Mona Lisa (I also have RBF.)

Great, so that’s all well and good, leave King alone, don’t pay him no mind. Except one problem, my appearance is generally not conducive to discretion. Whether it be my hair (currently sporting brownish blonde box braids, about shoulder length), or my clothing choices (usually print and/or bold colour heavy) it seems to attract a noticeable amount of attention when I go out in public.

Now, contrary to what my auntie thinks I do not “wear these crazy fashions for attention”, I wear the clothes that I gravitate towards because it’s just what I like, they make me feel good, they make me feel comfortable. Other people’s thoughts are the last thing on my mind when I go shopping or when I get dressed in the morning. The clothes that I wear and the style that I inhabit are my ways of expressing myself, for me, no one else. So if you hold opinions on the threads that I wear, positive or otherwise it really doesn’t mean a whole bunch to me cause that just isn’t the reason I got dressed looking like black excellence today.

It matters so little to me that I often find myself walking down the street, people taking prolonged looks, people double-taking with me genuinely unaware as to why until I walk past a shop window and get a glimpse of myself and realising that my Amy Winehouse-esque beehive was the cause of all this commotion. Little old me, and the way I present myself to the world can cause this much commotion, for what, for why ? (said in the voice of ‘Mother’ Eartha Kitt)

Don’t get me wrong, it does not escape me that as a 20-something yr old black dude the world does not immediately associate me with certain aesthetics. Something I often forget, being that the media I mostly follow, from tumblr to instgram are saturated with eccentricity of the highest grade of melanin. But I am by no means what the world sees as the status quo. I find that this is only magnified by my living in Copenhagen, (and not to demonise Danish culture or even to victimise myself) but where I exist as a minority in a society of historic racial hegemony.

Sure, I can put my earphones in and play some Rihanna and embody her IDGAF persona, or try to rewire my brain to think “ahhh, this must be how Beyoncé feels”. But the quintessential facts are that, I have so much going on in my brain (mental illness and otherwise) that it’s difficult sometimes, to blank out the noise, the stares, the glares of opinion.

I kinda feel it hollow to end this post without a resolution, an answer, a suggestion to my conundrum, but I don’t have one as yet and that is where I’m at right now. I’m growing and morphing and in that am learning that I need to accept myself (and others) for where we are at that very moment. So I put this conundrum out into the universe with the hopes that an answer will find its way back to me; How do I deal with the unwarranted attention of just being me?

✊🏿King✊🏿

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Coll says:

    You are brilliant so it means people will look. As you say in the last para that is not a fault on the part of you or them. So I think the key is to view all looks with positive regard – assume that everyone you encounter has a positive intention (or neutral) rather than attempting to mind-read inner thoughts or outer expression. It does take practice but it helps. You move from ‘urgh why is that person looking at me like I’m weird’ to ‘that person happens to be looking in my direction’. And over time you’ll even stop noticing. Ever noticed someone who seems truly happy in their own skin? It’s because they don’t assume negativity in others and so they don’t absorb (or even notice) it. As Alicia Keys says – ‘you do you’!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. blkviking says:

      Can i get an Amen for some introspection!!
      Ima definitely have to look at trying to implement that kind of mindset.
      But i must say(and this isn’t even particularly in disagreement with you), as a black man I feel that there comes a certain amount of detriment or danger in assuming all opinions of me are positive/neutral. and i think i have always associated noticing others perception of me or looking at me as a useful tool in navigating the world better (or just unharmed).
      Thank you for the food for thought.✊🏿

      Liked by 1 person

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