So have you ever thought about what you put on your body? And I don't mean just styling and figuring out what looks good, but beyond that, thinking about the message behind the clothes that we wear. I can't say that I do very often, unless people wear fur, then I will go ballistic on the person wearing it. But I can't say I notice the message behind a clothing brand very often.
Growing up in a post Soviet Union regime, no one had the ability to express their style because the country was undergoing major economical changes. So, basically, everyone wore the same clothing leaving very little room for creativity. I also grew up wearing a uniform to school, literally the same thing EVERY SINGLE DAY. As an adult, I definitely do not like wearing the same clothes as my friends.
I stumbled across a page on Instagram (teamelephante13) with a bunch of really awesome shirts and hoodies that looked very different. The message behind the brand is to dare to be different, to be the elephant in the room. First off, elephants - one of the most majestic creatures in the world. They portray wisdom, strength and power. In fact, elephants share quite a few traits with us - same lifespan, putting family above everything, understanding of death and emotional experiences just as humans.
I met the face behind the brand, a funny guy named Jose. We got together for food and ended up talking for hours. He told me about his life and his dreams. I liked his honesty and enthusiasm. He kept saying that his brand is not about monetizing or being so popular, but more about inspiring others to be different and to be who they truly are regardless of what society dictates. I support the idea whole-heartedly.
It's definitely not easy to be yourself in a world that keeps stereotyping and putting pressure on the younger generation. I know, I understand that it's much easier to be copy someone, especially if they made it far in life. Oftentimes, we are our own worst enemy because we judge ourselves on a personal scale, flaws and all. But would it be so bad to try to be YOU?
With all that being said,I know that it's not always easy to just be yourself. It sounds so appealing, but if you don't really know who you are then how can you be your true self? Well, do I have an answer for you! You should get to know yourself. *mind blown*
But seriously, think about it. You are raised by your parents or guardians, surrounded by peers, siblings, family. You start school and find friends and are constantly being taught by your teachers. Then, you go to college and again, you are surrounded by teachers, students, and etc.
So, when are you ever not being influenced by your surroundings? I mean, if you are a strong willed person, then you probably are all set. But if you are someone like me - a people pleaser and sensitive to other's feelings person, then you know how I feel.
I have always been taught things and told things. I thought that was the way of life and I should just be a silent follower. Not until I was in my 20's that I started to learn things on my own. I realized that I CAN be different and that I DON'T have to follow someone else's ideas of dreams. I started to get to know me, Aida, the girl from Kazakhstan with big dreams. I listened to myself, wrote my thought on paper, read books that actually helped me grow, learned to let go of the past and be optimistic about the future.
I was able to find the long-lost girl inside and I let her be. So now I do not let anyone rain on my parade. I believe that I was created for a purpose and that I shouldn't try to be like the rest of this 7-something billion population. I hope you can do the same and maybe you can do it in style.
Shop the shirt and polo here: www.teamelephante.us
LOVE & STUFF,