When Did We Stop Playing Dress Up?

When Did We Stop Playing Dress Up?

It’s no surprise to anyone that I’m feeling rather nostalgic at the moment. Graduation, and now off into the big bad adult world I go. A few weeks ago, I was struck by the notion that when we become adults, we are expected to throw away the things we enjoyed earlier in life, to trade them for what is believed to be more responsible, more mature or more sophisticated.

Sometimes this is achieved simply by adding alcohol. Boozy Brunch seems to be every twenty-something’s favorite Sunday activity. To be fair, mimosas make our desire for all you can eat chocolate chip smiley face pancakes seem somewhat more mature. If you look wider, alcohol seems to be our favorite social crutch in general but that’s another blog post. Sometimes it pressures us to play down our passions, hobbies and interests. Instead of owning our loves for knitting, drawing, astronomy, vintage cars, rock climbing or even blogging, we can feel the need to brush it off as ‘just this thing I do’. Why? If a little kid develops an obsession for something, we celebrate it. We buy them books on it, take them to exhibitions, find documentaries, and engage with them at every level. Why don’t we allow this for ourselves as adults?

When did we stop playing dress up? I’m not saying that you literally ought to wear a ballgown to work, though wearing a tulle skirt and answering calls in a cubicle would make a great editorial shot. It just seems to me that some of the most universal joys we had as children got shuffled off in our adulthood never ending pursuit of practicality. Maybe American Psycho left too strong of an impression on me, but if business cards come up as a legitimate conversation I’m running for the hills. I just wonder if there is a way to reclaim some of that wholehearted fun, to embody some of that childlike confidence. The same confidence that let us pose in front of the camera like pros at the age of 5. To put on a floaty dress, costume jewelry and dance around because it’s fun. To do something without regard for what other people may think, to show the proverbial finger to this constant need to impress. To find a balance that makes ‘adulting’ exciting and fulfilling, rather than a perpetual grudge match.

Surely every once in a while, we can eat cake for breakfast alongside our fair trade artisanal black coffee.



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