I’m a certified Weirdzo. Certified by the Confederation of Superficial Judgement on Body, Apparel & Behaviour. They really value conformity. I qualified early, aided by a love of bright colours, fascination with shapes & textures & absolute indifference to social rules. The kid in a neon raincoat when black & pink were all anyone wore. A strinking orange ankle-length gown. A plastic red flower in my hair atop pinstripes. Comic-book art lips, electric blue eyebrows, combat boots with a saree – these are all my badges of identity.

The thing with being a Weirdzo is that people willingly show you who they are, in their reactions. The eternally scared hang their silent hopes on you, as they look at you over their shoulders as they’re led away by those they’re too scared to oppose. The often bullied peep out of their traumatised shells to smile at you because you remind them of their dreams. The hopelessly wounded see your confidence as attack & lash out. And the ones mutilated in spirit, beyond redemption? They’re the heads of the Confederation.

Unprovoked attack is always startling. So is unexpected affection, unsolicited hero worship. It’s all par for the course for the Weirdzo. But when you realise it’s a mask that makes other people drop their masks, it’s not as scary anymore.

Being a Weirdzo is to be a mirror, reflecting back to the world exactly what it throws at you (isn’t that also called art?). You are silver reflections, you’re a crystal ball gazer, a looker into the depth of people’s souls. Dress accordingly.

Welcome to WeirdzoWorld, fellow neon, starlight, tinsel-lined ball of magic.

#IWear: Chanderi silk saree + red/gold jacquard top + black feather fascinator

This is part of a series on the theme of #BodyCanvas, exploring the politics of art & bodies in all the ways we’ve seen it – makeup, fashion, body image.


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