I really wanted to call this post “Lavender Town” after the district in Pokemon, but that crosses the line from “niche reference” to “misleading clickbait”, don’t you think? Anyway. That aside, you’re probably wondering what exactly I’m doing in a field full of Lavender in late September. We actually visited Mayfield Lavender Farm last month, on a freezing cold and extremely rainy day. It may seem strange, but I actually like visiting flower fields in the rain. Something about the extra water makes the colours seem brighter, and the wind rustling through the stems somehow makes the flowers more alive.
I tried to capture it in a short video which you’ll find underneath. It’s literally less than a minute, and I wrote some calming music to go with it, so please have a watch below. What’s more calming than Lavender? (Aside: why does the quality of my video drop right down when it reaches YouTube?). Now, this may seem like an outfit post, but I actually want to share a few things. I’ve been attempting to write this post for weeks (hence the delay), and I haven’t quite got my thoughts in order, so bear with me.
I’ve been sat on these photos for quite some time and not just because I wasn’t sure how to edit out the rain. For some reason, I’ve become reluctant to share outfits and photos of myself on here in recent years. I guess I feel like: am I enough? Can I really blog clothes? I am a confident person in terms of my writing, and my photography. But modelling clothes is a bit different. Everyone and their dog had a photoshoot in a lavender field this summer. What more is there to offer, to say? I am not a fashionable or conventionally beautiful person by societal standards, and certainly not by blogging standards. In offline life, this doesn’t bother me. Rarely, if ever, do I wear makeup or style my hair, and I have been wearing the same mix of hand-me-downs and charity shop finds for years. In these photos I’m wearing a dress my grandmother made for herself in the 1950s, using fabric she bought in Ethiopia where she lived. It is both strange and lovely that it fits me so perfectly. If people don’t care, they won’t click. Nobody wants to see a variation of a post they’ve already seen unless they dearly want to see my own unique spin on things.
Recently I’ve been thinking that the mere fact I am putting myself out there is a tiny stab at representation, and that’s important. Of all the girls I saw in lavender fields this summer, not one was a mixed Indian-Mauritian with white and brown heritage. I never see people that match my own unique blend anywhere, in anything. To date, I have met just two people in my entire life who have the same ethnic background as me, including within my own family. Two. How many people with purely British or American heritage can you name?
Part of me thinks that even if I doubt myself in terms of having anything new to add, I still ought to put it up, because just putting myself out there is sharing a different story for people who are like me. But in the blog world, which doesn’t value diversity or representation, is that enough? I may not be adding anything new, but I’m just showing up, and turning something out. Is making sure I’m present is better than not being visible at all?