“I wear black because I like it. Wearing it means something to me. It's my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.” ― Johnny Cash

There’s something about the color black and the concept of darkness that people seem to repel. I live for that reaction, for that question mark that pops up above their heads when they ask, “Why do you always dress in such dark colors?” My connection with the color black is more than a simple aesthetic. It’s the color that makes me feel like myself. The color that relates to the way I feel on the inside, and the color of a mystery, a paradox – which I feel that I am in its entirety.

When I say I relate the color black to the way I feel mentally, this is not a negative thing. I flourish most in the nighttime. I feel like the quiet and serenity that comes with it is where my creative side lives. The darkest, toughest moments in my life have served as the most iconic symbols of growth, and realization. I am a person who feels and sees more than others in many ways. I don’t say this to toot my own horn, but I say this because I’ve experienced it time and time again.

It is a blessing and a curse to feel so much – and that is a darkness that I juggle with every day, but I wouldn’t want things to be any other way because my ability to feel is my motivation, and the reason I am who I am. All of these reasons draw me to black. As a woman there are a lot of stereotypes I’ve been expected to follow. There are also a lot of ideas of “femininity” that women in general are expected to conform to – and black is my way of saying fuck you to it all. There isn’t one way to be a woman. There isn’t one way to live that is “right” or “good.” We live in 2017 but these views still exist.

You’ll rarely catch me in a girly dress with florals and the color pink not because I’m against it, but because that’s what we’re expected to do. I refuse to live by that. There are already a lot of things that are geared specifically towards women – like pens with butterflies on them or planners that are lavender with a heart in the middle that says “love yourself” but who made the rules? Because I like the silver hard wear pen and the black leather folder that “men are supposed to use.” The goal is to dissolve that imaginary boundary. The darkness is where the light looks its best. My life and my prerogative to live on the dark side – but I’m inviting you to take a peek. You’ll be forced to see more than what meets the eye. This offer won’t last for long.