A revelation I had at some point in 2012: You can choose clothes based on something other than aesthetics. Or rather, you can make choices about your appearance and presentation that aren't rooted in making you look as attractive and pleasing as possible.
I know, right? Simultaneously mindnumbingly obvious and completely revolutionary.
I can deliberately choose to wear skinny jeans even though they make my legs look shorter and even though they draw attention to my disproportionately heavy thighs.* I can even choose them because that. Hello, world, I'm going to stick my thighs in your face and there's nothing you can do about it!
* It is possible this is just me being insecure. That's kind of beside the point, though. I can wear clothes that I don't think necessarily flatter my body! And I can like them and be happy about them and just go out in the freaking world and live already instead of worrying about it like I'm really letting somebody down by not downplaying my "flaws" and highlighting my "assets."
I mean, I always knew that some people chose clothes or hairstyles for practical reasons: they don't show dirt or they stretch with you or it's easy to wash and wear. But I always thought of this as a sacrifice, as a tradeoff, that they were giving up on looking nice by prioritizing something else.
But you can wear horizontal stripes because, gasp, you like them, or because you like flouting rules. You can wear tank tops even though you have broad shoulders, or cropped pants even if you have short legs or mustard even if you're pale or...I don't know, I'm running out, but there are loads of these rules, and you can ignore all of them! Because society at large doesn't have the right to demand of you that you look as hourglassy and poreless as possible. You're not required to try to adopt a body shape you don't have, or accentuate the one you do. You can emphasize whatever you want. You can be deliberately ugly.
Seriously, nothing is as awesome as people thumbing their nose at other people's demands. I don't have to smile in public, I don't have to wear only flattering colors, I can slick my hair back away from my face in the least flattering way (as my mother kept encouraging me away from and even outright banning when I was in middle school) as a deliberate signal to society (/men) that I don't want their approval, that I have other stuff going on in my life.
Edited to add this, which I have no idea what it's from (other than the comment on a post I just read, but it purports to be from elsewhere), which, YES:
"Pretty is not the rent you pay for occupying a space marked 'female'."