Typically I am known for my slightly obscure and offensively bright clothing with at least a hint of hippy-ish-ness influencing my wardrobe, fairly accurately depicted by this picture:-
However, as a student at Newcastle University I don’t really fit in at all, and the vast majority of the students here are what we would call a ‘Rah’, people from upper-middle or middle class backgrounds who tend to all wear the same things as each other, namely very expensive branded things of a particular style. My friends and I thought it would be an interesting social experiment for me to ‘dress up’ as a ‘rah’ for a day, resulting in the following image:-
Deciding what exactly a rah wears was harder than expected, maybe they’re not quite so uniform as we might mock them for being after all.
Maximum effort made to make hair puffy and stay on top of my head in an ‘arranged mess’ and makeup = much more effort too; eyes started watering in response to excess blackness! (note, if I’d been doing it properly I’d have plastered foundation and bronzer on too but I coudn’t bring myself to do it/didn’t own the required make-up items). I Think so many Rah girls are probably really stunning on a morning before they’ve put on their mask.
People’s reactions when you change something about yourself, even just as shallow as your clothes, can be totally hillarious; people find change quite spooky. On the whole more boys thought the change was bad, more girls said I looked nice, almost everyone thought it was funny.
Rah clothes are REALLY WARM!! Gillets, despite being armless, are super cosy! And UGG boots are frankly BOILING.
Cath Kidston handbags and red skinny jeans are as colourful as you get when being rah (do quite like the bag though).
Your clothes must imply that you live in a massive house in the country where you go hunting, shooting, fishing for sport (though the UGG boots might give away the fact that you never actually get your feet dirty) and your clothes probably never convey any messages about social justice (or any other message apart from status and wealth).
Got less weird looks than usual on my walk into uni.
If you dress up as a nice rah girl then nice rah boys will offer to open doors for you.
Felt a weird kind of power in blending in at the Uni Library, in the idea that I was fooling all these people around me that I was just like them (they couldn’t tell I wasn’t cause the library is a quiet place).
The charity collectors on northumbarland street who usually all stop me didn’t stop me at all on rah day.
People who hate you for being a hippy will hate you anyway even if you conform, people who accept you as you are will laugh along and accept you when you dress as a rah (but they’ll still prefer you to be yourself).
It’s refreshing when some people don’t notice what you’re wearing and just chat away to you as normal.
Being someone else for a day is fun, but exhausting.
I want to judge people by their appearance as little as possible from now on.