Hikaw. Kwintas. Singsing. (Earrings. Necklace. Ring.). They’ve been in my wardrobe and life for as long as I could remember. From being my go-to “princess” loot,to my self-esteem-saving distraction from snide remarks, to my creative outlet, accessories have come far and wide, and close and deep, with me.
Let me share parts of my love affair with accessories, and the many reasons I love them.
They’re Great Distractions
It’s tough to be a fan of pretty things when you’re not pretty yourself. But, see, while my large teeth, acne-marked skin, and large frame didn’t get me compliments, my bracelets did. They’re noticeable, in a good way. And it made me happy that they were, because at least, for a moment, they weren’t seeing the un-pretty me; they were seeing the pretty bracelet.
They Almost Always Don’t Require Sizes
They fit almost anyone, and they look great on anyone, because they look awesome by themselves.
Being a lover of princess-y stuff, there are certain types of clothes I wanted to wear when I was younger (READ: pink lace dress with lots of drapes and puffy sleeves), but was discouraged from wearing because they didn’t flatter my frame. And yeah, I do get a lot of “Ang taba mo sa suot mo” comments during reunions and gatherings, so I couldn’t really count on clothes most of the time. But, I never get those with the earrings framing my face, or the rings on my fingers.
They’re a Way to Express Yourself
I love coming home to my truckload of bead supplies after a long day at work. There’s something therapeutic about threading colorful stones together and wearing the finished product the day after.
While it’s certainly fun to hoard trinkets, for me, nothing beats the feeling of making something exactly like you’d imagined it to be, without worrying about anyone wearing the same thing. The photos above are perfect examples, at least for me 🙂 say hello to my creations.
They’re An Elegant Way to Beautify
It saddens me to see that up until now, beautifying one’s self comes with negative connotations. When one dresses a certain way, they get slut-shamed. When one wears makeup, they get accused of being fake. Those who attempt to be beautiful in their own terms don’t get to win.
It’s bittersweet to note that blings are perceived under a relatively positive light. Shining and shimmering mean splendid and rich, and it has been that way since the beginning of time. But, of course, there would always be those who’ll waste no time in calling you a Christmas tree or a fashion nightmare when you show up in full-on bling. Can’t always win, but at least, with silver or gold adornments, you get to, somehow.
They’re Symbolic and Sentimental
There are only two accessories I wear everyday, without fail: a small tarnished crown ring on my pinky and a silver crown ring on my ring finger. They’re both symbol rings I got for myself, because, duh, I’ve been single all my life.
I got them both when I was having a hard time in life. I was under a lot of pressure, professionally and personally. A budding relationship ended before it even began. And I just felt like nothing was working out in my life, and it sucked. I thought of getting myself a crown to remind me that I’m in charge, that this is my life, and while it sucked, I can choose not to be a victim of the circumstances.
It was so fitting, actually, because one of my “moving on” songs was “King” by Lauren Aquilina. Seeing those rings on my hands, I do get a sense that I’m queen, and I can overcome the rut. Around a year after getting them, I sure did.
They Make You Feel Special
My yaya was my most consistent supplier of accessories as a teen. She got them from all sorts of places: the marketplace, bazaars, grocery store…just about everywhere. One Christmas, she even gave me a rosary bracelet I could wear for protection. She told me she had it blessed in a church near the wet market.
She got me a lot of trinkets for my birthdays, and she’d apologize because they’re “simple lang“, as she’d often say. But they aren’t. She got them for me when she could have bought stuff for herself, and that’s more than enough for them to be special.
Regardless of sentimentality or whatnot, when you wear elegant pieces, you will feel special. That’s something accessories have always done for me, and I’ll always be happy to remember that. There are stories behind them, and these are mine. Nagmahal, nasaktan, nag-accessorize. Sometimes, minahal, pinasaya, nag-accessorize.
Surely, accessories will continue to become part of my stories for a very long time.