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33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

This “outer eye” reflects the person I am inside. My clothing and my style is a reflection of who I am, and to see myself—to see Nichole—in the mirror as another person is dangerous.

I do not want to pretend to be anyone different. And even if I am dressing as another part of myself, that part is still me and a reflection of who I am as a whole.

My judgement is all me. She's picky, she hates her glasses and her thighs and any unsightly lumps. She likes her stripes and her tutus though, so there's that. She tries to make sure I'm put together well, so I love her for that.

If I do try to see myself from the outside, I just wonder, will they think I look interesting?

That other person is usually my husband, whether I ask him what he thinks of my outfit or not. He's honest with me, but he doesn't have to like something for ME to like it. If there's a pattern that I like and he's like, "Wow, that's really ugly," I get all "WELL NOW I HAVE TO HAVE THIS BAG" or whatever it is. But inside my own head, if I think, "Do I look okay? I haven't worn these pants in awhile," I can imagine his voice saying, "You look good, settle down."

I think my "outer eye" is a loved one, but that loved one changes, depending on who's in my life. So they see me more objectively than I can see myself, but still lovingly.

That other eye is based on an earlier more judgmental self. She was also plumper and didn't like her body With age I get bonier. This other eye, this earlier self, can be pleasantly surprised that I get away with garments that I couldn't in earlier life. On the other hand that 'other eye' wonders about what happened to my skin. Go take a hike. The lot of you.

I just try to think if this is how I want others to see me. Am I happy with the look? Why am I dressed that way -- for myself, or for others?

I think it would be a woman like me, but I'm not sure I do see myself from the outside.

my outer eye is a stylish older man who probably went to burning man once in 1999, has spent a year in india, goes to tokyo on the fly and has a slightly darker/goth edge but you can't really see that until you get up close & personal.... i'm dressing for that man who will notice the details and appreciate.

Some people I like to emulate: Frida Kahlo, Maggie Cheung in Irma Vep, female characters from older Wong-Kar Wai films, Jamaican dancehall queens.

This "other person" is feminine and hip, with an appreciation of past eras (in fashion and otherwise). She can speak intelligently on general culture—the arts, in particular—but she isn't overeager. She's somewhat standoffish; when she isn't smiling, people might assume she's cold. She's a writer or some kind of artist. She's tasteful and particular; she probably brings that eye to her own work.

This "outer eye" is based on the observations and assumptions I've made about women I've admired (some first-hand; most from afar). These are the women that—consciously or unconsciously—I've modeled my own style after. The above description only fits if I've put a lot of effort and thought into my presentation. It's a look that I work for, and that "other person" is always smarter and cooler and more interesting than I feel.

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