Background Foreground Noground Moreground

I don’t think I’ve ever really mentioned this but I really like clothes. Now I don’t always dress the part, mostly because there’s a certain… stigma… behind dressing nicely. If you don’t dress up nicely every day, the days you do dress up you get a million comments about how you “look so nice today” or asking the “reason you’re all dolled up” which I absolutely hate with every bane of my existence. And then there’s the idea if you dress up nicely every day, the days you don’t you get asked if you’re “sick” or “going through a rough time” which is also really sucks. I absolutely hate it. And I started thinking… why is this a thing? Where did this… aura of dressing up nicely come from? Well here’s my idea.

Now before I never really liked dressing up nicely because people always seemed to comment on my appearance, causing me to be self conscious and overall afraid of letting my “look” deviate from my usual “brand”, and everyone knows how terrifying that can be. But I decided to try something new as of recently… What if I tried to dress up as often as possible? Wake up a little earlier. Try a little harder on my outfits. Put effort into my look. A little makeup here and there. At first, it was comments:

“Who are you dressing up for?”

“Why do you look so nice?”

Plus a compliment here and there, which I actually enjoyed, I will admit (“you look pretty today” and “I love your outfit” are always good in my book, but the moment you start interrogating me on my appearance, then there’s a problem).

But the interesting thing I found was that… The more I dressed up, the less people seemed to comment on me “looking nice today” and more just treated it more like a regular, everyday thing.

Now that’s where background and foreground come in, which is very interesting.

Background is what people know, it’s something people are familiar with, something comforting, something… there. It exists, even if we aren’t always aware of it. Foreground is… a little more difficult to explain. It’s different. It’s what’s going on. It’s… in front.

For example let’s say we have a movie that’s set in New York City. New York City is the background. It’s familiar. We’ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands of movies set in New York City. It’s just a backdrop, but it affects the story, because it sets the scene to the foreground, the characters, the plot, the storyline, the interactions for the characters. The foreground is what’s going on, what’s happening, but where would that foreground be without the background? The foreground would not be without the background.

Going back to clothes… my background… is those casual clothes I wear every day. The bland boring clothes that help me blend into the background around me, but the moment I wear something different, something that contrasts that background… that’s new. That’s my foreground. The new dress, the makeup, it’s foreground the the background that everyone is used to. Not only that, but… as I keep wearing nice outfits, it starts blending into my background. My background is changing… I am changing the scene. I’m changing my background.

How ‘bout that?

It’s really abstract and hard to put into perspective, but that’s how I see it, and I’d like to see more ways I can change my background in the future.
In other news I’m glad to say I’m going back to blogging and I wasn’t really sure what to talk about for my first blog post back, so I just thought I’d throw this little idea out there.


2 thoughts on “Background Foreground Noground Moreground

  1. Great observations on your own personal dress code. Even as a 41 year old woman I CAN totally relate to this. I wore flip flops for years, everywhere, even when I was teaching. I didn’t like being bound by shoes. But a couple of years ago the strap that goes I between my toes started to hurt my feet. I had to start wearing shoes, high heels, sneakers, flats…I bought lots of shoes. People immediately started commenting JUST like you wrote. My reason for changing was for comfort but to others they often thought I was trying to dress to impress or look more professional. Nope. Comfort was and is my motivator. Same thing happens when I wear a dress, people freak out like, “What’s the BIG occasion?!” It’s funny how people react and I am guilty of reacting that way to men, women, students, and children. I often am the giver of unwanted attention based on clothing. I love to look at nice clothes…they are like fabric art.
    Anyway, I love what you wrote about background and foreground. What I’ve found is people are very uncomfortable when others start to change their background. Maybe it’s threatening, the change itself, or maybe because you are changing your vision of yourself they no longer know where you fit in their background or foreground? Interesting how the way you chose to dress has such and impact of the way people relate to us. Hmm…well, I could talk about this and th connections for days!! I love what you shared about yourself and others. I’m with IT!! Keep sharing the good stuff!!


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