When Black Really is Your Happy Colour and You’re Not Trying to Be “Relatable”

The clothes that are sitting on the pegs near my bedroom door. Straight-up five black jackets and two black caps. Because AAESSTHETIC.

It’s no secret that I enjoy draping my mildly chunky (like salsa) frame in black. So much of my wardrobe is this wonderful lack of colour that it has become rather annoying to find a singular item in my sea of shadow-wardrobe. Like sheep in a field, it’s impossible to find a single fluffy-baa-ing-friend among a plethora of other fluffy-baa-ing-friends, where in this case a fluffy-baa-ing-friend is that black shirt I wore once. No, not the one with the laced shoulders, the one with the small heart-shaped patch on it.

In a nation that is known for its huge expanses of bleach-white sandy beaches, blonde folks clad in bikinis, and a helluva lot of short shorts, my tendency towards wearing black on black and a proclivity towards covering as much of me as possible makes me stand out like a sore thumb.  It doesn’t help that I call the sub-tropical city of Brisbane my home. Many a time I feel like Melbourne would be more suited towards my sartorial tastes.

When I was younger, my mother thought my love for the shades of the nether were to do with some sort of off-the-cuff occult worship that I was somehow squeezing in between full-time hour-heavy university, work and church activities. She asked many times if I was now “goth” or “sad” or if I like cats (apparently, my mum believes that people who like cats are inherently depressed). She also Googled “emo” just in case I was one of those too.

No mum, not emo, I just find black an amazingly flexible shade of nothingness. I’m (as far as I know) not wearing black to express any conscious (subconscious?) pain. In fact, some might even call me “upbeat” or “unusually perky for 2AM”. I like that I can unceremoniously spill food on myself and it won’t matter. I like that I can refine my online shopping options by colour (thereby taking out over 50% of purchasable items from the pool). I like that I can wear the same outfits for days on end and no one questions my hygiene – I still wash my clothes guys, it’s just I own the same clothes in duplicate. Promise.

The only negative? Finding something to wear to a wedding is basically hell on earth. Oh yeah, and people endlessly asking if you’re going to a funeral.

Oh, you mean yours if you don’t stop asking me that?

Unwittingly, I have tripped down into the rabbit’s hole of “Colour Psychology”. There’s an entire consciousness and much literature attached to why people have a propensity towards donning particular colours and tones. I guess this isn’t surprising considering pretty much everything we do and every choice we make is strongly associated with the sort of identity we wish to project to others. However, after taking in a big read of all the available prose (ahem, from the all-knowing internets), I’m not sure just how much it applies to my old soul.

I mean, according to much of the internet-world, people with black color personality have following characteristics, they are often:

  • Serious (nope, I mean, have you met me? I can’t hold a single conversation without laughing even once)
  • Confident (nope, I felt like every top I tried on this morning made me look like a small mobile Asian blimp)
  • Strong (nope, welp, maybe yup, I am strong-willed at being a dork)
  • Decisive (nope, couldn’t decide if I wanted to add cracked pepper to my avo-sandwich this morning)
  • Emotionally contained (nope, cried at a puppy-related Instagram story on my lunch break)
  • Introverted (nope/yup – sometimes people are the best and sometimes I just want to express my general hatred, dislike, distrust and contempt of the human species as a whole)

I mean, I feel like these “characteristics” are written with the broadest generalisations in mind – all folks have multiple identity-traits but I guess we could counter that people usually try to project their most favoured identities to others. When a person chooses to buy a certain car, a certain phone or ramen noodle hardness (but seriously guys, what kinds of monster chooses soft noodles?) it’s pretty much broadcasting your identity to those around us.

And as the avant-garde master-tailor Yohji Yamamoto says,

“Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy, but mysterious. But above all black says this: ‘I don’t bother you— don’t bother me.”

So maybe I am trying to convince the people around me that I am a serious, confident, strong, decisive, emotionally contained and introverted young woman?

Or maybe I should just buy more red.


When Black Really is Your Happy Colour and You’re Not Trying to Be “Relatable”