The Oxford English Dictionary defines “pavisand,” a verb meaning “to display an impressive or opulent array of clothing and ornament; to flaunt one’s appearance.”
Goths, freaks, and other fashion-oriented types (including the tattooed) live lifestyles of pavisanding. To us, there is no other way to be. Our bodies are works of art. We are artists first and foremost, and we want the world to know. I was expressing this to my mother the other day. She looked at me with a confused expression and gave me the trite question: “But isn’t that a phase?” Here we go again. You’ve all been there, haven’t you? You all know what it’s like to explain. I don’t know if it’s a personality type thing or not (like maybe only the introverted feel the need to express what their mouths do not), but for some reason it is a real challenge expressing why we express who we are. Apparently, many people do not feel the need to self-identify for strangers. My father tells me that he doesn’t understand why homosexuals feel the need to express who they are, thinking that what is one’s entire identity is merely a private act that should be kept secret. My mother tells me that she doesn’t understand why I also feel the need to state that I’m an adoptee, as if the fact that my race, being different from my parents’ race, should also be a private and secret thing even when it is clearly visual and easy to see even for Captain Obvious, and is an important fact to convey to a medical doctor. What are your feelings on self-expressions of identity? Why is it important to you? How do you explain this to others? I remember taking a philosophy class on identity. What a challenging class! Is identity even important? Why do we obsess about who we are? Why does it matter? Leave your comments below.