There are over 7 billion people on Earth. In the Bay Area alone, over 7 million occupants exist together in a 6,000 square mile radius. To top that, a whopping 8.4 million reside in New York City.
Living in a city, it’s easy to normalize constant submergence with the public. Visualize the 8am Monday morning Muni ride downtown in San Francisco. A sardine-like scenario, as you’re pressed up against the sea of strangers. Or, sitting in the 24-7 parking lot that is the Bay Bridge; surrounding vehicles honking back and forth like urban songbirds. Better yet, the experience of putting your name down at Mission Beach Cafe for Sunday brunch—daunting indeed. Go ahead and release your jaw— it may have subconsciously clenched through this imagery.
Millions of people exist amongst each other; interviewing for the same jobs, connecting on the same social media sites, dating the same singles. In a world with so many people, how do you differentiate yourself?
In light of how InYo came to be (yoga leggings, as expressive as the practice itself), I began thinking about self expression.
What are the different platforms in which individuals express themselves? Why is this important?
In the spirit of exploration, I dare you to look beyond what’s “trending” and think about your own sense of self. How do you express who you are?
Here’s a snap shot of what the Bay Area has to say:
“How do I express my personality? I’d say yoga, practicing meditation, engaging with strangers because I'm curious. Through being open and excited about new experiences, thinking about each day as a new adventure. Through sharing my feelings to close friends and family to feel connected” - Alicia Cass, Sales Executive at Omada Health
"Remembering and reminding others that life is beautiful. Bringing a smile to another person's face. Connection with myself and nature."- Kylee Slevin, Pilates Instructor at UCSF
“I draw so much inspiration from listening to people and hearing their stories. I feel inspired and connected to the world through people. As a runner I value time spent alone on the road as a time for inward reflection. To connect to myself allows me to stay true to who I am, helps me make decisions that I'm proud of, while maintaining balance in my life so I'm a happier more peaceful version of myself. It can also be as simple as choosing to put on a bright shade of lipstick as a vibrant expression!” - Breana Marino, Masters Student at Erikson Institute
"Details are everything for me. I feel inspired by them. It's like a cog... a relationship. It can be between music, art, movement, and travel. I get the same feeling when I smell a new scent or go to a new place. So I wear a pink lattice back bra with soft leggings for dance and morning yoga. Then for a little street style, I pair it with a silk top and trench coat for a tailored effect. I can wear fringed boots or python print pumps to offset the formality with a little edge. Beauty and function makes me more active, so it's important to have both.” - Rena Macapagal, Financial Management at San Francisco Federal Credit Union
“Accept your artfulness.” - Claire Jee, Voice Instructor at Studio Grand
"Honesty & choices. I feel when I am living a life of being honest with myself (however difficult it may be to face) and make decisions based on honesty with myself, I am better able to express myself creatively. Also natural habitat helps a lot to get me charged and excited about the world around me.” - Amber Hockeborne, Photographer
“Self expression is born from a need. Like breathing or sleeping, expression for the creative self is a necessity. One of my favorite quotes about talent is that it's a cheap commodity, cheaper than table salt. Being creative isn't about a talent, it's about expression.
For me, expression becomes bigger than myself. Bigger than my mind, my body, my heart. It's an entity that thrives and begins to grow from its own energy. It becomes literal and abstract in every form. Creativity gives way to personal growth.” - Ryan Stephens, District Sales Manager at Dermalogica
Why is being expressive important? Because, amongst the 7 billion, there are no duplicates. You are a unique contributor that is different from anyone who has come before, or after.
Whether it’s through clothing, interests, careers, there are many ways to exude who you are. Be bright, be bold, be authentic, be sensitive, be literate, be mathematical, be intellectual, be spiritual, be expressive, but most important...
Shannan Slevin is a nutrition wellness instructor and a body movement specialist. She is a certified nutrition health coach and is trained in Pilates, yoga, and GYROTONIC. Shannan is the Co-Founder and writer for Daily Fruition. A California native residing in Oakland, she lives for fresh air and dance floors.