Rosemary Donahue
May 04, 2016 6:00 am
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If you haven’t heard of StyleLikeU, you should check them out immediately. They’re a mother-daughter team with the mission of showing us all how to be more comfortable in our own skin, via the docu-series What’s Underneath. This series features interviews with fantastic people who have enviable style, and the interviews serve to show that their style is only part of what makes them who they are. While the interview questions are being asked, the subject removes articles of clothing and takes off their makeup, until the last question is asked while they’re sitting in their underwear. The StyleLikeU website says that “True style is self acceptance,” and we couldn’t agree more.

The latest person to be interviewed by StyleLikeU is Brigitte Aphrodite, a playwright and singer from the UK who talks frankly about depression, her colorful style, and something called “frunning” (we’re listening…).

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Brigitte has a super colorful style, and says that women often stop her on the street to tell her nice things about how she looks. She also mentions the connection between how we dress ourselves depending on mood, and how our mood can affect our interactions with the world. “[My style] makes me feel exhilarated, like I’m living on a rainbow — but I suppose when I’m low, it’s armor. Sometimes, it can be a bit anxiety-inducing to leave the house, for me and a lot of people, because sometime the world can be a bit fucked up and scary, especially for people of a sensitive nature.”

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As she begins to remove clothing items, she mentions again the fact that women seem to connect with her style more than men do. Using clothing to keep anxiety away also seems to be a theme for Brigitte, and we’re so here for that. “Me and my best mate, we’ve invented a sport called ‘frunning’ — its a mixture of dancing and running, and it’s to kind of bash away anxiety…We mainly dress a little bit ridiculously, and we get positive things shouted at us by mainly women, and we make up moves like the wiggly tree leaf!” 

She also talks about the time during college when she tended bar and men used to think that because she was wearing revealing clothing, her body was somehow theirs. They’d try to touch her inappropriately and make unwanted comments. “It would be nice to be able to have your flesh out, I think, and not think that flesh is somebody else’s unless you say ‘this flesh is yours.’” AMEN TO THAT.

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Other than using style to express herself, she also writes poetry and songs, and she says she doesn’t hold back with what she’s saying. While her depression held her back from self-expression for three years, she got out of that low period and now handles her depression more effectively — she says it’s still a part of her, but she “knows it like a frenemy.”

She’s open about her depression with anyone who wants to hear about it, and is an ear for anyone who needs to talk. The thing about Brigitte’s depression that makes it so relatable for many of us is that everything was going fine when it first hit — in her interview, she says that there wasn’t anything that made it happen. When it came on, she was in love, everything was going well with school, there was not anything to point to that caused the depression — it just happened. She began coping with alcohol and started to have negative thought patterns, and she even hated music during that time, which was the hardest part for her. She said she projected her negative thoughts toward herself onto other people, and thought they hated her. Now she says, “even if other people don’t like you, who cares?”

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Now, so many people ask her the question, “So what should somebody say to somebody who’s depressed and what shouldn’t they say?” She says that question isn’t one-size-fits-all — that people won’t necessarily remember the words. What people will remember is someone being there, someone’s general willingness to support, love, and hug.

“The weird thing is, getting help is the last thing you want to do, because then you have to face it all — you don’t want to have to feel worse to feel better.” But Brigitte did eventually find her way out of her own depression, through small steps that she took to create a healthier lifestyle. She also realized that she needed to accept her depression, which is a huge lesson in self-acceptance that we could all learn from. 

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She closed out the interview by talking about how she looks at her depression today. “It’s part of me, it’s not all of me. It’s saying, it’s beautiful because I am beautiful. Depression isn’t beautiful, it’s shit…It doesn’t mean it can’t change though, it doesn’t mean it can’t get better. It’s not like well, it’s just who I am, I’m going to try and do something about it every day personally and socially, but I accept that it’s part of who I am, and I’m still bloody beautiful. And by beautiful, I don’t mean very, very sexy.”

Well, Brigitte, we think you’re beautiful, inside and out.

You can watch the full video here:

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