I have three pet rabbits. Like most animals, bunnies are completely unselfconscious. They happily poop in public and never worry about posing for the camera. In fact, sometimes it seems like they actively avoid staying still long enough for me to capture their photogenic little faces. I have so many pictures of blurry bunny butts that didn't make the Instagram cut. (That's why this article features photos taken by more patient rabbit-owners than me.) It may seem contradictory, but rabbits' freedom from aesthetic self-judgment makes them good role models for fashionistas. I mean, there's something to be said for finding fashion inspiration in the most unlikely of places — it's why we love all those "make a dress out of pipe cleaners" challenges on Project Runway, right?
We humans are quick to suppress our creativity; to hesitate before we act. On the one hand, thank goodness — because otherwise no one's art would be carefully honed before publication. On the other hand, plenty of glorious outfits never see daylight because the stylist got scared. Which is natural: Human communities work better when we value social feedback. However, sometimes criticism should be dismissed, like when your ensemble resembles a phone case thoroughly studded with Japanese cabochon.
(Oh Nicki, how I love thee, despite your occasional problematic decisions.)
So without any further ado, here's what clothes horses can learn from another species:
1. Remember Good Grooming
Basic grooming is essential! I'm pretty sure we all know that, being adults with access to showers. (If you are a dirt-person child, that's OK too.) You probably bathe frequently, but do you remember to scrub behind your ears, and moisturize the tips? How about your elbows? For those with dry skin to combat, coconut oil is the bomb. Do you check for lint inside your belly button and between your toes? (I kindly perform this service for my ticklish boyfriend. "Kindly" might not be the right word.) Rabbits clean their feet fastidiously, because the soft fur protects their paws from stress injuries or infection. They are also careful about those ostentatious ears.
2. Dress For The Weather
When the weather gets cold, puff up. I live in California so this isn't relevant to me, but I have seen that white stuff before. You know, the cold stuff from the sky. It's not kidding around! Remember those voluminous vests that were the crème de la crème back in the day? Bunnies advise you to wear something along those lines. They specifically suggest Patagonia. Alternately, a vegan mink coat.
3. Big Hair, Don't Care
Big hair is the best hair. So flaunt your fluff. This could mean teasing your curls until they're not curls anymore, becoming a huge, luscious creation; or it could mean letting your armpits return to the wild. My favorite answer: All of the above! (Just kidding; my hair believes in staying flat — curling irons and hairspray be damned.)
4. Experiment With Colors
Bold color combinations are only a mistake when talking ketchup on a white silk shirt. Otherwise, the rainbow is the limit. If you must go monochrome, green is a rabbit's color of choice. (Yes, based on their eating habits.) Fun side effect: You will match your salad, and you won't get scurvy. Taking advice from bunnies has zero downsides, amirite?
5. Get That Beauty Sleep
Nap copiously. Every true diva knows to prioritize beauty sleep. There are eighty zillion health benefits, and it feels good. Rabbits spend the late afternoon and early evening lazing around, not doing much of anything. Such leisure may not be feasible if you have a job or a social life, but make sure to grab shut-eye when you can.
6. Costumery Is Excellent
Don't be afraid of disguises! When being myself gets boring, I dress up like someone braver, funnier, brazen. Okay, I'll admit, this would never occur to a rabbit. Bunnies are completely themselves at all times, and they don't seem to mind. I'm hesitant to spoil my article's gimmick, but when I saw this photo on Flickr — who could expect me to resist? However, I'm not just posting cute photos for the sake of cute photos. There's a kernel of truth in the fluke of this particular bunny sticking its head through the sheep cut-out. Rabbits are fundamentally curious creatures. Wherever they are currently, they want to leave and explore a new place. (They are also ferocious diggers, so you'd better have a deep-rooted fence.)
The human impulse is similar. We love stories because we need to reach for experiences outside of ourselves. As a reader, writer, and TV-watcher, I'm obsessed with how the human experience is different but the same for each person. That's also one of the main appeals of fashion. Most of us wear clothes — except on National Nude Day — but we all have different relationships to fashion and different preferences about the clothes we wear. It's fascinating.
Despite the diversity of our sartorial identities, we can all benefit from emulating the unabashedness of rabbits. They don't restrict themselves; they act on instinct. I'm glad to be human, and able to consider my actions before potentially blundering; but I would like to find a happy medium where I don't hold myself back unnecessarily. Next time I get dressed, I'll ask myself, "Would a rabbit wear this?"