I can’t remember what sparked my adoration of the color yellow. Was it a runny bit of yolk in my first sunny-side-up? Or the duckling in my picture book? I’ll never know, but I am certain that its magic has enriched my experiences as an individual eager to communicate. At eight years old, something about its energy instantly attracted me, irrevocably spellbound by my “dandelion” crayon and bright canary-yellow rain boots. My connection to yellow has evolved alongside my growth as a young, clothing-conscious woman, placing special emphasis on all things knitted, oversized, and faded.
Above: Fiorella wearing the yellow sweater
As a twenty-something feminist and determined communicator, I behold my yellows in a state characterized by utter possibility. I often feel flooded with a sense of boundless expression and imaginative identity-shaping, uniquely mobilized by a stretch of sunrise, inching me towards my next printed word or melody. It come as no surprise then, that when I bought my yellow knitted sweater at a local thrift shop, I unearthed a new way to connect, a tactile mechanism bridging the gap between self-display and reception. Tangled in the fabric, I sensed an alternative method of communication, unrestricted by language and insecurities, instead empowered by threads.
When sporting its ordinarily cushy design, the tips of my fingers feel electric. I feel special and gracefully unimportant all at once, like a young witch realizing her powers at the same time her friends discover theirs, as if unified by magic yet subtly distinguished through individualized consciousness. In those few quiet moments, I become aware of unidentified words, radiating off my flesh in sweet splendor because they are filled with communicative power.
This sweater is a cozy house to hundreds of stories, weaved into the softness of its fibers, and when I pull it over my head in the morning, I begin to share my own. Without looking back, I become an inscriber of meaning mediated by the itch on my collarbones, rolled up bohemian sleeves, and warmth against my stomach. An exaggerated fierceness fuels my intimate interaction with the environment: fabric is transformed into magnifying lens, and with this cosmic microscope, the platform on which I stand enables a self-expression that is rich and dynamic.
Through an active choice-making process, I embrace the yellowness and wooly texture of my sweater. Our relationship becomes reciprocal, lending my body to its sweet tangible instability, and inhabiting a unique identity marker in return. I connect deeply to the snug way it hangs off my chest, like a second skin, blurring definitive modes of (passive) consumption in favor of clothing as a self-affirming communicative tool. I consider my yellow knitted sweater an extension of myself, belonging to my psyche, reflecting my ideas, aspirations, and glorious mistake-stains. Using this extension, I am able to navigate my identity more fully, creating a space to challenge limiting assumptions of self-expression, and subsequently finding inspiration in the dusty lens less looked through. Within a wide exploration of communicative methods, it is then possible to discover real empowering spaces, shedding a narrow approach to self-expression in favor of a intricate declaration of selfhood.
Fiorella is a 22 year old, fourth-year Psychology student at Wilfrid Laurier University. She volunteers at the Centre for Women and Trans People* on campus, and has a special place in her heart for feminism, anti-oppression, and cinnamon. She was recently hired as Editor-in-Chief of her school’s literary magazine, Blueprint, and is committed to wild, messy hair and well-worn sneakers. Her favorite book is The Witches by Roald Dahl. She has four copies. Find her on twitter @ellafior.