There’s a perplexing fascination with the dark side. A place in our personalities, concealed behind smiles. Curiosity lingers; much so when watching the documentary on fashion designer McQueen. Alexander, the man who brought edgy ideas and controversy to runways, possessed a troubling soul. Writing for the Daily Mail, Andrew Wilson said McQueen was “more disturbed than any of the dark fantasies he consistently projected on the catwalk.”
The forbidden fruit of the dark side
The term conveys countless meanings. The good girl honing unconventional, sexual fantasies; a person obsessed with death, crime and rebellion. People who enjoy the idea of vampires; those who continually feel lost and sad. In psychology, the dark side links to “highly problematic or dysfunctional personality disorders” according to Psychology Today.
I believe to some degree, everyone has elements of darkness. Ying and Yang – a good next to a bad. From those who love horror flicks to people who spread lies to make themselves look better. There’s a reason when a murder makes the news, a murderer claims disturbing notoriety. Though the dark side conveys numerous elements, the term itself combines one forbidden fruit context.
An article on Hub Pages delves our fascination with the dark side. Noticing the “forbidden value”, writer Grace Marguerite Williams explains the surprising, exhilarating danger drawing people towards things we’re taught to stay away from. If alcohol, drugs, and risqué sex lost their taboo and became acceptable to confess to, would people care less about the temptation?
Accepting your dark side
Netflix is currently showcasing the McQueen documentary I recommend watching. I was in awe learning about him; drawing comparisons between his London East End background and his success in the fashion elite. Noticing how he changed as his career blossomed and how his creations grew darker and outside life became drug fuelled. Alexander’s dark side drenched catwalks and creatively covered models and celebrities who presented themselves “good”.
I’m always intrigued by people described as “lost souls”. I think that’s what Monroe captures. So equally her beauty and sex appeal sat with her sadness and sorrow. Most rarely reveal something other than their perceived image. I’ve forever felt this blank canvas of space – a disequilibrium. Despite my optimism, Disney fanaticism and plentiful dreams, there’s an interest in the meaning of it all, the realities of life and death. Sometimes I almost zone out randomly. It’s not depression, but a case of “mean reds” I can’t shake.
Some dark side qualities are okay to admit like being a perfectionist and worrier. It seems unmentionable to say you can get jealous, act bitchy and hurt someone elses feelings retaliating to your own. Disorders such as narcissism face harsher judgement. Regardless, in reality our dark sides can help our careers and personal interests, depending on how we tap them open. Accepting both elements of who you are grants awareness and knowledge.
Bringing out the best of you
My writing and in particular poetry, wouldn’t be the same if sunshine and rainbows filled my days. A topic I discussed on a Style of Laura Jane post: Writing Poetry: My Sadness is Art. The publication Success states that “fighting your less-than-ideal emotions does more harm than good, so does not embracing your dark side.” The piece shares research suggesting people who accept their imperfections “attain better psychological health”.
Once you recognise your supposed bad traits, you’re able to begin understanding triggers and how best to utilise. Jealousy for example, may transition to motivation. I use my insecurity to personalise my writing and relate to others. In addition to utilising, dark side traits possibly demonstrate your greatest strengths. People captivated by crime documentaries, emphasise an investigative mind. An interest in death suggests acceptance of life.
And as McQueen showed, a dark side can potentially summon extraordinary art. It’s up to us to educate ourselves on balance. Just like with our good sides – knowing how to not get taken for granted, we ought to gain consciousness to not let our darkness overconsume. While bad boys don’t appeal, I do harbour a desire for men out of reach. Wanting something unique and something tough to capture.
Do you know every part of bad?
It amazes me at times, the thoughts lurking in my head. The first night I went out late, I loved over-drinking and staying out beyond the hour I told my mum. It was a moment I made my own rules and pushed boundaries. Ignoring the offensive and criminal, discovering the taboo in you bestows rewarding benefits.