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But you look so normal...

I have heard these words more than once when announcing my faith to new friends, family or coworkers. For some reason Hollywood has convinced people that Pagans or Witches all "look the part." Like our hair, clothes or jewelry has to announce our faith at first glance. And when you try to tell people differently they look at you like you just grew a second head. But the truth of the matter is that each and every one of us looks different, and most of us look like your every day person. It's rare beyond seeing a pentacle necklace that I am able to look at someone and recognize that they are a Pagan or Witch, and even then it's not always the case.

Hair, Clothing and Jewelry styles vary from place to place and person to person. And while SOME faiths have clothing styles which they endorse Paganism generally isn't one of them. Obviously if you see a "Proud Pagan" shirt you can feel free to assume, but short of that you really never know. I've met a few that felt like they had to dress "gothy" or in a certain color to signify their beliefs or show them off. To me, any Pagan that feels the need to show off their beliefs, is in it more for the "shock factor" than anything and isn't terribly serious about their faith. Of course, that's not always the case either, but generally, it's what I've found to be true.

Now, does that mean you won't ever find a "Goth" Pagan? No, of course not, many of those who choose to dress "Gothy" are Pagans, but not all are. And you may also find certain other styles that are more popular among Pagans than others, but to assume someones faith based on the color of their hair or how they dress simply doesn't make sense. Unfortunately it's something that people tend to do a good bit, and not usually in a good way either.

So how do we react when someone assumes we are or aren't something based on our appearance alone? My gut reaction is always to set the record straight. When I hear the infamous "But you look normal" line, I tend to go way out of my way to make sure they not only know the truth about me, but about their assumption. And I'll be the first to tell you not everyone is a fan of that, but I'm not in the market for friends who will judge me based on my clothing anyways.

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