Close up of camouflage texture found in nature
November 2021 Carolyn Barber

The Warrior

In truth, I wear camo to give the illusion that I can be hardcore and impenetrable.

The origin of the name ‘camouflage’ came from the Italian word ‘camuffare’ which means ‘disguise or deceive’ while the French word ‘camouflet’ means a ‘whiff of smoke in the face.’ In the late 19th century, both words were combined to become ‘camoufler,’ which eventually became what we know today as ‘camouflage.’

 

In the 70s and 80s, camouflage infiltrated pop culture with Andy Warhol’s ‘Camouflage Series,’ a critically acclaimed collection of screen print paintings. Further into the 1980s, fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, John Galliano, and Valentino flooded the runways with camouflage prints making it an enormous fashion statement that even after 20 years is still going strong.

 

I cannot recall when I started wearing camouflage. It likely began after I watched Sarah Connor (aka Linda Hamilton) morph into a ripped and badass warrior to save her son who would eventually become the protector of mankind in the movie Terminator 2. Or in the film G.I. Jane, when Jordan O’Neill (aka Demi Moore) manhandled the Master Chief while he was trying to ‘prepare’ her for missions. I wanted to be one of those tough, fearless women who can do hundreds of pull ups and one-armed push-ups with ease. Even today at 51, I still aspire to be one of those hardcore women who can physically and mentally do pretty much anything.

Owl camouflaged into tree
Dark and moody close up of a suit of armor

The harsh reality is I don’t like to get dirty, and my body just cannot recover the way it used to. Bengay and Lidocaine patches are now daily essentials and just as important as my sunscreen and eye creams.

 

Aesthetically, camo is a great alternative to wearing all black. It empowers me and makes me feel like I can take on the world. Coupled with a stripe of orange or a hint of neon, camo can also be sporty. You can also give it an elegant or modern twist when accessorized thoughtfully. ‘Less is more’ is the key to fashionably wearing camo or you otherwise risk crossing the line into full-on military gear.

 

In truth, I wear camo to give the illusion that I can be hardcore and impenetrable. Yet, my closest friends and family know that I’m more of a marshmallow than a machine (I am a Cancer, after all). Wearing camouflage, whether it be a pair of pants, a handbag, or a hat is my armor and shield. It subconsciously protects me from the harsh realities of life.

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