I was 15 and a freshmen in high school. I was Angela Chase with much of the grunge, but I never wore clothes based off of what label is hot at the time. I created my own "costumes".
Nobody really intimidated me. I never had anything but anybody running their mouth about me. I went through a lot of bullying and harassment that I didn't deserve, simply because I was smart enough to use my words as a weapon and not my fists.
Where I live, it's an "image" thing; especially if you are white and going to a predominantly black high school. All the people who weren't "of color" seem to want to pose as "gang bangers" because they think that is what keeps the big, bad, loud-mouthed black people from messing with them, when that could not be farther from the truth. There are no "big, bad, loud-mouthed black people" to fear.
There are just bad people. Period. Some people do not care about your well-being: only their own. I have danced on the edge my entire life: I do what needs to be done to make sure MY family and MY career moves forward.
But 90% of the time, this is done ethically as possible. I have made mistakes, but I did what I thought was best for myself at the time.
You live in a low-cost, urban area, and if you are a woman, you especially have your guard up, not because of racial profiling, but because you have no choice but to have your guard up. That is what you have to do when you live in the urban jungle.