Sunday, May 02, 2010

Confession: what I have been thinking about is fashion. Part of this taking-care-of-myself nonsense. How very women's magazine.

History? Armchair fashionista, all longing and anger and doom.

I started without a chance, no money, sacks of old hand-me-downs many times picked over, two blocks from the public library. I can tell you about the Dior dress. I can tell you about thread count, and rayon viscosity, and the de-constructed genius of Chanel. I can identify silk and cashmere from their synthetic counterparts by touch, from walking down the aisles of value village and examining every piece, from stealing into banana republic for moments at a time only to fondle and gape.

I wear enormous men's wool hiking socks under four year old sauconys, layers of plain threadbare t-shirts, black thrift-store jeans, sometimes hats.

I resent my passion, because this is what's expected of me, as a woman. I resent it because it at first was fueled so entirely by expectations of others which I would ABSOLUTELY NEVER be able to meet. But--there are things you need. Clothes to wear, for example; to sleep in and hike in, to work or work out or go grocery shopping.

I resent it also because it is most commonly followed with such vapid, brainless persistence. There's nothing say with clothes if your entire world is clothes, nothing but self-referential circles to chew off your tail in. It is social appropriateness; it could be art.

I definitely don't have this clothing and gender stuff figured out. It helps that my closest guy friend is an artist and dresses well--equality, or at least a taste--what would the world be like if everyone would dress well? Prettier, for sure. More expressive. Aesthetic preferences say something about your soul.

I've been coming together about it in pieces. Slowly.


___________________________ said...

I prefer jumpsuits. I mean, aesthetic styles of dressing are a waste. If we all wore jumpsuits, then we would have equality.

Steve said...

hell, you like it you like it. Who cares what other people think or expect? I think that cuts both ways.

N said...

I think I'm really with you on this one, sister. So much angst from trying to ride the razor blade line between "I like it" and "that designer/clique/magazine/ad told me to [like it]"

Molly said...

I can tell the difference between real silk and cashmere and their synthetic counterparts, too.

I get allergic reactions from "the real thing".

I think that's pretty natural. It's not like we evolved to live off of others species' bodies like we do now.

Anyway, I came here because I saw a comment you left on Shapely Prose about how you were anti-capitalist. This may make me sound like a turd, but now that I find out you're carnist, I'm bitterly disappointed.

I wish I could find someone who didn't pick and choose which kinds of oppression they were against.

N said...

Wait, why does indulging in the love of certain things (fashion, food, texture) make you in favour of the oppression that often goes with those things? Granted, the objects in our lives are often created in immoral ways, and changing the system that causes that (and limits our choices so much) would be "A Good Thing" but does this mean that it's somehow better to not enjoy the ways we have to eat, cover our bodies, etc? Does a lack of enjoyment actually relieve the oppression caused by my purchase of [fill in the blank here] - or does it simply make it even more meaningless? It's true, we can (and do) justify things we do that support oppressive systems because we like the personal benefit to ourselves; but the solution isn't to stop liking the benefit, it's to find better ways to get those benefits.

Hope that isn't too ambiguous; soapbox is being put away again.

Day said...

Actually, Nancy, she's talking about the practice of picking and choosing which animals we think are ok to kill/torture/use/whatever.

For the record, I'm not a carnist. I'm OK with killing anything that doesn't have a sense of future. . . and yes, we did evolve as omnivores. Thanks for reading, though. :)