Fashion, to me, is kind of like a joke. A little white lie, with its tongue firmly in its cheek. Not to be taken at face value, and not at all seriously. I can’t explain this even nearly eloquently, but I’ll make an attempt:
One day, I woke up what appeared to be a completely transformed body. I went from a sort of boyish, straight up-and-down figure, to a curvy hourglass type contraption that confused the fuck out of me. I had round curvy bits bursting out all over the place, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t hide them. I started getting honked by cars walking to school. I felt disgusted and angry at this insidious body I saw before me. My old figure was how I felt on the inside – not especially female; plain and practical. It could be anything I wanted it to be. I felt trapped in my new body – absolutely and undeniably womanly, something I really didn’t want to be, nor did I feel I was. It screamed sexuality, which was mortifying. I discovered I had no control whatsoever over what my body did, which pissed me right off.
I ended up with a rather delightful eating disorder, pretty much inevitably considering my attitude towards my body at the time (that it was like another person, constantly teasing me, that I had to shut up). My eventual and slow recovery from this relied almost entirely on my rediscovered obsession with feminism. I decided Germaine Greer and Ariel Levy were my new bf4l’s, and annoyed everyone at school with my constant rambling on the media’s representations of women, and why do we always have to be small and passive? Why can’t we own our own sexuality, why are non-orthodox female bodies so intimidating to Men In Charge? Why are women defined by their appearance and not by their minds? Society is wrong wrong wrong, blah blah blah (I won a lot of friends this way, I’m sure you can tell).
Having come out of the tunnel of I-hate-my-body-I-want-to-die and into the sunshine of my-body-is-awesome-anyone-who-disagrees-is-a-dirty-misogynist, everything seemed to be rainbows and unicorns and happy lalalalala. I decided that every day was wonderful and exciting enough to get all dressed up. I started wearing pearls and lipstick, with everything. I wore pearls and lipstick with my baggy jeans and chucks. I wore pearls and lipstick with tracksuit pants.
Maybe because this seemed slightly at odds with my feminist obsession, or because I was aware that it was just an act, or because I realised it actually suited by curvy self better, or because it just seemed like fun at the time, or because of a million other reasons I actually didn’t give any thought, I decided it would be a hilarious little inside joke if I appropriated the style of a sparkly cupcake in all my sartorial efforts; mainly because it was the opposite of how I felt inside (I guess, essentially, androgynous). So I did, and it was fun. And it confused people, and that was fun.
It still confuses people, and it’s still fun, but sometimes it does get to pissing me off. Certain aspects of my master plan definitely backfired. Hyper-feminine doesn’t seem to fit into the genderfuck universe (although hyper-masculine does, apparently). This doesn’t make any sense to me, really… maybe it’s too drag queen-esque? But it’s still playing with gender, and people’s perceptions of it.
The other main source of my angst is that, it seems, next to no one (especially the dykiest of dykes, apparently) will believe you’re not straight when you look like a porcelain doll that’s come to life. This has lead me to be a bit shirty towards the ‘gay community’, as such. You wouldn’t have thought it’d be such an ~exclusive club~, but apparently so. This might be a bit of an unfair generalisation (and it's a whole different blog post, really), but it’s something I’ve felt a lot, and it seems horribly unfair, especially coming from where it does. Just last week, I was in the city and some people were handing out fliers for the gay marriage rally today (which I’d had in my calendar for months, but now can’t go because I have to work), and they took one look at me and didn’t hand me one (despite giving them out to pretty much every other person that walked past). Ummmmm okay then??? I might want to get married one day, too, you know. But I guess perhaps I have brought this on myself.
Andrea at Strangely Incoherent Love Letters did a really great post on similar themes (fashion and femininity), which is definitely worth a read.
I feel like I haven’t explained myself anywhere near perfectly, which annoys me, but tell me dear readers;
Do you dress to accurately reflect your personality? Or are you trying to be somewhat irritatingly subversive, like me? Or do you just not give a fuck?