Monday, May 04, 2009

Conspiracy Theory: The NY media want you to think that women are crazy and stupid.

Okay, this is the CREEPIEST Modern Love column EVER. Does she not know that you can block creepy stalking students from chatting with you on Gmail? Doesn't she come off as craving the attention and encouraging the crazy? This replaces this entry as proof that "Modern Love Exists to Perpetuate the Stereotype that Women are Batshit Insane".

This 22-year old baby crazy girl
sounds really stupid, and yes, crazy. She's maybe four years older than those crazy teenagers in Massachusetts who think that babies will give their lives meaning and purpose, and it's all fun and games until reality sets in.

Who on earth shops like this?! Since when is something under $1,500 a deal, and something $500 a bargain? When I am over forty, I might actually start buying things full price on J. Crew or Banana Republic, but I probably won't. Not that cheap, poorly made, arguably disposable, probably produced in sweatshops clothing is the best, but somehow I cannot for the life of me stomach paying that much for clothing. Maybe on a suit or in a special occasion dress (like, wedding), but on a sweater, no. I think this article was supposed to be "sensitive to our current economic climate," but FAILED. This article is not so much The Women, They Are The Crazy, but it just sounds crazy to spend that much on clothes in This Economic Crisis, or in general, really.

Speaking of fashion, it has come to my attention that I have "let myself go." My everyday uniform of a fleece jacket or parka, jeans, and Keen hiking sneakers is not stylish, no. Nor do I have "fashion personas." Shopping with a friend in the Trendy Faux Hipster Neighborhood (the real hipsters apparently live in this other pretentious, gentrified, boutiquey neighborhood), I kept balking at the idea of buying and then wearing lacy lingerie (a bigger waste of money, I cannot fathom), insisted that wearing heels everyday would destroy my back and make it impossible to walk my 2-6 miles a day without giving myself deformed feet (and I've already had arch-correction surgeries) or broken ankles, and expressed greater delight at the clearance section of Old Navy (where I got a t-shirt, a pair of shorts, and two yoga camisoles for $16) than at this vintage/consignment boutique that was pretentiously called "The Wasteland." Ah well, maybe this week I will wear a skirt--if it's warm enough.

I am blessed with a partner who thinks I look equally good in jeans or pajamas or in my dressier "stylish business casual," but cursed with a streak of pragmatism. It is true that once upon a time (perhaps just two years ago), I delighted in dressing up for its own sake. But now, I prefer the ease of feeling like I'm myself, rather than myself in a costume. I think I felt I had more to prove back then. I don't know whether this is "letting myself go," or the product of being in a relationship and relaxing my standards. If anything, I think this change preceded the relationship, and it just happens to work in this relationship (if I look like I put in extra effort, it is remarked on favorably, but if I express insecurity over not looking nice enough for an occasion that does not compel a certain dress code--say, to a casual restaurant--I am asked "who are you trying to impress?" The answer, of course, is no one in particular and perhaps only myself, or everyone). I mean, I still like to wear dresses and put more effort into our dates out, just with flat shoes, and only if the dresses are comfortable. I am often encouraged to wear a pretty, lacy thing or a pair of heels "for myself," rather than for the sake of impressing a member of the opposite sex.

But for whom do we dress ourselves is as loaded a question as for whom do we wear cosmetics? I derive more personal pleasure and utility from the light use fo cosmetics, so I do indulge in that. I also like to wear earrings (although my magpie tendency to load up on the glittery bling has long since passed; I attribute that penchant to a need to add some lightness to the dark that was law school). But heels, uncomfortable undergarments, clothes for which I need a modern day corset--no, these are not things I would want to wear every day, for myself or for others.

I suppose I am Low Femme. Not High Femme, which I admire, but cannot fathom in my walk-everywhere, schlep everything lifestyle. And so while we may dress ourselves, we do not dress for only ourselves. But there seems to be some limit to the outward performativity of dress and cosmetics: at some point, the clothes or makeup wear you, and feel too costumey. Go too far for the sake of dressing to some ideal (or persona that doesn't fit your personality), and you lose any pleasure or utility in it.


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