Dress: hand-made by a friend, shoes: Dr. martens, blouse: second hand, hair pompoms: hand-made
A lot of outfit posts on style/fashion blogs are often preceded by an apology of the supposed frivolity of them and it always saddens me a little. Putting together an outfit in which you truly feel good and can express yourself is a challenging task, especially when your identity doesn’t fit our current societal ideals and ideas. Though it might seem frivolous, the mere act of dressing the way you want can put you at risk of violence and harassment or just general feelings uncomfortableness, which demoralises a person not only in expressing oneself but also in going outside. Someone who is openly queer gets harassed on an almost daily basis. A fat body, too, adorned in, for instance, tight-fitted clothing, short skirts or whatever you choose is subversive to the idea that a fat person should eternally hide their body. Just two, among a lot of more subversive examples. Online we have the space to give to non-normative people, yet we are bombarded by classically considered beautiful women and girls who are sponsored and backed by big brands. Good for those women and girls, bad for the supposed freedom of the internet that is now increasingly being taken over by cynical capitalism.

It’s distressing because visibility of those who fall out of the margins, challenges every onlooker, every passerby, online and offline. It challenges our ideas about what fashion or style is supposed to be, about what our world is supposed to be, about who is supposed to be visible and who isn’t, it challenges our rigid ideas of beauty (is beauty supposed to be this thing we should strive for anyway? and why?). This is important. The visibility of bodies and identities different from what we see all around us is not frivolous. It is vital. This is what fashion blogging dabbled their feet in. But what is it now?

Genius is of small use to a woman who does not know how to do her hair.

I think it would be fun, especially for my own archival cravings, to recount my favourite escapist things of 2011. I might only leave it at books and music, because I’m finding it hard to remember anything else but that. However, if you are left wondering of anything random that enchanted me this past year please ask away! Let’s also share some things you loved.

Anyway, I really want to talk about books! I hardly read anything new because I am too out of touch of this world so I discovered a couple of beautiful old books this year.

My number one literary crush this year was no one other than Edith Wharton. I started with some ghost stories of her (ghost dogs!) because I felt a craving for them but soon moved on to The Descent of Man, and Other Stories (available at gutenberg, of course) and fell in love with her sharp wit and poignant writing. So naturally one of my main goals in life is now to read all Edith Wharton has ever written. I started with The House of Mirth next, which starred Lily Bart as a terribly flawed heroin; she doesn’t know what she wants, she is extrutiatingly indecisive and spoiled. Naturally this leads her to a gloriously written downfall. I have a weakness for books with flawed characters and a sad ending so this was perfect in my eyes. Wharton’s commentary and writing wasn’t as sharp as in her short stories but this was an amazing read regardless. Next up is The Age of Innocence!