I’ve been thinking why I dress a certain why and why I am so in love with dressing up etc. lately, and coincidentally I’ve also been wondering why I have the tendency to take pictures of said dressing up. For the latter part I’ve basically come to a conclusion.
When I first started taking pictures of outfits, in the good old LJ days, I suppose it was firstly because I wanted to share new purchases and the coincidental excitement of it. But that’s the shallowest explanation; I think I also looked for some kind of acceptance, some kind of proof I was somehow cool and not the inherent outsider I always felt like. Teenage years, teenage insecurities! Later on that didn’t matter; I felt accepted with my friends and came to a point where I stopped caring what most people thought of me. But I continued with the outfit shots. I continued because of aforementioned excitement of new purchases and new looks; new coincidental identities I could hide behind, because I felt awful. I felt really, truly awful about myself. I felt awful about my body, I felt awful about my personality, I felt awful about every single little thing I ever did. And so I took pictures in flattering poses with flattering clothes, and somehow it made me feel temporarily better. I made sure I kept to the rules of dressing for my certain body shape (which is why I am so horribly opposed and nauseated by ‘dress for yr figure’ articles; because it hurt me so bad when I was younger). But flattering is boring, and safe and suddenly I realised that so I stopped needing (relatively) “good taste”. I started creating more elaborate characters in my head and wore matching outfits. More identities to hide behind. At the same time I also slowly discovered, (or re-discovered and found the proper word and the proper theoretic texts of) feminism. And for some reason I realised I’d been posing and hiding in these outfit pictures. I needed to do something about that, or I’d never feel better. Gradually I dared wearing actually supposedly “unflattering” clothes and realised said unflattering clothes don’t actually exist, because this is my body and it doesn’t need anything to make it “look better” because I live in this body, I feed it, I breathe with it, I walk with it, it takes me to exciting levels of life and pleasure. And so I am here, unconditionally content with my body and life and person and I don’t need outfit photos, nor do I need certain threads to make me feel better about myself. So I’m wondering, why do I keep up with it?
If you do or have done the same (taking outfit/style pictures whateveryouwanttocallit) why do you do it, why have you done it? If you don’t, what’s your view on people doing that?
Just in case anyone missed it, or for new readers (hi!); I am currently in Switzerland for Erasmus (a European exchange program) and will be here till the end of January. I’d recount my past week but it just seems impossible to write down all the overwhelming expressions and awesome feelings of newness. I just want to say that my school is mind-blowingly cool, this country is gorgeous but I hate the (traditional) food and everything is painfully expensive. Nonetheless, I am seriously excited about being here. Maybe I’ll find it easier to write down some experiences later on when I’ve more time but for now I’ll leave it at that.
Oh and yeah: SWANS. Lunches with swans, bonding with swans, deep emotional bread-sharing conversations with swans.
Everyone’s fairly underwhelmed by the awesomeness of swans. I DON’T GET IT. I mean, the other day a Swiss guy told me someone in Zürich was once swimming in a lake with some swans when a swan nearby him stretched its wings, hit the man in the neck and the man DIED. True or not (I kinda highly doubt it), it shows the awesomeness of swans because they seem so elegant and kind while they’re entirely evil beasts. I mean, how can you not get excited about that and admire them from a safe distance?
I also got this wicked bag in a second hand store filled with Tirolean clothes, dirndles and lederhosen. Whoa, I want everything in that shop but, as said, everything is painfully expensive. I needed a bag to put my laptop in and more though so I found this thing, which is something I’ve been looking for for ages. Hooray!
I’m finally through with my resits/exams and I am incredibly glad because I struggled with my art history course so much. Not because it went above my capacity to understand, and not only because I found it a highly one-dimensional course (art is never just art but an indicator of a certain zeitgeist so how can you only teach us one viewpoint? etc. etc.) but also because it quite simply completely ignored women’s liberation. One of the more telling examples is that only one woman in the Bauhaus is mentioned, whereas the director of the institute claimed gender inequality was over in 1919. This, despite the fact he only let women work in textiles (these women are not mentioned even though their designs are still being produced). This I know because I read and researched it myself, not because it was in my course. Does that not show you the zeitgeist of that time but also of the time this book was written and of the time this course was given? Does that not show you how women’s liberation happened but was only often executed on the surface (or not at all), but a deep-rooted misogyny on the inside? This is not the zeitgeist of the 1930s, but also of today. At least that’s what I conclude out of the overlooking of pretty much every female artist of 1900-1950. And if they aren’t overlooked, their autonomy in their own work is often completely negated by explaining this or this man told her to do this so and so etc.
It made me feel so incredibly alienated. I feel like it subliminally told me I have no right to study this, that I don’t have a place in the art world, and the world in general. It made me feel like I was going mad, because surely this course couldn’t be telling me this subliminally and/or consciously or not, right?
I can’t deny it; lately I’ve noticed an exponential rise in my anger towards (gender) inequality. So I wondered, do I have some sort of superfluous anger to vent and am I just projecting? But I realised, the older I get the more I start to identify myself as a woman, female and consequently the more I understand and feel the sting of gender inequality, the more I see that society’s image of a woman is almost completely opposed to how I feel. How I see myself as a woman, and how society tells me a woman should be is completely contradictory. There’s a giant discrepancy between those two images and it is extremely alienating to me. Man, is that how it feels to be a woman? Because it sucks, it suxxxxxxxxxxx.
That said, how amazing are these glittery sheep hair clips? Glitter. Sheep. In. My. Hair.