so, the prospect of another fashion show at the capitol theater is about as exciting to me as getting another tooth pulled...it is reminding me of 8th grade cheerleading tryouts...and while i am used to being alienated by the world at large and the mainstream of indie rock, i don't like it that the thing that the women in my town work so hard on these days is centered around the buying, selling, making and wearing of clothes. i recognize that fashion is considered an art form, and (as previously stated) yes, sometimes i like wearing outfits too, but i am not someone who thinks owning a business or being crafty is in-and-of-itself radical. so while i am hesitant to present my harsh critique here (what i really think would probably offend you) i have to say, no i will not be attending the fashion show or dying the gray out of my hair or putting myself on display any time soon. i am glad that women are being creative together, but sad that i can't relate...oh well i guess. maybe it's time to re-evaluate what feminism is. hmmm.
as an afterthought I should probably mention that i do think a political usage of style, especially with regards to youth cultural movements, (see dick hebdige subculture the meaning of style or the writing of stuart hall) is viable and can be potentially liberating, though when it comes to girls, focusing so much on appearance is always going to be a double-edged sword...and fashion, as an industry, "diy", boutique or mainstream, is not compelling to me...to each her own i suppose...i know we all have to pay the bills and...i won't voice my critique of the music industry here either, but rest assured i do have one...yep.
when I was in middle school my mom told me I didn't need to shave my legs or wear a bra or make up unless i WANTED to. in high school I found that these "choices" were less than free--if you didn't conform to traditional grooming habits for women, there were consequences. as a young woman, I resisted this programming in different ways, only conforming when I felt it was really a choice or when it seemed to make sense to comply, i.e. job interviews or whatever.
in bikini kill we tried to make the construction of femininity--and resistance to it-- visible as part of our performance. we used style politically. unfortunately this 'style' was commodified and entered the market place in weird sanitized versions...somewhere along the line, "fashion" became "hip" and the trendsetters became trendy.
as an adult woman who will be turning 40 this year, i find myself thinking a lot about what my mom told me in middle school. when i realized i was spending a bunch of money dying my hair because it was turning gray and women are supposed to try and look young forever, i stopped doing it. when i dye it next time it will be because i WANT to, not because i HAVE to if that makes sense.
in all this worrying about my appearance, the fashion show doesn't make me feel happy, it makes me stressed out. fuck it. i want to read books and try to create a world free from war, racial injustice and poverty. that to me is what it's all about. i don't give a shit what you wear. sure it's better to buy local, but do we really have to think about it so much?
6 months ago