above is a screencap of a facebook wall conversation/flirtation between myself and the magnificent j. bee (aka sassyfrass circus). and today, your lucky day, is wednesday. that means i am now obliged to share photos of myself looking as babely as possible with a little bit of why i’ve been dressing/presenting myself the way i have been as of late. in true Gratuitous Picture Of Yourself Wednesday, here goes nothing…
i went to visit my sisters in ottawa in may before things at my job(s) got too chaotic. while there, i was reminded of how unique, strange, and wonderful sibling relationships can be. i also consumed way too much toxic mainstream media, which definitely affected how i view myself/my body, but that’s a whole other story.
big changes in my appearance lately have included:
- buying contact lenses for the first time in 18 months (so nice to have the option of wearing SUNGLASSES in the summer, as much as i love glasses)
- my younger sister plucking my eyebrows (they hadn’t been plucked/waxed/threaded in… a year?)
- and giving me an eyebrow pencil she never used because it was too dark for her, but perfect for me
- confidence in cutting my own bangs (and having them what i considered to be the ideal length to frame my face)
- my hair being longer than it has been since i was a teenager…
- my legs getting stronger from biking more often, up hills, in québec city
- the summer!!!
these changes have also made me change the way i dress – for some reason, i feel i can dress a bit more butch if i’m wearing makeup. if my hair is super femme, i like to contrast it with a (faux) leather jacket or my clunky boots to hint to others that my style/personality is not easily categorized.
the picture of me above is what i see as having struck a balance between the potential radical awesomeness of playing with makeup/”beauty” products and ideals with my own personal queer/punk/radical aesthetics. i borrowed a stretchy, skin-tight black lace dress of my younger sister’s, paired it with my boots and tights, and borrowed my older sister’s leather jacket for the night…
my sisters and i all have very different style, tastes, not to mention lives. but somehow while i was visiting i felt creative and empowered style-wise. overall in our lives i think we have found a balance where we love and respect each other despite those differences. being around my sisters reminded me how enjoyable much of what i had originally rejected as patriarchal-oppressive-beauty-standards. having someone play with my hair, curl it, do my makeup, encourage me to try on clothes i normally would never wear – all of those things were so much fun.
and then back to the grindstone – to the hectic work schedule i had this past june. one of my jobs included mostly design work for the winter/spring but this june i had to do a lot of promotion, face to face meetings with people who fund our projects, city officials, people who give permits, etc. so! i had a hard time trying to strike a balance between looking like “myself” while looking professional. i often forget that often people who wear vintage are seen as being over the top or costume-y, and i found myself taking this into consideration when getting dressed in the mornings… something i normally, to put it bluntly, do not give a fuck about.
thing is, i find it ironic that i want to look professional because i am soon to be unemployed.
and last but not least, i am dressing in a way that lets me ride my bike comfortably and wear a helmet. i discovered, much to my surprise, that i can wear my helmet when i am wearing my braids wrapped around my head! here’s a before and after.
slight drunk face happening in this awkward bathroom self-portrait, but i loved that my streak showed up so nicely in my ponytail!
contrasted with when i am doing professional things/working 9 to 5 in an office/interviewing people, when i hang out with my friends, i feel i can be more adventurous. wear dresses that are too small/too big, not only show my hairy pits but flaunt them, wear things that make me stand out a bit more (especially in the relatively bland city – style wise! – of québec).
IN CONCLUSION: on the bright side, on top of being more adventurous with my style, my potential unemployment can mean time to focus on my own projects and goals that have been put on the back burner far too long for my liking. i have so much more to say, but as always, can simply not find the time to tell you about it.
also! funny note: i wrote this before i had read j. bee’s why i am looking fly lately article, and i am kind of astounded at how we (critical young stylish queers) both ended up focusing on the relationship of our style to employability and of course our own relationships to body hair (omg if i had a dollar for every time my mother said “you would look so much nicer if you just shaved/plucked” i’d be a millionaiiiiiiire).