Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Days.

I am free! The torment of being occupied with appearance 24/7 and always feeling like a turd is over! I am able to think of something else for a change! (Three sentences in a row all ending with exclamation marks is a clear indication of my overwhelming joy).

When you feel awful you always notice how good everybody else looks, but if you feel good about yourself you can focus on more important stuff- like getting through half a dozen other make or break projects for this term!

I wish I could say that I have learnt that I don't need all my adornments to feel good, but I can't. I still love clothes, make-up and accessories just as much as before...perhaps even more. The one thing I can say though is that I accepted this challenge and I proved to myself that I could do something that scared me half to death- like the time I went bungy jumping, although this experience lasted longer!

Thanks to everyone who commented on my blog and who supported me through this process.

Lots of love


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Add colour to a blank canvas.

I have recently toiled with the idea of getting a tattoo (perhaps to stick it to my conservative Afrikaans upbringing), but I am too scared to do it. Not because of the pain or that I will regret it later, but just because I would never be able to decide what symbol/image I would carry with me for the rest of my life. (I can hardly decide what top to wear for the rest of the day.) Earlier this year we did a project where we had to digitally manipulate a photograph and apply a tattoo to our own bodies. This was a great chance to experiment!

I must just add that I think tattoos are an awesome form of expression. Alexandra Howson mentions in The Body in Consumer Culture;
"Societies have developed their own culturally specific ways of reshaping, moulding and marking the human body in order to signal changes in social status....or to demonstrate social value through painting or masking (Falk 1995)."

I feel that getting a tattoo is a form of demonstrating social belonging or status, even if this "belonging" is not to the mainstream mindset. Although some would argue that this is not an attempt to conform but rather an act of rebellion, having a tattoo will give you status amongst non-conformist subcultures. There is a sense of empowerment even if others don't agree with this method of "body marking".

I don't really know where I am going with this. The point I am trying to make is actually quite simple- I view the body as a blank canvas and even though I don't have the guts to add anything permanent to it's surface, I still see my semi-permanent attempts (i.e make-up and clothing) as adding colour to a blank canvas.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oooh Shiny

So today I walked around town for a bit coveting all things fab and hoping with all my might that I don't bump into anyone from the past. You know how you can't help but compare a person to the last time you saw them? When woman bump into each other the first comment is usually..."wow, look at you" (even when they don't mean it). I hate these encounters and especially on a day where I don't feel good about myself, I always hope to avoid people I haven't seen in a while.

Well I'm definitely going to celebrate the end of my dreariness with a little trip to consumer central aka Canal walk. Oh how I so willing get sucked into the "Magic of the Mall" (Goss 1993). "Take me I'm yours!" I say. I long to look and feel amazing again!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bleh. Flipen Bleh.

For some bizarre reason me and half the people I spoke to today have this funny bug that makes you feel lethargic and flippen bleh. (for lack of a better word).

So look, I'm already so over this lack of cheer in my dress, to be sick on top of it all is no choc chip cookie on a rainy day. Perhaps this is a physical manifestation of the morbidness of my outer would I explain this to my doctor?..."so I think my clothes have a vendetta against me and this dreary outfit is making me feel ill". Well I might end up in a white room with a two way mirror at this rate.

My words are but a trickle...the torrent of expression has run dry and I am counting down the days to emotional and physical well being!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Crimson crutches

So red is my favourite colour by far and the combination of red and black together is perfection. I have not worn red this entire project and it's getting to me in a big way. I feel like I am literally having withdrawal symptoms and I am not one for delayed gratification so this is bloody hard. I went on to a colour therapy website and this is what they had to say about red.

"Red is a powerful colour that has always been associated with vitality and ambition. It can help overcome negative thoughts".[]

Well I need my red back thank you very much. I usually wear it as an accent colour because black is simply the most beautiful canvas to work on. Below is my collection of red accessories and I'm wondering if one can ever have too many red belts? Nah.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's going to be 20/20 hindsight isn't it.

So another day of bitch and moan because I feel dull and boring and would like to bite a sizeable piece off my wrist and chew on it a bit. I was telling my good friend Michelle today that I wish I could say I feel transformed and liberated by this experience but actually it's a pain in my ass. Just being honest here. There are aspects about this brief that I love. It's real. You cant procrastinate till the night before and you read the texts in a different light because they become part of your self analysis. (Thanks Franci for giving us an interesting challenge)...But, I still long to be reunited with my wardrobe and "find myself" again. I am still just as dependant on adornments and my All Stars as I was before, but I suppose the liberation is in the ability to persevere and do something that scares the shit out of you.

Well, I just rubbed my eyes and realised that I couldn't do that before unless I wanted my perfectly applied eyeliner and double layer mascara somewhere in the vicinity of my cheek bones. Hmmm....I might miss some things about my "plain Jane" experience once it's all over.

(Insert amazing academic reference here)

(Forgive the lack thereof right about here)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Enslaved after all.

I realised something today that makes me cringe inside. I've always considered myself to be only "mildly" influenced by fashion trends and what the fab celebs pick out for the red carpet. Priding myself on the fact that I am not oblivious to their power but also not a slave to the fashion industry.
I came to the conclusion that if for some unfortunate reason I was stranded on a deserted island for a year and I was then reintroduced into society, there are two things that I would do:
Buy a newspaper
and a glossy fashion magazine.
I would think twice before putting on my skinny jeans from a few seasons back, in case the world had moved on from them and I ended up looking like an idiot. If suddenly wrapping yourself in cling film was in...I would probably consider it. I say I express my personality in my dress but all I'm actually doing is interpreting a set of fashion standards and calling it "my style". I abide by their laws and I frown upon those who disregard them. Basically what I'm saying is, I don't have a style, something that lives with me and becomes a part of me. I am in the hands of the fashion gods and they can do with me as they please.

"...the dressed body is a product of culture, the outcome of social forces pressing on the body." (Entwistle 2000)

These social forces I perceive as fashion trends and the way our peers and icons interpret them. I've never considered myself to be a fashion slave, but if I am not free to ignore fashion trends then I can only come up with one other conclusion...I am enslaved after all.