Tuesday, November 13, 2012

confessions of a (former?) fashionista

Last week in class we looked at different magazines for girls, and while a lot of them mostly featured articles about music and artists, somehow the conversation shifted several times to fashion. This is not uncommon since girls are always associated with fashion, but perhaps it was because we had talked about our little field trips to the mall to look at stores for girls. These stores are creating little fashionistas  by providing clothes that seem to be for more adult women, just made into miniature sizes. I made me think of how much I loved to play dress-up, wear my mom's heels, put on a thousand bangles on my arms, and sometimes play with my mom's makeup when she wasn't aware. I loved being a girl and being "girly." So what happened to me as an adult?

At some point in my life I guess I decided that women shouldn't be subdued to society's scrutinies, so anything related to appearances was too superficial. Thus, although I would still wear dresses (mostly because they are comfortable) I wanted to believe that I didn't care about how I looked. Makeup? "Yeah,  that's too much work, and guys don't even like girls that wear too much makeup. I'd rather look natural." But I think there was more to that. In my effort to be a true feminist, I began to believe that I absolutely could not like those things that are stereotypically associated to women (e.g. clothes, makeup, shoes, hair products, etc.) because I would be perpetuating the stereotypes. Just a few weeks ago I wrote an analysis of a website for girls and heavily criticized it because most of the games were about fashion, but I have to admit that I like fashion, and so do other fellow feminists.

As I have been reading and learning, I realize that instead of trying to bury that side of me, I should embrace it. Our professor talked to us about her experience when she entered the field of Women's Studies. She was talking about her own experience with her professor, who dressed very blandly and had very short hair, so my professor cut her hair short as well and began wearing mostly pants. She then mentioned Farrah Malik, who is an active feminist but who is also very feminine; she has long hair, is fashionable, and even makes her own clothes.

Now I feel more comfortable admitting to actually enjoying getting my hair done (by myself, of course, being a poor graduate student), wearing a little bit of makeup, looking more like a girl, and admitting that I used to play with dolls. And hey, I watch “Project Runway” because I like clothes.  
This doesn't mean that I spend a lot of money on fashion especially on things that I don't need, but once in a while I splurge in a bracelet or a dress that I think is pretty, and I shouldn't feel ashamed of that. Somehow I guess a part of me thought that in order to be a true feminist I have to renounce to anything that is stereotypically “girly” but maybe I shouldn’t. Just as I shouldn't feel ashamed of admitting that I used to play with Barbie dolls, and as heavily criticized as she is, in my experience she didn't have a negative effect on me or my self-esteem.  I never felt the need to look like her, have blonde hair, or be "perfect." As long as a remain true to who I am, and understand that my appearance is not the most important part of, but that I'm also allowed to feel and look pretty, I shouldn't feel ashamed of taking a little of my time to "be a girl". 
And yes, I guess I still am a fashionista at heart, loud and proud. 

No comments:

Post a Comment