Monday, June 27, 2011

'Staches and Stripes


Last week, I was interviewed by an East Village fashion blogger about my choice to wear horizontal stripes. One of the questions the interviewer asked was how I felt about the common depiction of horizontal stripes as "unflattering." I gave her an earful about how WE LIVE IN A FATPHOBIC SOCIETY where so many women’s fashion choices are demonized, and that HORIZONTAL STRIPES CAN BE STRIKING AND LOVELY, and that IT WOULD BE REVOLUTIONARY if people of ALL GENDERS FELT FREE TO WEAR WHAT MADE THEM FEEL GOOD instead of what made them feel “thinner,” and that I recognize my own PRIVILEGE as a small-bodied woman and the ease with which I can make such declarations…

At this point in the interview I had already had a somewhat lengthy chat with the interviewer, and so when the voice recorder went off I thanked her for asking me that last question where I got to assert my political view on sizeism. Although I knew her editor would likely have the final say on what got included in the piece, I told her I hoped that she would try adding at least some of my response since this was an underrepresented perspective and one that was deeply important to me. As it turns out (and probably in no way the fault of the interviewer), NONE of my statement was included. Not surprising, but still disappointing. So here we go again, even with street fashion, upholding the status quo (here’s a link to the piece):


I've been seeing this guy's work around the city subway station for months (follow link below), and although I LOVE a great mustache, I wasn’t particularly compelled by his efforts… until this morning. I heard on the news he’d been caught after an ongoing search. What a remarkable waste of time, money, and “expertise” on something so seemingly innocuous. If anything, this should reignite questions about the reclamation of “public” space, but for now I’d settle for questions about this artist’s choice to “stache-ify” celebrities of all genders, ages, etc. I’d also settle for consumers’ responses as to whether they found this playful, subversive, comedic, daft… I guess we’ll see what conversations emerge.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What's Up (in three bits and bites)

Bit I:
I dressed like a Buttercup on Tuesday - I wore a yellow dress with a short-sleeved cream coloured cardi. It was summery and bright and I think this daisy/banana/daffodil colour combo might be my heart throb in the hot months to come.

Bit II:
My students and I discussed legal intervention (and interference) in one's freedom to dress as desired. It was a rousing, dynamic conversation! My favourite moment took place after one student had just finished expressing her view that women in "professional" settings ought to dress "decently"; another student responded by pointing out that the very notion of "professional" attire reveals one's ethnocentric conditioning. She argued that some cultures perceive the body as art rather than solely an object of sexual desire, and so, why shouldn't women sit topless in a park or wear "cleave-y" tops to the office?

Answer: because regulation and control of bodily expression upholds the nation state (or at least I hope we'll get to that answer in the next class period).

Bit III:
Lots of cute skirts flitting around Brooklyn in this heat wave. It's a queer femme utopia and I am dying to know where all these lovely ladies shop.