Friday, October 2
Modern Day Dorothy's
A friend of mine has informed me that she is revamping her wardrobe, because as she so eloquently puts it, "According to a new study, men seem to think that women who are fashion forward hold money and material possessions in high esteem -an attitude which forces love and spirituality to be runner-ups in a relationship." The article went on to categorize how men view a women's viable relationship worth based on their clothing choices. Since she's tired of being 'out' of a relationship she's looking to spice up her wardrobe with choices that convey, 'safe, stability,' and I suppose overall weakness in personality.
The day after our conversation, I watched a man step off a bus; his look was polished, immaculate and very stylish…immediately I thought that this was a man who took pride in his appearance and perhaps other aspects of his life as well. But of course, I couldn’t read his life story with crystal ball divination. The sane part of me realizes that outward appearances cannot serve as the sole judge of character. But was another woman watching him at the same time thinking, "Is he vain because he dresses nicely? If we were in a relationship, would he care less about our future or more about his next outfit?" Who knows? I just know that to say anything to credit or the discredit of his character based on clothing choice would be a guesstimation.
While these were my friend's thoughts on the matter (not to mention that twisted survey from the magazine that thinks they know what men are thinking), I have to admit that some people still assess me based on my wardrobe, using choice key words that start to morph into adjectives to describe my personality instead of my style. "different, flaky, unique, spacey, other-worldly." I do sometimes refer to myself as an 'odd bird and I suppose I repeat it because that's what people have been telling me. Yet, I feel incredibly normal. So is it perhaps that what the men from the article really want is conformity? Are they threatened by women women who choose to express themselves through clothing? As I type this; the thought sounds silly, but what else could it be?
My friend then suggests that I experiment by dressing differently for a month to see if people's attitudes or comments toward me altered any. Could I change my single status with the power of new clothes? I went home to contemplate it but instead switched on the television and the Wizard of Oz came on (70th Anniversary ya know).
And because I tend to get carried away with things, my mind ran with the realization of how brave Dorothy was. There she was, a girl leading men on a journey for their own personal freedoms. A different sort of girl in a strange world. Off down a road in search of a brain, a heart, and some courage. I started thinking of celebrating these essentials on a grander scale. I could be a Modern Day Dorothy in a weird Wizard of Oz reconstruction.
I can picture my inner Dorothy:
This is the Dorothy dizzy with the realization that she’s in OZ. This Dorothy doesn’t want to go home; she enjoys discovering what life is like in strange little places like this. So she looks and plays the part: ruby red lips, panties of gingham underneath her low rider knee length khakis, a green tin of Altoids in her cargo pocket -- ‘don’t want to offend the little people’, she thinks, as she takes them and pops them into her mouth two at a time; they fizzle and dissolve on her tongue. There's no group singing cause she’s come equipped with her Ipod. Earphones get pulled over her head as tiny speakers sit casually in her ears. She presses play and the music beats rhythms that speak to her like brain waves. She looks down at the yellow brick road shaking her head - "heels don’t really work well with brick." she thinks. "Oh well, can’t let a few cracks stop you."
Does she dare set her own boundaries? Does she, dear?
You see, for this Dorothy, every boundary she crosses, every rope she unties from herself makes her feel more complete, like the women she has always admired. Unbounded, she walks taller, laughs lighter. One would imagine that releasing such a force would cause her eschew a less cautious approach and stomp through life’s moments, but she tiptoe’s slowly, absorbing every ping and pang of emotion. She’s the girl who would pause in the middle of the yellow brick road and pick out her wedgie. She cares naught for who saw it, or what would be said about her - and that only says more about her. The road to Oz is laced with insecurities, ready to grab hold of the imagination to weld against one’s courage, one’s will. And this Dorothy is sick of the adherence to social stigmas that don’t allow one to be human.
Briefly, I thought about how easy it would be to be so-called normal and fit into the mold – to morph into what other people perhaps might want to see me as. It can become increasingly difficult to stay true to oneself and not allow other judgments of you take root and grow. I have faith that the more women come to terms and embrace their own selves including the imperfections and flaws without picking at and obsessing over them will make others unafraid to expose their own. The inner you should never be costumed by someone else – celebrate it.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, to hell with that article.