Sunday, 22 September 2013

Cherry Bomb


  

Hi! Hello! This is the outfit I wore yesterday.



Weird knees, unladylike posture, vacant expression. 

I bought this necklace from the Christian festival Green Belt (I never said I was cool ok) years and years ago. Last time I wore it a girl I used to go to church group with told me it looked like boiled sweets that had gone all hairy and sticky from sitting at the back of the sofa for months and months. That's one of the nice things about dressing up, people come up to you and say the most unexpected, delightful things.

The kilt and teddy jumper is from this season's Topshop range, I went to the mall on Friday to get it and they have some really sweet pieces. A combination of Clueless poptones and pastel hued Hitchcock dead girls. I think one of my favourite things about this season's candy colored sweetness is the nasty stickiness that undercuts it. Like Prada's fall campaign all gingham and greasy hair. Or how Sessilee Lopez turns cosy cuteness on its head with a leather dungaree dress and a grey wooly jumper for September's Italian Marie Claire. 

The polkadot satchel is from Primark and is my official back to skool bag. The knee high socks are from Primark too and act as further fodder for this Alicia Silverstone appreciation post. The hair clip is from Camden and contributes to the cloying cuteness of this outfit. 


I've been thinking a lot about cuteness actually.



Cuteness is complicated. Girlhood is complicated. It's not as simple as fashion writers like Hadley Freeman make out. I should note I do really respect Hadley, but when it comes to certain topics, like animal hats and Beyonce, I totally disagree with her!  Sure we can cut up trends, start conversations, think about how certain aesthetics enforce the idea of white women as precious bluest eye dolls. This stuff is important! But when it comes to the 'individual' things get blobby and blurry and hard, fast do's and don'ts no longer apply. They no longer apply because you do not know the history of that adult woman in an animal hat or pastel mittens. The adult woman who you sneer at in your big newspaper has a history. And you do not know one bit of that history.



Clothes are more than fashion. One of the reasons I chose this jumper was because I knew I would find the fleece fabric comforting and the teddy bear reassuring when anxiety was pressing hard against my chest. I am on the 'learning difficulties' spectrum myself and it saddens me that so few people consider that, hey, maybe a smiling animal face, or a brightly coloured fabric, might bring comfort to a vulnerable person. Going out is scary to a lot of people. And the simple act of putting on a warm, bunny eared hat can make all the difference. That way you can bring a part of yourself into an alien and unfriendly world. Whether this may seem 'childish' to a fashion critic is neither here nor there. And the hierarchy of what a functional adult 'should' be, 'should' wear is ableist and gross. 



The piled up jewellery  with its happy rainbow colours and cartoon animal rings owes all the debts to FRUiTS magazine. 


Photographing jewellery is hard so I resorted to the scanner! Pink Catholic bracelet from Madrid, Mickey Mouse bracelet was a gift from my Grandparent's visit to Disneyland, fimo liquorice allsorts bracelets and fimo cream puff bracelet from jominxcats on Ebay.


Creme egg ring and iced gem ring also from jominxcats, bear ring from Accessorize, panda ring from irregular choice.

Also I like how my fingers look like they're been broken in multiple points in this image. That's a nice touch. I guess. 

And some random shots of my room, Elle Woods cheeriness, grotty neopet toy found in the back of my bed and Comme des Garcons ad in LOVE issue 7-





I hope you guys are well and happy and are having the best weekend. It's pretty gloomy here, but I kind of like it y'kno?

Love always,

Bethany

8 comments:

  1. I am so glad I discovered your blog! I love your outfits and your writings resonate a lot with me. This is so well put: "Clothes are more than fashion. One of the reasons I chose this jumper was because I knew I would find the fleece fabric comforting and the teddy bear reassuring when anxiety was pressing hard against my chest. I am on the 'learning difficulties' spectrum myself and it saddens me that so few people consider that, hey, maybe a smiling animal face, or a brightly coloured fabric, might bring comfort to a vulnerable person. Going out is scary to a lot of people. And the simple act of putting on a warm, bunny eared hat can make all the difference."

    I couldn't have put it into words myself, but that is exactly one of the reasons I love and cherish "cute"/"childish"/"girly" things so much. They comfort me so much and when my bleak outlook on life or my anxiety issues plague me, I know that pastel-coloured fluffly things will not disappoint me.

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    1. Oh my gosh this is one of the loveliest comments I have ever received, I am so happy we've found each others blogs <3

      And I am so happy you can relate to my writing! Anxiety is so horrible and unpredictable, I think of my clothes as an emergency tool kit, so when I have an anxiety attach on my own, like on a bus journey or whatever, a carefully curated outfit can anchor me. Whether it's a simple as tracing the texture of my buttons or counting the beads on my bracelets, it can bring me out of scary things. Wearing good clothes is like being a tortoise we can carry our homes on our back <3

      xox

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  2. "Wearing good clothes is like being a tortoise we can carry our homes on our back" <3 <3 <3 so true and lovely put! *.*
    I definitely see my pink sweaters and cutesy bows and hello kitty paraphernalia as a kind of armour, which is why it upsets me so much when people ridicule me for it - especially when it comes from "my own camp", so to speak - there is a lot of femme-hating going on in the queer/feminist community where I live. I understand it's a complicated issue and certain tropes need to be discussed and deconstructed, but, as you stated in your original post, it's not as simple as that.

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    1. Urghh I am so sorry you have to deal with that crap :(

      I think the issue of femme-hatred is deep rooted in so much of the queer and feminist communities and it makes me so angry!

      Queer culture leans toward elitism anyway and often there is a feeling that unless you dress a certain way you are 'conforming'. They say "be yourself" and then shake their heads and tell me I'm doing it wrong. Sigh. Like I'm never gonna look like a lanky, androgynous male model. And all I see is the erasure of trans* bbs, femme bbs, people of color, and I'm all three worse luck! They are wrapped so tight in academic theory they forget the people who they are excluding are often the ones who need a loving queer community the most.

      And oh my gosh the femme hatred in feminist community is an embarrassment. It's so ridiculous. They complain that not enough people identify as feminists, that everyone should be a feminist. And then when someone like Zooey Deschanel, who has such a huge, loyal fan base, who can introduce so many new people to feminism, publicly announces herself as one, they turn around and tell her she's not 'allowed'. It's a joke!

      And definitely. I believe it's totally possible to embrace all things cute and not enforce certain power structures, it's just a case of self examination and reflection, like 'what do I like?' and 'why do I like it?' :)

      xox

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  3. I love this! Piles of cuteness, aggressive cuteness were powerful tools for me when I was ~FINDING MYSELF~ as a person who intentionally puts on clothing and as a fledgling genderqueer kid. Previously, I hadn't allowed myself to play with makeup, to dress in pink, to show my own skin because (foolishly) I thought that to be intelligent and interesting and properly fae I had to aesthetically un-be some other things. Also, having come from a place of very low self esteem as a t(w)een, I thought that things like makeup and hyperfemininity were "For the pretty girls" (a group of which I never thought myself a part). Being garishly adorable helped me nurture my trans* identity, actually, because I was so /specifically/ performing "my" gender (that is: a certain girlness that's expected/taught/disparaged by THE MEDIA) that it was on mind a lot more than it ever had been. So it was this weirdly vulnerable exoskeleton... people didn't even wanna comment on how my appearance because I was so committed to every part of the look - the cute, the tacky, the clownish - that they found it scary.

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    1. Oh man I feel your words so hard, you always leave such brilliant, insightful comments! :')

      "Aesthetically un-be" is such a good phrase. I was always seen as an 'ugly' girl and as a tween/teen was always bullied pretty hard by the 'pretty' girls which unintentionally nurtured certain horrible prejudices about femme-ness and pinkness and reductive ableist ideals of 'intellect'. I reread my diaries from when I was 12/13 and I cringe at the Daria-esque snottiness-the idea that because I pretended to read pretentious literature and dressed in black t-shirts I was superior. Ridiculous stuff!

      Speaking of trans* femme cuteness I have a post in my drafts on that very subject! And your wonderful words gives me motivations to actually finish the darn thing! :))

      Hope you're good and have had an awesome weekend ^O^

      xox

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    2. Well, insightful comments for insightful posts yaknow?

      I don't know if "I" was "seen" as "ugly" as a young(er)'un, but I was certainly ignored a lot, and treated pretty poorly by most of the thin/pretty/popular girls (who all seemed to be in my dance class [one of the literal most competitive, mean-spirited places in my entire public high school])... so the development of my disdain for certain aesthetics, shitty though it was, was very much in self-defense.

      Oooh, I can't wait to read it!

      Well-wishes and hugs across the sea <3

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  4. I was just about to buy that sweatshirt omg

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