stop the madness: why we wear

I have not posted in a very long time! There is a perfectly logical and trifold explanation for this, which is this: School (agh), Nanowrimo (AGH), and my struggle with how "serious" I want to get in this blog. If you haven't noticed, I've tried to keep Fickle Kitsch a pretty fun and frothy part of this grand old internet, but sometimes there are relevant things that aren't quite so fun. And I think that they're more important than keeping a "tone" to the blog. I read an article last week that really struck me as a woman, a feminist, and a fashion blogger. I don't want to link to it, because articles like these don't deserve hits/attention and because it was the same kind of nasty sexist drivel that I (and most of you, probably) have seen a million times before.

So I just want to say: You are not obligated to be attractive. Not in any way, shape, or form, not on alternating Tuesdays, not when another human might glimpse you, not ever. I like pretty clothes, and looking nice, and I write about those things because I like them. For whatever reason (and I don't pretend to be unaffected by social pressures), I like to get dressed up. I like to shop, I like wearing makeup, I like doing my hair. But if I didn't like any of those things, I wouldn't do them. And on days that I just don't feel like it...I don't.

I know this sounds ridiculously simplistic and like a serious "no, duh" moment, but I really feel that it's important to say. There are so many cultural stigmas and pressures that basically add up to "Here is the ideal. You'll never be able to achieve it, but you have to spend your entire life trying to and feeling like a failure when you physically can't." And that's awful. The worst part is that a lot of people who don't mean to, fashion-related people in particular, just feed into it without knowing. It feels kind of silly to continually hedge a post with "for me!" or "when you feel like it!", so I'm going to say it now: do what makes you happy.

Sometimes I hesitate to call myself a fashion blogger, because while pretty clothes definitely are a huge part of my blog, I don't really care about runways or trends (which is another post entirely) or any of the things that people think of as Fashion. What I care about is style, because everyone has their own. I can share mine with you, and share ideas I might have about developing your own, but your style is singularly you. Magazines tell you what looks good and what doesn't, what's in and what's not, but that's all based on advertising, a bottom line, and the need to convince you to keep buying. If you see something in a magazine that you like, that's awesome, but not everything in magazines is awesome, and not everything is awesome for you--your style, your needs, your budget, whatever. That's the part that really matters.

Finally, I want to touch on that lovely (ugh) old piece of advice, "Dress like you're going to meet your husband today!" Actually, I want to dig the heel of my combat boots into it. I do understand the point behind it, but the idea that all girls just want husbands is incredibly irritating on many levels, as well as the basic principle that the person I am meant to fall madly in love with wouldn't love me if I was wearing, say, sweatpants. Any man who doesn't find me just as loveable in sweatpants as in the frothy ensembles of my dreams is definitely not the right one. I don't think any reasonable woman or man would disagree.

Now that I have that off my chest (phew), I hope to have you back to our regularly scheduled programming posthaste. As always, please feel free to comment with any ideas/questions, or drop by my askbox (I do continuously update my tumblr with new images, so it's always there if you need a fickle fix *rimshot*)


  1. This is my first time here and I totally agree. I rarely see my style in magazines... Now when I say "my style" I have many. Mostly I wear cute/geeky/bad ass t-shirts and jeans. Cute would be something like the top my sister has that I SO WANT which has Chibi Spock on it. Geeky would be stuff like my "I ♥ My Geek" shirt and really... Anything from ThinkGeek or Bad ass would be a mix of anything from the above sites (especially the "I Fight Like a Girl" shirt from Jinx! Love!) but also various cowgirl shirts...

    My other styles include cowgirl/western, which I am. Gothic, especially Gothic Lolita... Which I am. And Hippie... Which, again, I am.

    I don't really care about trends or whats oh so popular, because it's great for those who love those styles, but they aren't always for me. Not that I don't take ideas from them though! Big "statement" necklaces can be beautiful and I've fallen in love with various capri cargo pants. But still...

    Anyway, this comment is WAY TOO LONG already, but I also want to say YAY that you use Polyvore. I haven't come across any other Polybloggers, haha, but me! Polybloggers, could totally "be something"!!!

  2. I only have one thing to say:

  3. Well put, JP. Not to repeat myself too blatantly, but it really pisses me off that all of the 'magazines for women!' that you see are targeted at "What will make boys like you, how to please boys," and titles of that ilk. Something every girl needs is a firm identity of personality and self expression (which includes fashion!) that is not tied to the eternal quest for the sexual desire of men.

    (I agree with Claire- <3)

  4. @Angela Hi! I totally's great to draw inspiration from trends and "real" fashion, but you have to know what you love and make it your own. And Polyvore is SO much fun; I would probably just post hundreds of sets if I could!

    @Claire <3

    @Elise Yep, exactly. As they say, "women's" magazines spend an awful lot of time talking about men. Uncool.

  5. True, true, true. And beyond that, we are not obligated to fit into any given scene's narrow definition of attractive.

    Even Nylon's fashion spreads are as obnoxious as Marie Claire's. It's like, good for them for presenting alternative fashion, usually from up and coming designers who are concerned with cool things like sustainability, but they're still adhering to this unrealistic body image on top of promoting a rigid sense of style - which is ironic because isn't the whole hipster thing supposed to be about giving trends the finger and doing whatever you want?

    I guess it still is, as long as you want to wear what the folks at Nylon are telling you to wear *sigh*

    I'm with Paulina, my style is completely Princess Lazypants (assuming I'm wearing pants).

  6. @Paulina Ha, me too half the time, especially if I'm not leaving the house!

    @Gillie So true. Anything that has advertisers is trying to sell you something, and as long as you're aware of that, it's fine but...just because something is "alternative" or "edgy" doesn't mean it isn't trying to put you in exactly the same box. If I'm not leaving the house, I'm definitely Princess Sweatpants!



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