Sunday, March 24, 2013

I shouldn't browse Etsy so much.

Occasionally, I leave the house wearing something completely ridiculous. In fact, it could be argued that I have virtually no sense of style whatsoever. I wear almost exclusively skirts thanks to their universal comfortability, and I don't own one skirt with less than five colors in it. I have all sorts of quirky, ragged clothes that I couldn't care less about wearing in public. I got to thinking about things a little bit.

I was browsing Etsy this morning, looking for a cheer-up gift for myself. (Quick tangent:  Sometimes, when spring takes too long to arrive or I can't see very positive things in my immediate future, I will spend no more than $20 of my paypal money and get myself something unique and happy, so I can look forward to receiving it in the mail and adoring it.)

While browsing Etsy, I realized that women seem to have very interesting notions of how they're supposed to dress themselves. Femininity is warped in a way that I don't fully understand, but that could be attributed to the fact that I was raised by one man and many women (don't ask, long story). 

Chris and I watched a program on PBS last night about Pancho Barnes, who, I am ashamed to admit, I had never heard of. This was a woman in my eyes. She was strong, resilient, and confident. She didn't wear feminine clothes or classy shoes, and maybe that's why I had never heard of her. History doesn't smile so well on women who didn't fit into their little box of what society expected from them, and I suspect Pancho was one of those women.

I wonder what women think they should exude in public with their attire. For example, I often look at heels and chuckle at what a great psychological feat of masculinity they represent. Women, jacking themselves up 4-6 inches into the air, walking around on their tippy-toes simply because men told them they look better that way. What kind of women would willingly do that? If it weren't for men, would we even consider doing this? Some women say they like how they feel, but is that because they genuinely enjoy walking around dangerously on the balls of their feet, or because they know men like it?

Needless to say I don't wear heels. I don't feel comfortable or particularly feminine when I do wear them, but then I'm not a dainty woman. While I have do grace, I don't have a classic feminine grace. I wear flat shoes that I am comfortable in, so I can do my work and live my passion with both feet firmly on the ground. It seems more sensible to me, but I recognize that's not a universal perspective. Some women enjoy teetering needlessly on the balls of their feet.

I'm sure saying all of this out there in the wide world will score me some negative points with some people, and that's cool, I'm not advocating burning our bras and trashing our shoes. 

I would love to see women more confident in their femininity that wasn't originally defined by men, but defined by themselves. It definitely exists out there, and you don't have to be unattractive to men to accomplish it. 

I'm sorry if my opinions have offended any of you in any way. I just wanted to sit down and talk about it someplace because looking at all the pretty little fashion finds on Etsy was bothering me. There's no shame in being a strong, confident woman. We should all strive to nurture the inner Pancho, alive and well in all of us.


Nicole said...

I agree so much with this!

Michelle said...

Ha ha, my husband is about a foot taller than me so I sometimes wish I wore those crazy super high heels, but I'm far too sensible.

townhouseturnaround said...

Pancho Barnes is one of my favorites! Check out this photo of her and her friend and her dog and her friend's dog: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9grb0RDWH1rdr7emo1_500.jpg