Wednesday, 7 March 2012

poster of a girl

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So, this isn't 100% what I wore to the Absinthe bar--it didn't occur to me to wear the star crown until later, but I did wear the rest of the outfit, and I'd definitely wear it again with the crown next time I go somewhere a little schmancy. I recreated this look on Sunday morning mainly because night out outfits tend to go undocumented, but also to show my sister that I do wear this dress, because she bought it for me. Thanks Shona. The star crown was made by moi over Christmas following this tutorial.

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So, tomorrow's International Women's Day, I've been reminded. It usually passes me by, not because I'm not a feminist or anything but because I'm not very fond of marketing-friendly days (like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, etc.) BUT while catching up on month's of Niotillfem the other day I came across this post and the linked documentary. You should all watch it if you haven't already! Now, women's day is about much more than women and fashion and low self esteem, obviously, but the documentary does make many valid points about the way that expectations placed on females contribute to a culture of inequality, violence, and "keeping us in our places." I really enjoy fashion and dressing up, and blogging about it for whatever reason, but I also hate how the expectations on women to keep looking "feminine,"-- largely hairless, flawlessly made up, slim, well-dressed, etc. etc. etc. are ultimately something I have to engage with outside of my sartorial hobby. Getting ready every morning is a major waste of time, for example. Why is it that men can have a full face, and chest of hair, but I feel like I'm letting the side down if I have a hair on my chin? Think of all the extra time I'd have for thinking if I didn't have to spend time doing my hair, or examining myself for rogue blemishes. To be fair, on a daily work day, I don't spend much time on my appearance, but if I had a more serious job I'd feel as if I had to. And frankly, days when I blog and put in an extra bit of effort show me what a colossal amount of time it's possible to spend, every single day and all to be considered acceptable to society when I step out the door.

Then there's the fact that by spending that extra time on blog days, in the interest of not looking like death warmed up, which is my usual Monday-Friday look, I am myself contributing to this need for perfection in females. Personal style blogs are refreshing because they feature real girls with real figures and budgets and so on, but at the same time, all of us, with our DSLRs and rotating wardrobes, seem to be trying to emulate the very magazines that alienate us. Aaaand, to take it one step further, I'd say that we do so because it works. I get more positive feedback when I do my hair and wear lipstick, because it photographs better. I get better feedback when I post pictures where I look thin and proportionate.

Bah. Ok, I'm off to go read a book now.

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Photos by Albert

dress: gift from Shona, star crown: DIY, tights: Boots, shoes: Camper

36 comments:

Kenzie and Maddy said...

Such a pretty look! I love coming to your blog, i feel so inspired after!

Frannie Pantz said...

I had no idea that Women's Day even existed! What a cool idea! I am going to have to watch that documentary for sure. Thanks for sharing the link! I love your pretty dress and you make some very valid and interesting points in your post.

Despina T. said...

such a cutie! beautiful dress and the headband is so pretty too!

Meli said...

I LOVE that dress, and the headband is lovely too!

Annebeth said...

You are so right, I'm off to watch the documentary right now. You know I'm behind your cause. And you look lovely, with or without the effort!

Valerie Enríquez said...

Great dress and headband! They go beautifully together. I definitely understand your sentiment about women's blogs. I suppose some follow the pack, but lots of others don't. I'm happy to see both sides of the coin, but have always felt that perhaps too much emphasis is put on polished personas and or physicalities. In the end we can simply follow along or not :)

Ashley said...

First off, nice crown :)

Second, fashion bloggers are not the only ones showing very flattering pictures of themselves. I, for one, do it all the time. Ha! Not sure if you could boil this down to "human nature," an overused excuse, but I'm not so apt to show an unflattering picture of me. I guess we all have a thing or two to learn about portraying our real selves. But let's give ourselves a bit of a break. We're allowed to be young a foolish only once ;)

Claire said...

I am not much of a commenter, but I sure appreicate it when you or others blog without make-up or lookig "like death warmed up", if there's still interest and personality to the pictures.

..I say "if" because that's why I read (style) blogs in the first place.

I also appreciate you, who tends to wear an elegant femininity, talking about body hair/removal in a way that is at right angles to the status quo. *hairy*

The Braided Bandit said...

Love the dress, your sister did an excellent job! I also really liked your comments on how blogging sometimes actually feeds into the whole "needing to look pretty and immaculate" thing. When I go through pictures and choose ones to post, I pick the ones where blemishes are hidden, its a nice angle, my clothes look the least wrinkled... the list goes on and on! How refreshing would it be if there was a blogger day, or MULTIPLE blogger days where everyone agreed to not editing, au natural, embracing all "flaws!

jesse.anne.o said...

"Personal style blogs are refreshing because they feature real girls with real figures and budgets and so on, but at the same time, all of us, with our DSLRs and rotating wardrobes, seem to be trying to emulate the very magazines that alienate us. Aaaand, to take it one step further, I'd say that we do so because it works. I get more positive feedback when I do my hair and wear lipstick, because it photographs better. I get better feedback when I post pictures where I look thin and proportionate."

^ I do agree that this seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy with some types of blogs. On the flipside, there's definitely more variety in terms of who is represented by blogs vs who is represented in media/advertising. It's out there if you look for it and in comparison to mainstream it is downright radical (sadly).

I do think we all owe it to ourselves to ask why we are skipping over adding a blog to our reader when we first skim it. Is it because it doesn't match our "ideal" and then why we have that ideal?

I am drawn to blogs that I feel represent "me" - but that means I'm drawn to short thin white women in their 20's/30's. And I it's not a huge effort but I do try to regularly take stock of what I'm reading and why in terms of sex, gender, cultural identity, race, body shape and core values.

I think conventionally pretty posts get more comments but the comments you value more might be on the other posts.

Diana said...

i love that hairpiece! and so easy to make -- i will have to try it out i love your version :)

http://dressedupallligators.blogspot.com/

Renee said...

Great post Emily! I love your blog because you are honest and intelligent and write about thought provoking subjects that are relevant. Plus, I like that you post clothes that you actually love and wear instead of being gifted and therefore feel obliged to post about.

Shybiker said...

What an amazingly beautiful outfit. The dress is extraordinary, the stars a delight, and the colored tights the perfect choice. Really exceptional.

And you put a cherry on top of the post with smart social commentary. I love your points. The situation and dilemma women face is so complex. You shine a good light on it.

Closet Fashionista said...

Love the outfit! your star crown came out so great! :D
And yea...its funny to think about but we really do contribute to the whole "women are just pretty things to look at" stuff but I also feel a lot more confident when I take the time (aka 5 minutes) to put on my makeup in the morning, ha ha. So weird...
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

AnnaBananaCupcake said...

You look lovely and the dress is a dream! Personally, I'm drawn to your blog because I love your fashion style, settings, inspiration, photography and I think you lead a pretty interesting life (hello, absinthe bars, barcelona, etc!!). You and your style are relatable and still inspiring. I guess I'm not really touching all the aspects of fashion blogging, but just letting you know how much I enjoy your blog and you! Hope you're having a great week.
XOXO

Laura said...

Great post. I was in Romania last year for Women's Day, and it was really fun...I'll have to check out that documentary!

I love your honesty, and must confess that I have some of the same issues with aspects of style blogging. I couldn't be less interested in posts that have to do with makeup. I just don't care. I feel like I read a lot of style blogs where people say "Oh, my makeup routine is ridiculously simple, I don't even care about makeup!"...and then they show their gargantuan makeup bag and recite the endless litany that is their routine. That's not for me, and it strikes me as not genuine...anyway, I'm rambling, but that's something that's been on my mind :)

thejoyfulfox.blogspot.com

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@jesse.anne. I absolutely agree with your comment! But it's 7 am so I'll leave it at that. ; )

@AnnaBanana: Aw, thank you! Lovely comment!

Miss Tallulah Porkchop said...

Freaking amazing!

Eloise said...

ok so i'll go with my more shallow point first. You look amazing! The crown is such a lovely extra and I'm a little bit in love with the dress.

My second point is yes yes yes. I work a nine till 5 and tend to do wishlists/summaries/reviews during the week because I look, well, like hell. I've found that if I have posted a picture in the past with awful lighting and crap skin I've had less comments and traffic in my direction. But to be fair I'm just as much as a culprit as anyone else! Whilst scrolling through my blogger dashboard it's always the posts with the good quality pictures I'm drawn too....

xx

Georgia Rose said...

I love your outfit, and I also love this post. I agree totally with what you've said. I have hairy legs and armpits but have been too nervous to show them on my blog for fear of retribution from the perfectly-polished blogosphere. I finally posted a picture of my shoes the other day in which you can see the hairy legs clearly, and am still expecting a snarky anonymous comment... fingers crossed it never comes though. I know my blog would be more popular if I combed my hair and wore makeup, but I don't want to 'sell out' in order to get more readers. Ugh. A slippery slope though.

Anonymous said...

I'll post an unflattering photo if you will, as an anti-marketing campaign to truly acknowledge Women's Day.. ah hell with it I'm already more man than that, I couldn't be fracked!

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Anonymous: Well, it's not really so much about posting an unflattering photo so much as redefining this ridiculously narrow definition of what's "flattering" in the first place!

Eleni said...

Happy Women's Day! This video starts off cheesy but I love the anecdote at the end: http://youtu.be/UEUsbLNAfW0

Laura Go said...

that's it-- I'm making a star crown. Yours looks divine.

♥ laura
the blog of worldly delights

caitlin said...

i love this look and wish i had a sister to give me such a fabulous present. my friends and i endlessly discuss the feminine conundrum, and i'm still not really sure what my feelings are on the subject. i don't think there is anything wrong with looking your best, and i do think there are some of the same pressures on men, and maybe it's just where i live but people are just generally more relaxed about "beauty" as a culture around here. and i hear what you're saying about bloggers trying to emulate the very magazines that alienate us--well put--but the fact of the matter is there will always be trends, and there always have been, and i think the standards are slowly slackening, still (at least we don't have to wear corsets!), and we can feel more comfortable about ourselves at various sizes than we used to, and I've never really had a problem with basic upkeep. yes, it takes me far longer to get ready in the morning than it would if i didn't wear any makeup, or if i didn't shower, but those things make me feel better. for so many reasons. and i don't think it's all society's influence. maybe trying to be as beautiful as we can be (with lipsticks and the like) is even biological... birds do it, bees do it... :p

anyway, always an interesting subject! the documentary link didn't work when i clicked it, but one of my friends burned me the documentary "miss representation" for christmas (i shamefully haven't watched it yet), which sounds like it might be along the same lines.

wow, long-winded. also, i love your crown. also, there is a spot on my sofa for you anytime you're in vermont ;)

Emily said...

@Caitlin: That's a fair argument. I think in my case I just really can't be bothered with make-up and hair styles in the morning; I have enough trouble getting up as it is. Usually around 11 am I regret that I didn't put in the extra 15 minutes, but by then it's too late! ;D

Amber said...

Your star crown is darling as is your dress. I know exactly how you feel. I dont really get "dressed up" M-Thursday but I do still put on make up and such. Usually it only takes me 20 minutes but still its kinda silly especially when my husband can be out the door in five minutes. That being said I feel better about myself when I take a little more time and get dolled up and put on a fancy dress. I definitely have mixed feelings about the whole thing.

his_girl_friday said...

I am in love with those stars

Christine said...

What a lovely outfit! My lil sis would be jealous of your headband-star!
http://work-it-blog.blogspot.com/

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

Thank you for this well written and thought provoking post, Emily. I've made a mental reminder about watching the documentary you linked to. Some of the very things you touched on are among the reasons I've scaled back in my outfit posting (well, that and I'm also lazy). I very rarely wear makeup or do anything with my hair, but found myself almost exclusively documenting my more polished outfits. I don't want to feel like I have to play into the need for perfection in females. I just want to be recognized as a human being regardless of how I present myself.

And, speaking of presenting oneself, I can easily see why you like this outfit so much. Can those tights do no wrong? That dress is a treasure. Three cheers to gifts from sisters :)

Kirstin@CrimsonRosella said...

That last photo of you is just amazing! You look stunning!

I agree with what you are saying and it really irritates me that business women have to wear pencil skirts and sky high heels to look appropriate for work. I feel extra sexy in outfits like that and it is just objectifying them in the workplace! I can't imagine having to do myself up like that on a daily basis.

Natalie Suarez said...

this is so amazing! i love this! xx

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Kirstin: yes, totally! I was equating it more to having to pluck my eyebrows, but "business woman" attire is the perfect example!

Terri said...

First, this dress your sister gave you is lovely.

Second, I hear what you are saying about blogging contributing to the problem, but in my book, it allows us to control what we want to present to the world rather than being told how we look. And that makes all the difference.

Laura said...

BEAUTIFUL SENSE OF STYLE AND LOVELY BLOG! YOUR WORK IS GREAT!
PLEASE STOP BY MY BLOG, MAYBE YOU'D LIKE TO FOLLOW EACH OTHER?
XOXO,
FASHIONHYPNOTISED GIRL

anna said...

love this dress!!