The Age of Freedom

I’m eighteen. That’s young. And yet, by now I’m old enough to know certain things. Like: I’m quite a pussy. People mostly don’t bite (they claw). If I say I will never do something, I will eventually do it or at least have the intention to do it.

There are some other things I learnt as well. With the years passing by, I started to realize that I’m not a ‘cool’ person. When you’re fourteen, you just want to fit in, you want to be like the cool ones, you will dress and behave the way people you admire do. But now I know I’m not like the popular girls, I’ve never been like them, will never be like them, and actually, I don’t even want to be like them. We are different. That’s fine. That’s even better than fitting in! Observing the cool people of my school has led to the conclusion that being cool means: texting all the time, having nothing to tell really, having no special interest in things like history, being not very open-minded and so on. Okay, maybe that’s quite a ‘black’ image of the cool guys. I mean that coolness has more to do with superficial stuff. I want to be more.

I’m that girl who loves classical music and post punk and metal and rock. I’m that girl who loves ballet and dancing in disco’s, who doesn’t like meat but likes look-a-like leather, the one who enjoys reading Lolita as much as reading Glamour. I’m also that girl who dresses differently from anyone else in my former high school. I wasn’t scared of wearing a T-shirt with a cut-away back or fishnet stockings.

*picture removed*

Now that is what makes me different. I’m open minded towards people. If you’re covered in tattoos, I’ll be interested in what they stand for. If you have blue hair, I’ll like you because you are different. There’s nothing wrong with being average, but it starts being wrong when you are average because you don’t dare to wear what you like. One day, when I wore my fishnet stockings, a classmate said she liked it, but she wouldn’t dare to wear it herself. That is sad. You shouldn’t be scared that easily. I’m quite sure I was judged by many people for wearing those stockings, but why should I care? It’s not my problem if they don’t like it. I like it and that will do for me.

 

*picture also removed*

(Look at my hair!)

This is the age of freedom – whatever you wear, you’ll be forgiven, because you’re still young. Why not take the chance to just wear what you want?

By now, I’ve learned which kind of clothes fits me, which don’t, and so on. Getting to this point, I no longer need to feel uncomfortable about what I wear. I know what I like, I know what likes me, so I do not longer care about other people’s opinion. What the hell, I just wear what I want to wear. It’s my piece of freedom.

 

*and again!*

This earring is my newest love. I know there aren’t too many people who like it, but I definitely do. Earrings in general are tempting for me. This one in particular because it is so different from the others. I should thank my parents too in this story. They are open-minded too. My mother even helped me finding fishnet stockings. How many mothers would do that?

 

*this picture too has passed*

And those pants are equally as great! When taking this kind of pictures, you are likely to have ten fails for every good pic. I had no photographer around. The stones were bloody hot. The sun shone merciless. But I had a great time, and the result is some great pictures.
I tried to capture the freedom of my age. Enjoy these pics while I’ll be celebrating my freedom abroad for a few days!

 

*and finally, the last one, removed like all the others*

(Celebrate freedom: sit down and don’t do a fuck.)

*All these pictures are mine, all rights reserved, copyright, blahblahblah. They’ll be taken offline again. My greatest nightmare is that someone steals my pics or discovers my identity. So watch but don’t touch.*

*As you might see, I’ve removed all the pictures. Sorry.*

Creativity misunderstood

You might know that I’m a great magazine fan and that I can’t throw them away, so I’m stuck with loads of magazines, all piled up, but not useless! Whenever school demanded a creative approach for something, I dived into the world of fashion photography and publicity, to come out again with a very creative thing I could be proud of. So when we had to make a cover for the topicality task (I call it that, because I don’t think there is any good translation. this is a google translate product. we had to find items about a certain subject, very serious subjects like ‘challenges for Europe’, that is what I try to say. I’ll keep using this word, but please tell me which one woul fit better.) and we were allowed to be creative, I took a handful of magazines and started to search. Normally, I only use fashion magazines, because they have such beautiful pictures and nice publicity. But now I also used a sensation-seeking magazine, you know, the kind that has headings like ‘PRINCESS KATE MAD AT PARTY ANIMAL PIPPA’.  They are keen on drama and sad stories and relations going wrong. My grandmother buys such magazines for the TV-guide within, and then gives them to us. They can be fun to read sometimes, because they have the ability to push you into a certain direction. It’s so subjective, and they succeed in making you think certain things.

So my idea was to fill the cover of the task with headings like ‘CATWALK PREVIEW’ and stuff, so that there would be a big contrast between irrelevant topics and the very serious topics. We had to give this task to her when entering the classroom for the oral exam. First, there was some preparation time, but when I had to do the oral part, more specifically the topicality task part, the first thing she said was: “I don’t understand your cover.”

For a woman who expects us to explain everything about the Vietnam war, I find that rather strange.

So I started to explain about the piles of magazines, but she interrupted: “No no, I mean, everybody has such a serious cover, and you’ve got this.” She looked at the cover. I looked at it too, and I saw that she had put an ugly, quickly drawn question mark on a bit of white space that was left. I wasn’t even getting it back, she was keeping it herself and yet she had decided to put a question mark there, just to destroy it. I was getting pissed. I said: “I wanted to show the variety of topicality.”

To which she answered: “I don’t see any variety.”

Now I was really pissed. Overall there is a great difference between a sensation seeking magazine and a fashion magazine. You might consider fashion magazines to be rather superficial, but I consider fashion photography to be a sort of art. It is a bit superficial, but next to the ‘what to wear’ parts they also talk about society stuff, about politics and art. Not in a way a serious newspaper would do perhaps, but still. Do not – ever – tell me they are the same.
And how come you don’t know? I thought. How can you be so cut off of the world? How can you know so much about the Cold War and yet get uncomfortable when being confronted with a heading saying ”Jeanstrends – Four times in denim’ ? Because she was looking quite uncomfortable. Then I realised that it was a world she just doesn’t know anything about. The magazine world is unknown to her, and that is why she had put the annoying question mark there – to feel comfortable again. Question marks are her world.

I did my last attempt: “It’s to show the contrast with the very serious items within.”
But she had opened the folder and started talking about the items. Seriously, I thought, this is how Galileo must have felt. Sort of. People, sometimes, just don’t understand you. And often you cannot make them understand.

Is it fashion’s fault?

Today, I was reading an obligatory article on anorexia, and the influence of fashion industry on it. While reading it, I got more and more angry at the writers, for their obvious eye patches and lack of nuance. Their point: anorexia has everything to do with today’s fashion, above all today’s obsession with a skinny body. Whatever they said, it all led to this conclusion, and I started to be annoyed.

Very annoyed, in fact.

Because in no way, I am able to see why today’s fashion is so responsable for anorexia, or any eating disorder for that matter. Who can even prove me that anorexia is way more common today? It might be like that, but I’ve got plenty of explanations for that – if you have to work your ass off to buy food, you’ll never get anorexia, I think. You will cherish food. So I do believe that it is possible that eating disorders are way common now. But why do you point at the fashion industry? Don’t you just need a scapegoat? I do not agree on this matter.
First of all: fashion, and its ideals, have always been present. We claim that everybody has to be so skinny nowadays. Pray tell, what did corsets serve for? I’ve seen corsets from around 1800, and they made your waist the size of a fist (approximately). They were equally unhealthy, they even screwed up your ribs. That was fashion too. Wouldn’t you like to be as skinny as possible to fit in that thing of torture? Oh yes, you would! Who knows how many women have starved just to have a waist like a wasp? There are no ciphers around – anorexia wasn’t known yet (if I’m right). Will you tell me that today’s fashion is so much more guilty then?

And another thing: fashion is always something different. The clothes change every season (three times every season), because people have a biological tendency to long for change. In fact, fashion is in our genes, we want it. Do we want to starve for that matter? No, we don’t. But we do want a different look every now and then, a new aim to get, and I’m not only talking about clothes. In 1950, women wanted a small waist and curvy hips. Now we want skinniness. The newer tendency is even a more curvy figure anyway. Though the models are still mostly as thick as a finger. It’s also a form of fashion, and it has always been that way: fashion gives us a new idea, is a new idea of what is beautiful, and it’s in our nature to try to be beautiful.
We can see fashion from a different angle too: it’s a form of art, and art is never reality. It may look as if it’s so close to what is real, but it never is. Art is not daily life. The models are like sculptures: they show us something that seems very realistic, but in fact isn’t all true. The same for fashion photography: pictures of models would make people insecure, even though we know how those pictures have been touched up. I repeat: art is never reality. It might come close, but it never is. Most people will agree on the fact that photography is a sort of art, and that implies that every magazine includes art, which isn’t real, so we should not look at it as if it’s real! Just like you shouldn’t watch Titanic, believing that those people have existed!

V Magazine has done a photo shoot with an ‘average’ model and a ‘full size’ model.

How is all of this linked to eating disorders?
Well, I named reasons why you should not identify with models. It are mainly reasons why the entire fashion industry should not be banished. It aren’t really reasons why you wouldn’t get an eating disorder due to it. But look: ask any girl with an eating disorder why she got one, and I don’t think you’ll find one girl (or boy!) who claims to have gotten it due to fashion. There are always background troubles: insecurity, being bullied, a bad situation at home, abuse,… Maybe the society that asks too much of us today. But just the pictures of models in a magazine? I don’t think they can ba the only reason for feeling bad. Or at least you will not starve yourself because you think you don’t look like a model. An eating disorder is such a complex thing that can’t be explained by one thing only. And yes, today, we’d consider the Venus of Milo rather curvy, or even chubby. But at that time too, there must have been women who did not look like her, and who tried to be lookalikes. Maybe they ate much fat to get the same curves. Healthy?

We should also not consider 44 to be the best size. It isn’t a bad size, but so is 36. Being too skinny isn’t healthy, but so is being too fat. Of course there are models who starve themselves, but I believe that that has more to do with the focus on their body, and maybe they’re even told they should lose weight to be successful. If becoming a model is your dream, it is normal that such verdict turns you sad. And it’s normal that pressure and loneliness and the aim for perfection make you sick. But it’s not okay that people judge on your looks only (if you’re a model, actually it is normal), or rather: it’s not normal that people are able to judge on something like looks in such a hard way.

But when I’m looking at the pictures of models, I never get insecure. I know how Photoshop has changed them. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m one of the blessed people who are naturally skinny. I do have friends (a lot of them) who tell me they want to lose weight. Maybe they even try to do it. That is the real consequence of this weight hysteria: people will be thinking about their weight and food. My friends start to eat healthier (or do nothing at all), and that is never a bad thing.

This picture has been criticised: it would provoke eating disorders.

It might be much related to each other, but the tendency of every fashion magazine to tell women which are the new diets, are way more harmful than models on a catwalk. Those magazines are always ambivalent: they tell us how we should feel great of ourselves, and a few pages further on, they’ll reveal us the secrets of Gwyneth Paltrow to lose weight by eating soup only for three weeks. Yes, you’ll tell me, but they do so because fashion tells us we should all be so skinny.
Is that so? Models are skinny, yes, but clothes are available in a lot of sizes. Maybe 52 is harder to find, but 52 isn’t healthy, so I don’t feel really sorry for that.

I won’t disagree that there is an obsession with thinness, but do NOT just point at the fashion industry to blame them.

Ink on skin

I miss my in ink buried arms. I let people write their names on my arms to find me on Facebook, and I let someone draw on me. So my arms were covered in memories, but ink doesn’t stay forever. Ink fades away. Now I have naked arms, with only a very small sign of earlier fun. When searching for fitting pictures for a school job today, I ended up on a site about tattoos, with all these people sending in pics of their tattoos, full of emotional meanings and memories.

I want a tattoo. Inspired by all these tattoos, I draw a small feather in the curve of my left arm (I’m right-handed, that’s why) and I was very contented. Feathers are not at all original. While being taped to the screen, I saw many tattoos passing by, and many of them passed by several times. I’m talking of ‘Lights will guide your way home’, ‘Breathe’, ‘Love’, ‘This too shall pass’, feathers and hearts. Even dream catchers and birds are used quite often. But if I ever decide to get myself a tattoo, I want something unique. Something I draw or wrote myself, you know. Something that is me.

But what will it be? Where? Somewhere I can hide it when needed. Not on my face or wrists. It has to disappear when it has to. Next to that: what will happen to the tattoo when I grow old and maybe fat? I don’t want it to deform when my body changes. But there’s goo news: you can have a tattoo in white ink! Very subtle. But do I want it to be subtle.

I want a tattoo. I want it to remind me of this period of my life, in which I’m young and beautiful and good things happen. But before I have decided what I’ll put on my body for ever and always, I’ll be old and averse to ink-on-skin.

Beautiful bird, but so big... But so beautiful...

There is a light that never goes out.
The Smiths!

That's a good one- regretless, for me. But maybe it'll remind me of how useless regret is!

All pics via http://rodeo.net/ .

 

Dressed to kill (and dance)

I’m sorry that I’m unable to comment on your posts now, but I’m busy as hell. (Like I ever say I’m not busy at all…)
But you know, it takes time to find a prom dress… Oh yes, it’s prom time here! But prom here is somewhat different than you might think. It sounds chique and classy, but in fact it’s just like a normal party. There’s bad music but the drinks are cheaper than in an other disco. Sounds good, hm? But believe me, when drinks are cheap (or for free), there’ll be problems. After having been to Italy with people from my age, I know that drinks should not even be cheap. Expensive stuff will do as well.

BUT, vey important, what to wear to the prom? Last year, I had this amazing dress with see-through pieces, which made it sexy without being slutty. (That’s what I believe at least!) Pictures had been taken so it’s more or less impossible to wear the same dress. Not that anyone remembers what I wore, but they could recognize it. The horror! It took me three days of shopping before I found something good. Three days. Seriously.
But it’s not as simple as it might seem. You know, it has to be an evening dress, something you wear to go clubbing, it can’t be too expensive, it has to be a dress you can still wear after the prom stuff, and above all, it has to be pretty. Have I told you already that today’s fashion isn’t my choice? There’s also the problem of all those fancy cheap dresses in satin… You can find them in quite a lot of shops that respect my budget. But they look incredibly cheap. It’s just the fabric and the cut that makes them look so damn cheap.
Those dresses weren’t an option. I was looking for something sophisticated that would blow everyone away. Do you know that feeling like ‘this is it’? Not necessarily for clothes only. Have you ever seen something, worn something, held something that gave you the feeling that it was absolutely perfect and fitting and amazing? I was searching for that experience. The sky is the limit.
Luckily my mother and I went shopping again yesterday, and I tried on three dresses. The first one was a lace one. It didn’t look bad, but the shoulders didn’t fit. I have quite ‘broad’ shoulders for my size. The next dress suffered from the same problem.

But then.

Then I tried on a black dress that had a slight touch of my Chanel clothes. It looked sophisticated, classy and sexy at the same time. A woman that was sitting there, whose daughter was trying on clothes too, told me that that dress was better than the ones before. In the end, my mother and I decided to choose that last dress, because it was the one that taped all the eyes of the present men on me. The eyes of men are a sort of measurer for clothes.

I guess you want pictures now (let me believe that you do), and you’ll get them… Once.

It's not this dress, for the obvious reasons.

The Horror

The horror. The extreme horror.
I’ve been to one of the cities with an university yesterday, mainly to gather information. (Information. Information. We want information.) You know, you have to decide what studies you’ll do, and where you’ll do them. But after having spent half an hour in the building where I would end up having classes, I decided that that particular city will not be my home. It was such an ugly building, it looked worn out and some of the walls were grey. Never make your walls look like concrete, okay? It didn’t feel comfortable. And the chairs. Oh, the chairs. That were no chairs. That were pieces of wood, straight wood, put behing your back.

But that is another sort of horror. I’ve become smarter now, as we say here, I now know better what to do, where to do it.
The real horror started when we went to the heart of the city and entered some shops.
We shouldn’t have done that.
Why, oh, why are beautiful, simple yet not ordinary clothes so damn impossible to find? You know, when you don’t feel comfortable in the clothes you’re wearing, it ruins your day. You have to wear something that you really want to wear, in which you feel good. But that becomes a problem when your style changes faster than Belgian weather and all shops have the same damn ugly, UGLY clothes. And ugly, UGLY shoes. Or, at least, shoes that don’t fit my profile and image. Because that is very possible.

The world is a hard place. Tell me about it. Not only there are no longer good clothes, but I also forced you to read this post…

 

Scoop of the Week: How I Dressed Up

Hello my dears! I’ve slept quite long and now I’m completely fresh and sparkling.
I told you several times about the week of dressin up, and I even asked your help. But the best solution turned out to be going to a second hand shop. There I ound some good clothes that looked quite new, and combined with some of my own clothes and accessories, I succeeded in dressing up beautifully. Yes, I can’t help it, I felt very good with how I felt.
And other people were very enthusiastic too. When we started our procession (people of the same school moving en masse in the same direction, that’s all), there were photographers and one of them picked me out for a picture of me alone. Self confidence: going up. Unfortuntely I didn’t ask him where the pictures would be shown, because the people moved on and I didn’t want to be left behind on my own.
Wearing those clothes felt really good, I must say. I felt sophisticated (remember the post about cigarette holders?) and elegant in a slightly old-fashioned way. It’s a pity that today ‘sexy’ is seen as ‘the shortest dress’. There were many, many girls wearing ‘sexy’ short clothes, but it just didn’t look too good (especially because they were not slim, so it was a bit… showing of too much).

But I promised you pictures. And as I was proud of how I was dressed up, I’ll give you one.

*The picture has been deleted. If you really want to see it, beg for it, and I might just give in. Who knows.*

(It’s rather hard to see all the details, I know, but I’m sure you can deal with that)

Sophistication, the first step

Truth be told, I will not tag on.
I mean, I could tag like two other people who haven’t been tagged yet, but that seems so silly too. Therefore you will have to do it with my answers.

I’m quite sure you will survive.

For now, smokey pictures will do.

Although I will not encourage you too smoke, I still think that smoke an sich has something mysterious and aesthetic. A cigarette holder is so sophisticated. I bought a plastic one today, all for those Days of Dressing Up. I’m pretty sure I’ll look great. Sophisticated.
And I promised pictures. I’ll see what I can do.

 

Would the world be better in black and white?

By Annemarieke van Drimmelen.

Uggly

You might know that I read a magazine every now and then (*cough*), and yesterday I read the column of a male. Males are known for their lack of care for what women wear, but this guy did care – about one specific thing, at least. That thing made him cry for mercy (or is it my imagination?):
Uggs.
You know, those rather inelegant shoes made of wool, or any other material, because most people won’t spend so damn much money on such ‘shoes.’ They are very expensive, warm, not elegant as mentioned before, and the male hated them, because of those reasons. He stated that women who wear Uggs must have smelly feet because they are kept very warm. They also must have musty feet, because when those shoes become wet, not unusual up here, your feet will be kept warm and damp inside the Uggs. Next to that, they don’t have heels so they are to be banned anyway. (His opinion)
In his home country, too many women wear them, he said, so he came to Antwerp, believing that women there have a better taste and fashion feeling. But what happened? Belgian women turned out to wear Uggs en masse too! Male was disappointed.
And I simply can’t disagree. I must confess that I have fake Uggs too, but I bought them to go to Sweden, where they are useful, so that doesn’t count, does it? Now I use them at home, where a lot more things are allowed. That’s how things go.
But here, you even see Uggs in summer time. And winter time. But remember: when you see a picture of yourself now later on, will you want to face the truth – that you wore Uggs? Would you really?
And even worse: a few days ago it froze for the first time. We’re not a very cold country (this year). And still, the ugliest Uggs are produced and sold.

Going out, dressing up, acting flirty and... wearing this.

What animal did you kill for this?