Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pygmalion's clay

 Dress: Taylor; Sweater: Ralph Lauren; Tights, boots: Target.
These photos by Jeremiah.

When I bought this sweater and this dress several years ago, they were outlandish purchases. I didn't have anything similar like them in my wardrobe, and they didn't seem to go with anything, but I was drawn to them anyways.

I had an idea of the kind of person who would wear them, a woman who was organized, stylish and just seemed to have her life together. Oh yeah, and she skipped down busy city streets with a basket of flowers in one hand and a smile on her face. Basically a woman who was not like me, and maybe more like how I envisioned young Mary Tyler Moore to be if she were in a JC Penney commercial. I thought by purchasing these pieces, I could, like the classical Pygmalion, find the right tools, and in turn, be closer to molding the perfect woman that I wanted to be.

Needless to say,  these pieces languished in my closet for more than a year. I wore them hesitantly in different combinations, almost always to the grocery store or the post office. The idea of creating a perfect woman via an attainable wardrobe started to seem shallow, lifeless and as formidable as a lump of unformed clay. I felt dumb for even buying them, but I still hung onto them, like an old prom dress or tight pair of jeans, just in case.

And over the last couple of years, things have changed in my life. A different kind of self confidence started to grow that wasn't necessarily tied into my work or other life accomplishments, but through my appearance, a trait that has taken years of anxiety, skin eczema and self evolution to finally accept. Perhaps it was through this blog and this accepting community, but I felt less like I needed to mold and craft and more like I just needed to try.

I finally wore them together. It was a small blip in the grand scheme of things, but I skipped down the street anyways.

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