Saturday, February 23, 2008

High Heels

At least if the Bookslut can be relied upon, I need to get this book. I just read her review in The Smart Set: How to Shop about The Meaning of Sunglasses.

My favorite quotes from Jessica Crispin (the Bookslut herself)

It’s a stereotype, yes, but it’s constantly reinforced by intelligent women who should know better. Germaine Greer rallied women to taste their own menstrual blood in The Female Eunuch and then attacked fellow feminist writer Suzanne Moore by stating that “so much lipstick must rot the brain.” Feminists must reject the male gaze and use those ten seconds it takes to apply lip gloss to bring down the patriarchy. (Why sensible feminists have not figured out how to band together and write press releases to disassociate ourselves from the crazy women who pretend to speak for us, I’ll never understand.) Fashion magazines don’t help much either. Elle talks to Ashlee Simpson. And writes down what she says. To be recorded for all time.

I used to think that there was a wide chasm between being intelligent (which I like to make others think I am) and being fashionable. I knew the truth -- that I would have liked to like clothes, would have liked to like MYSELF in clothes I liked, and would like to keep my 'smart girl' credentials at the same time.

I'm reasonably fashion impaired, because I have a lifetime of negative body image and a thick waist to force me for years into a shapeless wardrobe of mostly black clothes. In late 2006 I took a huge leap forward (a leap usually made only when I managed to drop pounds) when, after watching Tim Gunn's Guide to Style on Bravo and picking the good bits (in between the show-making snark) out of What Not To Wear, I bought two pairs of brown pants that actually fit, and some blouses that were not t-shirt and were fitted! That lead to an entire year of hunting for well fitting, fashionable clothes, shoes with HEELS, and an attitude that even if I'm not exactly fashion magazine model material, I can look good and dress with some self respect. Also, my clothes can be fun even if they don't have a picture of Godzilla smashing Tokyo on the front.

Another Crispin quote

If more fashion writing was done in the tone of smartypants Freeman, we could avoid the fear that caring about our appearance makes us a vain fool or a victim. A work colleague recently took one look at the four-inch peep toe heels I was wearing and snarled, “Don’t you know why men invented high heels?” I doubted anything I said would deflect what was coming next, so I just shrugged. “So you can’t run away when they want to rape you.” I understand. I used to be a humorless feminist, too, complete with shaved head and my father’s combat boots. Then I discovered Charles David heels and got over it. If only The Meaning of Sunglasses had existed sooner, I could have spent less time being a self-righteous twit.

Ya know, like a lot of women's fashions, I've read that those high heels were actually created for men land popularized by the likes of Louis XIV, (Charles Panati blames him for a lot of interesting stuff). Just sayin'.

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