Tuesday, February 11, 2014

femina feminae

Friends of mine have been discussing TV shows I've hardly watched, parsing out these characters and their archetypes and varying degrees of exasperation with young women who are adorably klutzy and somewhat smart but in a way that's unintimidating and wear vintage dresses and have bangs and whatnot.

Half a life ago, I had large glasses and ugly bangs and flowery handmedowns from older ladies in the neighborhood and kind of looked like that girl from Welcome to the Dollhouse, and so I see these girls now and sometimes they're wearing what I hated wearing back then but it's ironic and twee now and wonder what is going on. One friend points out that it's Completely Different when the girl is hot instead of dweeby, in which case the ugly duckling always undergoes some major aesthetic transformation at the Big Party or the senior prom.

I think my general somewhat ruffled feathers come from the unbearable preciousness of being that my generation seems to think is something awesome and it's something that I've never related to, and the archetype of subcultural beauty that sometimes made me feel inadequate until I realized they were the ones who were being superficial. Between the suicide girls and the manic pixie archetypes, it seemed like there's not much room for the rest of us.

 The subculture for me once felt like a refuge, where conversations were struck up over band t-shirts and mutual affinity for similar things. Looking back that was unrealistic in its own way, and superficial in its own right, and I hung out with people who had great record collections but who were terrible people and there were the stunning scene queens who gave up pom-poms for tattoos and artsy haircuts who were always fawned over and talked trash about girls not as fashionable, but even in the smaller pyramids of pecking orders, I still found my crews and enclaves of kindred souls, especially since I moved back here and some of us grew up a little bit. 

 I now tend to eye-roll instead of feeling steamrolled by these images thrown at me, having become more comfortable with my own strangeness in a strange land.  The ones that stay seem to be the ones who are worth it, who don't mind my fanaticism and weird tastes and rants about all things, and this is still so strange.

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