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[personal profile] marshtide
I've been thinking a lot about identity in various forms lately. I've been trying to write about how I feel about my national identity, but that's defeated me several times now, so I'll give it a break and maybe come back later. Instead, expression of identity through appearance.

SA400804

This is me.

I periodically kind of hate my appearance - which isn't to say I think I'm ugly, or that there would in fact be anything terrible about not being conventionally attractive, before you rush to my defence. It has a lot to do with identity and expression of identity.

I just can't seem to get it right. Though short hair helps a hell of a lot.

I'm pretty small. I'm not the slightly alarming little wisp of nothing that I was last winter (it is so fun when you just stop functioning well enough to feed yourself properly and your body doesn't really know what to do with the food you do give it), but I'm thin, and I still have to buy bras from the Extra Big Boobs Of Doom section. I have what men of a certain age, regardless of how creepy or otherwise they are generally, seem to like to describe as "child-bearing hips." I have, uhm, delicate features, or something like that. No matter what I wear, I will look quite obviously like a lady. I am pretty sure I could wear a binder and no-one would hesitate to treat me as a lady, although I haven't tried this, because I'm actually not sure I could take it.

I don't really want to be seen as a lady. Not just right off, like that. I don't want to be a man either.* But I've had a long-running fascination with androgyny - which has always been and will continue to be something completely unattainable for me. And I've dealt with that by wearing dresses (with or without combat boots and army jackets) and I've dealt with that by wearing men's suits and a wide range of variations in between. I've never really mastered femininity in that whole makeup and jewelry and so on kind of way, but I've sometimes been pretty normal-looking.

More often not,*** though.

I keep thinking about this, anyway - what stuff I do and why I do it and if there's something else that would work better. Maybe one day I will find the perfect style or blend of styles! Not sure, though. Right now the whole financial situation kind of limits me to "what can I afford so that I will have something to wear?"


* although when I was about six or seven I had a conversation with my two-years-younger brother which I remember quite vividly, wherein we both said that this gender crap was completely unfair and we'd like to swap. I sometimes wonder if he remembers that. It may have had to do with the complete unfairness of people (not our parents, I note) thinking it was weird that he wanted to dress up as a butterfly** and I wanted to dress up as a pirate, which is pretty much the definition of great injustice when you are small and otherwise doing pretty OK. But I might well be mixing up stories now.
** He did get to dress up as a butterfly, though! I helped him make wings out of a cardboard box and some crepe paper and lots of paint. And I think he had some kind of fluffy antennae too. My parents had a locum staying with them at the time to do some emergency cover at their veterinary surgery who watched this with great confusion and then went and reported to the nurses at the surgery that there was something "kind of queer" about the vets' kids.
*** dear god, that was a long time ago. When we were tiny and stupider and were drunk in weird parts of Paris a lot! Most of those clothes were not even mine. Still got the boots, though.
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