Cut-out Sweater - Maria Luisa via ASOS, Dress - Wholesale-Dress.Net, Shoes - Jeffrey Campbell (ON SALE!). Jewelry - All Over, Purse - Courtesy of Rebecca Minkoff (that one is gone now, but this one is similar!)
So, I dyed my hair with Kool-Aid. I used grape, so I obviously thought it would be, duh, purple. What I did not expect is that the blue base of the Kool-Aid dye would mix with my yellow hair and make a strange green first. Now I have green-blue-grey-urple hair, like a bizarre murky mermaid. I videod the process, so I will probably post a tutorial to show you how Kool-Aid dye works and all of that jazz. I anticipate that it will last a couple of weeks to a month.
In addition to people asking me what exactly I call this color, I have also had people ask me why on earth I did it. To me, it made perfect sense. In fact, the more people lament the disappearance of my blonde Barbie "look-at-me-fellas-I'm-a-pretty-lady" hair, the more I like my mermaid murk. While I have never articulated it quite so succinctly, I expect that longtime followers of my blog understand that I love fashion because it encourages us to dress for fun and whimsy rather than for mainstream sex-appeal (which I, for some reason, equate with the alternative). As a feminist, nothing pleases me more.
Many elements of media and western culture have ingrained in us a visual of the ideal woman. What is a woman supposed to look like? I was taught by mainstream visual cues that a woman is supposed to be busty and blonde, with a lot of makeup put on in such a manner that people think she is not wearing makeup, and with a particular way of dressing that shows off key body parts in a provocative manner. This dress is tight. Here are my legs. Here are my breasts. There is certainly nothing wrong with a woman choosing to look this way, but there is something wrong with society teaching us that this is the way a woman should look. The only way a woman should look is however she pleases. Blonde hair or blue hair. Long hair or no hair. High heels or Keds. Makeup or unshaven legs. Adhering to trends or ignoring them completely.
This is why I love fashion. It presents such a variety of alternatives to inspire women. By showing us silly ways to dye our hair and wear awkward proportions and humorous accessories, fashion is really showing us ways to self-identify rather than allowing male-dominated perceptions of the feminine ideal to identify us on our behalf. This is the brilliance of The Man-Repeller. The more we step outside of the standard idea of "what a woman should look like", the more we have the power to redefine sex-appeal for our cultural standard. Sex-appeal should be based on confidence and intelligence. The way we look should be something extra but unrelated, something which we can have fun without fear of judgement or consequence.
Right now, my ideal woman is Vivienne Westwood. How is one woman so rad?!
***As we talk about the fashion industry presenting us alternative ideas of beauty, I feel it necessary to address the skinny model business. I will explain why fashion models are skinny, I swear. It's just a very delicate topic to address, so I keep chickening out. I will do it soon, though! Also, you can bet that when I do, I will also explain that there are certain extremes to which fashion has gone recently in regards to weight that are a little too intense to even fit into reason or logic.***