Friday, May 16, 2008

Yes, I’m cute – get over it!

Last night my roommate and I were commiserating about most people back home thinking that living in LA must be so exciting and glamorous. Nope. Not really.

For example, it’s 10 p.m. on a freaking Friday night and I’m alone in my apartment watching TV. How did I spend my evening… doing something I’ll never do again, that’s how!

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the difficulties of relocating to such a huge city is trying to find new stores – figuring out which are nice, have good prices, parking, are in good neighborhoods…

Tonight I found myself at a Home Depot about three miles from my place, in North Hollywood. All I needed was a single pot to transplant the bromeliad “babies” my mama plant has spawned. What I found were a bunch of ugly over priced pots in the worst Home Depot I have ever been in. It was congested, with ladders and stock left in the aisles and zero customer service.

Those who know me well know that I hate believing or perpetuating stereotypes, but the worst part of tonight was abundance of Hispanic construction workers buying their supplies. The outfit I was wearing didn’t help matters.

I had on a classy, flowy, knee-length, white Banana Republic skirt with a pastel plaid midriff halter which exposes most of my back and four inches of my stomach. It’s a great outfit that you may have seen in a photo shoot I did about a year ago.

No, no one made any comments or cat calls toward me, but the looks were almost as bad. It was 96* today, so it’s not like my outfit was inappropriate and I just don’t understand what people think staring will accomplish.

Since being here, I have gotten cat calls, which further baffle me. If a man thinks a woman is attractive, he has to know leering or whistling will never make her say, “oo baby let’s get it on in the bed of your busted pickup truck!” Or, when I’m walking and they’re driving, with no chance of actually coming in contact, what the hell is the point of yelling out the window? Why? Why the fuck exert the energy? I don’t even think it’s sexist or chauvinistic because I can’t get past how illogical it is!

I though for a brief moment, whether I’m in Hispanic North Hollywood or my snowy white Ohio town, I probably shouldn’t go into a male dominated store looking all cute. But wait, who the fuck just wrote that? NOT ME! It’s 2008 and I will wear what I want, where I want, when I want! I will be who I am and I will not apologize for meeting the current beauty standards. I am not shocked that people might notice certain things and I acknowledge that I “put it out there.” BUT – it is no one’s right to assume who I put it out there for or why, and I expect a certain level of respect and decorum that every person should afford to every other person!

Though my skirt was knee-length, the issue and my stance are best articulated in Eve Ensler’s poem “Short Skirt” featured in the Vagina Monologues and notably performed by Calista Flockhart:

It is not an invitation
a provocation
an indication
that I want it…

My short skirt
is not begging for it...

My short skirt, believe it or not
has nothing to do with you.

My short skirt is not proof
that I am stupid…

My short skirt is my defiance
I will not let you make me afraid
My short skirt is not showing off
this is who I am
before you made me cover it
or tone it down.
Get used to it.

My short skirt is happiness
I can feel myself on the ground.
I am here. I am hot.

My short skirt is a liberation
flag in the women's army
I declare these streets, any streets…

But mainly my short skirt
and everything under it
is Mine.

Click here for the whole poem.

Okay, so I’m clearly not apologizing for how I look… Next thought, “I just need to stop going to sketchy places in NoHo.” Even if I know I’m not in danger, I still shouldn’t go where I just don’t feel comfortable for any reason. Of course, my overly analytical, sensitive and politically correct mind immediately jumped to, “Oh my gawd! Am I a racist for recognizing the main demographic of a community which I ultimately deem undesirable with shitty stores and an unpleasant atmosphere?!?!"

It’s not just financially, logistically and emotionally difficult; LA challenges you in every way – your beliefs, ethics and what you thought you knew about yourself.


Anonymous said...

I know where you're coming from. I guess my perspective is that one should dress for the occasion, if possible. Now, if you are coming from a photo shoot or something of that sort and making a stop along the way, that's different. Also,I think you and I have something in common in that we dress for our mood.

Anonymous said...

Great post! You should check out there was just a huge post & discussion on catcalls and wearing what you want, dresses, skirts, etc. It might be in the May or April archives but it was very interesting! I love your blog & keep it up!