Failures in Femininity


The other day I tagged along for shoe shopping with my sister. She was concerned with getting a shoe, not too high a heel, that would go with the colours of her dress for a wedding we’re attending in a short while. She needs to go in something appropriate for the occasion, you see, and flats won’t do at all. She can’t wear a pair of shoes she already has, because what if somebody recognizes them and she is judged as being cheap for not having a new pair of shoes for every special event.

My approach is quite different. Not only am I bringing a pair of shoes I already own, but they’re more geared towards autumn and winter than they are summer. They have a modest heel. I know I can walk in them for short distances, and standing up is no less a problem (no joke, some women’s shoes are easier to balance on in motion than in idle). They only match with my outfit because it’s entirely a collection of neutrals – black, brown, crimson red, and these shoes are grey. I don’t care if anybody notices if the heel is slightly worn down, because if anyone there is paying attention to my shoes they really don’t understand the purpose of a wedding.

The dress I’m wearing I bought for wearing more than once. It’s a style I like and I can also see it being seasonally appropriate for the fall (but I’ll still wear it in the summer, damnit). My outfit is not for the 30-something temperatures (85-100 for Americans) I’ve been experiencing here at home, but the ocean breeze on an island out west isn’t likely to induce heat stroke. Hell, I’d even wear this in temperatures here. The ceremony and reception are both held indoors, and I can’t imagine these places not having air conditioning.

So should I worry about how I look at somebody else’s wedding? If I’m not noticed by people who aren’t familiar with my face, that’s a pretty good sign that I did an okay job. I don’t even think I’m going to put much into styling my own hair, because it won’t stick that way no matter how much foul-smelling spray is used to keep it still. It will stay as oppressed as it is every day, and I’ll decide how to do that when I get there. I will only put effort or seek professional services to style my hair when I’m in the wedding party or it is essentially part of a costume for a very important event. (See right, 1920s themed birthday).

Owning a dress that I plan to wear for something other than a special event is a leap towards femininity that I only recently took. The maintenance level that my sister thinks is expected to put together an acceptable outfit will take many leaps to come, although having multiple pairs of dress shoes for different occasions will happen well before putting effort into my hair.


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