I’m feeling a little Carrie-esque per Sex & the City; I’m sitting at my laptop knowing that I should write, but all that’s happening is I’m staring at a blank document without any direction. Unfortunately, I don’t share Carrie’s peg legs and swanky loungewear, and I’m certain I’d get kicked out of Cupcake Royale if I lit up a cigarette, so my writer’s block is somewhat less glamorous, albeit not at all. Perhaps I’m lacking a little glamour in my life. Or maybe I’ve been trying too hard to glamorize it. To me, glamourous has always been related to a perception; it’s purely external, an air, a style, a presence. To be glamourous one has to live in its constant state of eloquence and grace with total ease. I, of all people, am nothing if unglamorous. Yet, from a very young age, I have gone through a few phases a year of attempted glamourification. We’ll call these my Glamour Cycles.
I’m in a Glamour Cycle.
A Glamour Cycle looks like this:
1. Let Yourself Go: drink lots of booze, eat many pounds of Menchies, don’t wash your face, show boys your beer belly.
2. Self Loathe: see a pretty girl, see a group of pretty girls, see how pretty girls always do their hair, see how pretty girls have nice clothes, see how pretty girls don’t bite their nails and get manicures. Compare.
3. Research: Instagram and Facebook stalk. Take screen shots.
4. Shop: max out your credit card on pretty things that make you feel fancy, try on things you’ll never wear, buy floral shorts, give in to impulse buys at the register.
5. Show Off: wear every new item of clothing and accessory at the same time to prove your sense of style, curl your hair, paint your nails, wear heels, sport baby prostitute perfume and matching lotion. Strut.
6. Boost Your Ego: accept compliments, assume people are talking to you because you look so damn good, assume people aren’t talking to you because they’re intimidated by you looking so damn good, flex in the mirror.
6. Lose Your Identity: question who you see in the mirror, feel less able to be a weirdo in your new outfits, assume people are ignoring you because they think you’re a poser-everyone knows you hate high heels, start to wonder if you really do look good with your hair parted in the middle, notice your pen is constantly scribbling the words, “Who Am I?”
7. Regret: check your credit card bill, soak the blisters on your feet, pick split ends, watch cheap jewelry fall apart before your eyes, look at old photos of yourself when you were happy-before you learned how to pose.
8. Rebel/Re-claim Your Identity: spontaneously get a hair cut, go to value village and buy clothes exclusively from the 60s to prove your unique identity, paint your nails rainbow colors, say things like, “YOLO,” de-activate your Facebook, make your Instagram private.
9. Self Loathe part 2: hate your girlish hair cut, wonder why you bought shirts that smell like mothballs, bite your nails off, party the pain away, wonder how a tank top could have ruined your sense of self.
10. Detox: sell all the clothes you bought and don’t need to consignment stores, regularly go to the gym, wash your face at night, drink water.
11. Question EVERYTHING: regret selling all those cute clothes, wish your hair was longer, vow to never get bangs again, ask yourself if its really THAT important to swear off fro-yo, swear you’re never going to get sucked into a Glamour Cycle again.
Some of you may relate to this cycle, while the majority of you will add this to your list of reasons not to get too close to me for fear that my condition may be contagious. Don’t worry, my doctor promised me you can’t catch crazy. I know that “style” is rather subjective, and that having good “style” is a matter of opinion, and while I don’t believe it reflects a person’s basic being, it is still an extension of their personality; what you wear says a lot about you, whether you like it or not. Don’t mistake what my reference to style with fashion; to me fashion connotes a scene that is associated with style, and I believe having your own sense of style is different than having good fashion sense. I think (and many times what I think is based off of assumptions, so don’t berate me for overusing “I think” as a preface to ensure that you know I’m completely aware that my statements are not factual or based off of any sort of research, and so that I can remove the necessity to explain myself to haters who are probably skimming this run-on sentence since I’ve put it in parentheses, which most of my readers know (ha, my readers…I’m such a cocky broad) is usually a warning that nonsense is about to ensue) that most people are under the impression that style is something that’s meant to stay consistent, and that people like me who can’t seem to make up their mind are obviously confused about who they are.
I’m not going to pretend my style is inconsistent or anything short of all over the fucking place; I’m a hippy one week, a diva the next, a total dude most of the time, a cowgirl, a vintage kook, cute and simple, rock and roll, what have you. I think in a way I do this because I’m not acting anymore–or I started because I was an actress and I’ve never stopped. I love to know what its like to be in someone else’s shoes. I like to understand why people act the way they do, and I’m fascinated with behavior that is so unlike my own. I wouldn’t say my style is inconsistent; I would say its consistent with all the pieces of me that make me Rachel; there are days when I just feel rougher than others, like I want to tackle everything face first and be a total beast. You’ll probably see me wearing a lot of black and leather around that time, because something about extending my mood to my exterior helps me unleash the full extent of my behavior. My daily attire is like dressing for a workout: I wouldn’t wear jeans or a dress to the gym, because for the best workout its probably smarter to show up in flexible material: I carry this mentality everywhere. Before I get dressed, without fail, I’ll ask myself, “what mood are you in?”
Maybe you can’t tell a lot about a person by what they wear, but you sure as hell can with this wacko. So if I show up to your house in all pink with a flower in my hair, I’ve probably baked you cookies and brought them in a whicker basket. I like that my style isn’t static, because neither am I. I’m a lot of different parts, and I don’t want to shut any of them out. What I’m not–and I know this–is Glamourous. That doesn’t mean the cycle won’t happen again, because I’m a creature of habit, and I’m incredibly cyclical. I’ve never thought of myself as glamourous, and I don’t think anyone else does, but it would be nice, just once, to walk through a busy street covered in fur and diamonds, and have everybody stop and think, “Gosh isn’t she glamorous.”