Wednesday, August 31, 2016

This Teen of the 80s is SUFFERING.

This HURTS me.  

This is a Polyvore outfit being currently suggested on a fashion blog as great for a woman to wear this year. 

Do you know what part hurts? 
(I can hear many women replying, "The high heels!!" Well, yes, but no).

BLACK SHOES BROWN PURSE.  My cellular fashion programming is shouting "You're doing it wrong!

I know, matching is out of date. I heard; I got the memo. Listen, I'm not trying to turn the tide back to how it was, I just have to share how DIFFICULT it is for me to wrap my head around this being a "thing" now. 

Follow my logic: In women's fashion history here in western world, those of us that were teens and pre-teens in the 80s were the LAST DECADE to have it drilled into us that accessories must MATCH

(belt, etc. succumbs accordingly)

The law must be so for professional outfits,
dressy outfits,

and casual outfits.

Additionally, it must be so for work-out outfits - 
leg warmers must match leotard and headband.

Actually, leg warmers must match any hair accessory.

As a matter of fact, this photo just sums up fashion law nicely - 

To build my case for empathy, realize that not only was this fashion law drilled into us by both fashion marketing and peer pressure, it was passed to us from the generation of women before us (proof, from the 60s):

And guess what?! It's practically genetically infused in us 80s teens! Our grandmothers had the SAME LAW, and you know it extends back further pre-colored photography into history! 
Look at this, original from WWII in the 40s (snappy croc on croc):

My theory is that this recent deconstruction of Fashion Law tipped with grunge. Grunge mostly followed Fashion Law of matching of accessories (mostly because everything was black or faded black - grungy). Grunge cracked open the door of fashion pandemonium by encouraging random chunky footwear with otherwise "cute" skirts and dresses:

I believe this grunge photo layout from a magazine might be fashion archaeology's "missing link" - the moment of slippage from Fashion Law. Look - the purse and shoes don't match! However, it is merely the seeds of the end of Fashion Law, not the full breaking point, as the purse and bag DO both still match the outfit itself, burgundy and black:

Since then all fashion law hell has broken loose in the fashion gene pool (giant Uggs, zebra, pink, skull, showing pockets, OMG it's all swirling and burning in my eyes):

So to those of you gals that didn't become a pre-teen until post-grunge, be patient with us PGs (pre-grunges). Now you know - your fashion elders are fighting against multiple generations of genetic programming. 

This, this outfit here, just HURTS ME CELLULARLY --

Okay, quick P.S. to my pain. The shorts above reminded me. Currently there's the ripped jean "thing." Why is it a "thing?" I'm not even complaining that it's a thing now. I just DON'T UNDERSTAND IT. I really mean it as a question - WHY??!. 

I was trained that ripped jeans are only for painting or yard work. If I had come home with my jeans looking like this, I'd have been in trouble for "ruining a good pair of pants!" 

Friday, October 30, 2015

The "About Me" Box

I really despise the "About Me" section. Anywhere. EVERYTHING sounds cliche in 300 words of less. I'm 46, I've had a very BUSY life. What the hell am I supposed to say that conveys anything substantial? 

I make keyword notes from the heart, which are obviously in that moment what is foremost as "what I'm about" (read "mood del momento").  I review it, as objectively as possible. It makes ME eyeroll, and my own head provides commentary. 
"Go deeper, you sound cliche." 
"Go more superficial, you sound too deep." 
"Keep it simple." Hey! I like that!  "...but not too simple, or you look like you're trying to be too deep, like a living haiku." DAMMIT. 

The ability to self-reflect is our advantage over "the beasts." But I KNOW my dog didn't struggle with how others would perceive her in the About Me section, she just wanted to go for a walk, again.

I'm just WEIRD. I'm not dissing myself when I say that, I mean unique. If I met me, I'd be like, "OMG, we need to know each other, you're AWESOME!" 

Areas of interest and/or knowledge:

Personal development
Mensa intelligence / Precocity
Addiction education
The 12 Steps
"Recovery" from stuff, like codependency, physical & sexual abuse, food obsession, "relationship addiction"
The Matrix - red pill
Incredible customer service
Best practices in business
Process Improvement / 6 Sigma-type analysis 
Professional organization, sorting
Quantum physics and the application on the true power we possess (Jedi)
Helping others
Animal rescue
The art of seduction
Goats ... I'm crazy about goats (tag me on their cute videos, please)
Energy healing
Whole-istic wellness, essential oils, homeopathy, the healing properties of food
Humane treatment of animals
Humane treatment of people
Nutrition / label-reading
Type 1 Diabetes management
Mind/body connection
Cooking: Extremely healthy cooking while making it taste amazing
The Language of All Things Good: A personal 25-year study of the similarities religions, ancient wisdom teachings, science, "new-age" approach, therapeutic models, self-help and philosophy all say the SAME THINGS in different words / "languages" ... (REALLY, SAME MESSAGE, FOLKS) 
Numerology, yes I actually know how to work it at a deep level
The power of prayer/positive thinking/belief, as actually instructed to use it by our greatest teachers like Jesus
Applied Kinesiology (muscle testing)
Passionate Parenthood - WAKE UP, what we do with/to/around them is DEVELOPING HUMANS that will impact generations for better or worse!
Quantum Physics
Weather ... I'm kind of obsessed with weather.
Law of Attraction
Financial wealth principles
Sink holes ... I'm kind of obsessed with those too.
Communication / Conflict Resolution
Travel - EVERY aspect of it, I research it in great depth - packing, locations, best experiences, tips for ease, tips for flight deals, ...
Photography, both SLR skills & professional editing
Stock photography guidelines & sales
Mimicking voices, accents & noises
Exploring interesting non-chain restaurants and shops around the world
Women gracefully supporting each other
Shopping at Trader Joe's
Blaming all mysterious injuries on Alien Abduction (it makes me laugh)
World music
Shoes with ankle straps
Any kind of dancing, I LOVE dancing
Bargain shopping, for the thrill of paying or obtaining "not retail"
Playing board games
Walking/Hiking in interesting or pretty places

Contemplating Writing

Contemplating writing. I have bumped into a few of my writings lately cleaning out files. I read it with my usual feeling I get of, "I WROTE this??"  All my life, when writing, stuff comes out that I have no recollection of. I work the words until they match the images in my mind, and then it's "perfect" and I'm done. I guess like how composers get the music down on paper? (Disclaimer: I don't compose music. AT ALL).

Blogs are many things. There's a lot of "advice" about them from "experts." But advice can only be given with the end in mind. Profit? Recognition? Brand-building? Soap boxing? How about Pure Joy? I'm going to Google that ... (2 mins later)... Hm, very, very little comes up in the search "Blogging for Pure Joy."

In English class, they called it "voice." What "voice" is the "piece" written in? Who's talking? Who is the voice talking TO? .... which leads to "...will anyone listen?" What if they won't? Will I care? Can I take my own mental commentary about how that potentially reflects my worth as a human being? I could lock it down, and write only FOR ME. Abe says do things just for the joy of it.

And so I turn my attention beyond my own thoughts and ASK (...and it is given, ha ha)

J. But what to write about?
A. "Whatever I want."
J. But where to put it?
A. Out there.
J. But what's the Bucket?
J. But .... but ....
A."You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." (the quote is read in The Secret)
J. I don't feel qualified.
A. To be you?
J. No, to post it on the internet.
A. Idiots post to the internet, don't sweat it.
J. But what if they SEE me?
A. Right. What if they SEE you and your decades of thinking / processing / functioning OUT OF THE BOX and why things go so well for you... You say your son is a social experiment in raising a human being by simply doing one's best to get out of it's way, while keeping it safe from harm and modeling how to get along here on Earth. BUT WHAT ABOUT YOU? YOU'RE THE PREQUEL (sequel... prequel...)
J. Nailed.
J. OK but I get tired of my own wordiness sometimes. I enjoy the pouring out of it all, but it becomes tedious to sift back through it. Certainly if I do, others will too.
A. What do you enjoy? (about reading my own writing)
J. The Clarity. The timing, the wit. The keen observations - ooh that's cliche - the sharp focus on something not previously distinguished that way.
A. So... the Clarity. The Clarity of something that came into focus in a way that only you have expressed quite like it ever before.
J. Nailed. I HEAR the value.
A. Yup.

J. So is a good place for this?
A. Well sure... your favorite paleo recipe girl Mel posts paleo-world famous stuff to something called, "The Clothes Make the Girl"
J. Hm. Right-o.
A. Don't overthink it.

J. So what do I post? I "hid" the previous ones, except how the blog was born.
A. This.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Birth Story of Defensive Dressing

Q. Where did "Defensive Dressing" start as a term and a blog? 

A. In my mind, as a naturally obvious description of what it is like to get dressed when one feels one has something to "hide" under clothing, thus we Dress Defensively. It was such a natural term to me that I didn't realize it wasn't in common usage, until I spoke it a few times and people asked what that meant. I'd say, "You know, when you pick out what you are wearing like, 'Okay, this shirt will camouflage my back fat / love handles / belly." Then with instant recognition, people would light up, "What a GREAT way to describe it!" (And I would think, "Well, duh, that's why I said it...") 

Then I signed up for a workout challenge, where I had to make SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, blah blah - Google it if you care). She wanted me to set a weight goal, but my honest response was that I don't know nor care what number I want to be, I just know what I want to look and feel like. I have been in trouble in the past obsessing over the number beyond my toes, and it SUCKS. I don't want my mood swings related to a 4-second placement on a scale, it's just asking for a round of talking myself off the internal ledge over a .2 pound gain that might be PMS or salted food, or yes maybe FAT but it's POINT-TWO pounds. She grudgingly accepted that I would measure myself on a scale of 1-10 of my sense of Defensive Dressing.

A 1 on the scale of Defensive Dressing is freely grabbing any article of clothing, throwing it on and looking and feeling amazing in it. A 10 on the scale of DD is wishing I looked Polynesian so the daily wearing of huge, flowey muu muus would simply appear to be deep dedication to my heritage through traditional dress; in other words, at 10, ALL articles of clothing are chosen to attempt to HIDE OUR STUFF.

As I continued to use the term, more people related. Even men (the civilized ones, not the cheap-beer-guzzling ones that actually believe they still look awesome in that wife beater) say they definitely understand Defensive Dressing. Come on, it's the unwritten mission of Tommy Bahama wear: "Our mission is to provide $120 man-shirts to hang (hopefully) gracefully over your man-belly that's ingested a few too many $120 martini dinners."

Then one day I was at my friend Lisa's, sharing with her my story of DD-ing on my last Vegas trip. The nature of her business is very reliant upon internet marketing, so I guess her head goes there in reflex: "DEFENSIVE DRESSING DOT COM!" she blurted out at top volume. I got a rush of energy that was reeeeally fun, and I knew she was onto something. She rushed to her computer to see if it was available as I almost held my breath... I really CARED about this website, which was weird. "IT'S AVAILABLE!" she yelled. So I grabbed it with no idea what I'd do with it, but it was MINE. It SHOULD be mine, it felt right.

I Googled the term, and amazingly enough, it was a phrase rarely used. Relating to actual FASHION, I found one article scanned from the 80's or 90's that used the phrase, but the author was using it to tell women to avoid getting attacked by men by not wearing mini-skirts and the like - dress "defensively" to avoid rape. (Oh, okay to be accurate, I just checked - it was written in 2008 in the Deseret News if that means anything to any of you; it FEELS like it's from the 80s because she suggests wearing padded shoulders to appear bigger and wear baggy opaque clothing and fedora hats to add height, all of which made for a fashionable ensemble in my high school years).

The other reference was a single blog entry 5 years ago by a young woman who dressed in something she really liked because she knew work would be crappy - she "defensively dressed" cheerfully against the impending misery of her employment. 

UNBELIEVABLE. It sure FELT like it was a common term.........

I loved sniglets as a kid - anyone remember those? I mean LOVED THEM, I had the books. For those who missed the early 80's and/or the HBO show "Not Necessarily the News," a sniglet is "any word that doesn't appear in the dictionary, but should".

I have always loved expressing myself with brilliant words that may or may not be real but I follow it by saying, "If it's not a word, it should be," and I'm totally serious.
Defensive Dressing is my own sniglet phrase.