Pink, Blue and Bogans
These days I am trying to get a few things done around here. Which is not always easy. I could blame it on the weather or the kids, of course the kids, but really its just my own spicy combination of laziness, procrastination and having better things to do. Otherwise projects galore. I can shovel them around with gusto the whole day long.
I also need some new clothes. Which means shopping. Which means I am looking blankly into space and screaming inside. Clothes shopping itself does not scare me. I think I can positively enjoy it if I had a pile of money to sprinkle around. What makes it less appealing is finding clothes that dont break the bank and that dont make me look either like a frump or like a depressed housewife. Maybe there are more options but they are no less undesirable to me.
And here we come to the issue with stereotypes. I dont like the pink, silly, stupid, frilly, airhead image sold to my girls. I no more accept the blue, rough, dull, shallow, unemotional crap thrown at my boy.Â Above you will find the most “boyish” outfit Popcorn has worn. I dont think he has been out in public with it, but we have photographic evidence of it, so it counts.
Then bellow I will remind you of his recent “girly” attire – pink, frilly and with a necklace.
I couldnt care any less.
Even though that outfit was again only in the house, he does not wear typically male attire in public either. Its mostly greens, yellows, some purples, red and so on. Often we are out and people will comment “She is so cute” and I will just agree without even correcting them. It doesnt bother me in the least that some strangers think my boy may be a girl. It only shows how much value we put on clothes to judge others for what they are. So its only a reflection on their prejudices, not on my child’s belonging to the male species.
He is a boy and no amount of color will change that. Although I wish Mr.Blab would stop fainting every time I dress the child. Or when he requests to have a clip in his hair, or a headband, or wear one of his sister’s dresses, or put on some of mama’s perfume… anyone notice how even slight feminizing of males is unacceptable, while our tolerance in the opposite direction is quite stretchy. A boy with a ballet skirt on is tolerable and funny. A girl with a baseball suit on is strong and admirable. Typically female traits are a step down for males. While typically male ones are considered an improvement for females.
Anyone smell the stink?
Back to my wardrobe. It stinks too. I have a lot of clothes. Piles of them. A big part of them are just old and/or misshapen from lazy laundering techniques. So best left for in house wear. A small section are nice, butÂ not fitting my now plumped up body (read: lazy non active lifestyle body). And that leaves me with a handful of stuff to wear and the need to do some shopping.
I am trying to make a plan though. I am trying to avoid the old comfortable, but highly unsuccessfulÂ approach of just jump in, buy something that seems nice and cheap and run out screaming. I need to figure out my look more precisely. Its all good and dandy to think that one is free of those predetermined boxes. It sounds so liberating – I am free, I dont care what I wear. But really that usually means that one ends up in the box labeled Bogan, Trailer Park Trash with a side order of Redneck (as suggested by Mr.Blab, cheers dude) or Unhappy Tired Housewife in 3/4 or sweatpants.
This part is something I have tried to explain to Mr.Blab.Â Some days he can comfortably fit in one of those above mentioned boxes. He likes to say that he doesnt care what he looks like. He doesnt care what he wears. And yet, he refuses to put on something that seems too nice – “Its a bit Gay”, he will say. For a person that doesnt care, he sure seems to have a strong opinion on the subject. He doesnt care what he puts on…just as long as its jersey cotton, large and dull. But that is not freedom. It just means that he is comfy in the White Trash box, while quite uncomfortable in the trendy one.
My point being that we cant escape the stereotypes. If we run out of one box, we fall into another.
And now I want to consciously choose the box I fall into according to the clothes I wear. I often mix and match weird combinations of items to come up with something I feel comfortable in. You can often see me wearing pants with dresses. Or just layers of things that make it interesting to me. So when I thought about it I thought I put my finger on one of the reasons why I like it. It puts me in a less familiar for people box. Which in turn makes it hard for them to judge me by the cover, because wearing clean, aesthetically pleasing but non-familiar combinations does not give them enough to form an opinion. This then means I can create my own value without having to firstÂ escape the values that come packaged with the box I put myself in to begin with when I dressed up in the morning. Which more often than not have little to do with who and what people are to begin with.
And I have a plan now. I have a “look”. The look of not looking familiar ;) . Eclectic might be the right word. A bit of everything with nothing too much.
After all this, my task is no more appealing or exciting. It just has boundaries and clarity of some sort. I hope.
On the other hand, this one can safely say that he could care less about what he wears. He has the freedom a lot of us falsely claim to possess.
“She is so cute!”
“Thank you, we think so too”
If you want to read some hilarious descriptions of what a Bogan is continue to this site with a pile of tissues.