Ok so I’ve been trapped in a YouTube vortex since yesterday. I meant to just watch one video but I fell down the rabbit hole and I’m afraid I need counseling.
So Monday night on E!’s The Fashion Police, Giuliana Rancic had this to say about Zendaya’s hair. And while Giuliana has since made a public apology for her remarks, I continue to shake my head over the fact that she made such remarks in the first place. Because like me, Giuliana is italian-american. And there’s this, oh god it pains me to say it, but there’s a contingency of italian-Americans who are prejudiced against people of color. And for Giuliana to go on national TV and make a racist remark, as a famous italian-american, she’s sort of giving the idea that it’s OK for the rest of the italian-Americans to be prejudiced against people of color. And it’s not OK, it’s never OK, not for Giuliana Rancic on national TV, not for me on 18th avenue, not for Nicholas Minucci in Queens, not for any italian-american.
One was courage (Lemaire Fall 2013), two was warming up (Steven Alan Fall 2014) and three was the mark of a trend (Céline Resort 2015). Accordingly on the streets; Hanneli, Pernille and finally Céline (the blogger behind hippie hippie milkshake) showed how much we desperately need a fancy fanny pack and set our hands free…
Pack The Fanny
I don’t care if Coco Chanel rises from her grave to design the thing herself, in my mind fanny packs are for tourists, not stylish people. So I will not pack my things into a fanny pack, not now, not ever.
Over on Tumblr, they said this was reblogged “because of the way 50 shades of grey muddles BDSM and abuse”. Well, whoever reblogged it may have done so because of that, but I’m reminding everybody of the differences because my ex, a man named Angelo, who was very much real and not some fictional character that sprung forth from a British woman’s imagination, also muddled BDSM and abuse.
Best part of fashion weeks? You have something to get inspired from, something to write about every single day. Worst part of fashion weeks? You have absolutely too many stuff to write about in one day so you struggle to keep the blog clean and pick the one you like the most. Since my blog…
Ports, Anderson and a Newbie
OK what in the blue fuck, people? That first outfit for Ports 1961 is an indecisive mess. It’s business suit meets kimono meets pajamas (those hideous slippers!!!!!!! My god). I mean, what are you when you wear this, are you the no nonsense business woman, are you a geisha serving businessmen somewhere in Tokyo, are you a frumpy housewife in Ohio who doesn’t wear real shoes? No, you’re all three, and none at all.
OK, this isn’t a fairy tale and it was never meant for children. It’s a morality play, though, and John Milton wrote it for small-minded adults, who are a lot like children. I’m talking of course, about Comus, A Mask Presented at Ludlow Castle.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Milton’s work, the plot goes thusly: “Lady” (seriously, she doesn’t get a real name, that goes to show you what Milton’s age thought of women in general) and her two brothers are lost in the woods. When Lady becomes fatigued, the brothers leave her alone in the woods (real gentlemen they are, huh) and go in search of sustenance. Alone, Lady encounters the debauched Comus, a character inspired by the “god of mockery”, but who I picture as a Charlie Sheen-type. Anyway, Comus is of course disguised as a villager & claims he can lead Lady to her brothers. She follows him, only to be captured, brought to his pleasure palace, and victimized by his necromancy (how and why he needed to communicate with the deceased, I still don’t understand, but that’s what he did). He sits her on an enchanted chair with “gums of glutinous heat” where she is immobilized, while he accosts her, holding a necromancer’s wand in one hand & in the other a vessel containing drink that would overpower her. Comus urges Lady to be not coy and drink from his magical cup (representing sexual pleasure and intemperance). Within view at his palace is an array of cuisines intended to arouse Lady’s appetites and desires.
Despite being restrained against her will, Lady continues to exercise right reason in her disputation with Comus, thereby manifesting her freedom of mind. Whereas the would-be seducer argues appetites and desires issuing from one’s nature are “natural” and therefore licit. Lady contends that only rational self-control is enlightened and virtuous. To be self-indulgent and intemperate, she adds, is to forfeit one’s higher nature and to yield to baser impulses.
Meanwhile her brothers, searching for her, come across the Attendant Spirit, an Angelic figure sent to aid them (because we all know men can’t find their own way out of a paper bag), who takes the form of a shepherd and tells them how to defeat Comus. As Lady continues to assert her freedom of mind by exercising her free will by resistance and even defiance, she is rescued by the Attendant Spirit, along with her brothers, who chase off Comus (really, chase him out of his own Palace?) The Lady remains magically bound to the chair. With a song, the spirit conjures the water nymph Sabrina, who frees Lady on account of her steadfast virtue. She and her brothers are reunited with their parents in a celebration which signifies the heavenly bliss awaiting the wayfaring soul that prevails over trials and travails, whether they be threats posed by overt evil or the blandishments of temptations.
So like I said, Comus is no fairy tale, but it may as well be, the moral of the thing is so…black and white and blindingly simple to grasp. Good girls go to heaven, and bad girls go to, well, Charlie Sheen & the eternal damnation he represents. I’m no John Milton, hell, I’m not even English. And Brooklyn in 2015 is not the days of Milton, I know that. But one thing remains. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the idea to not give in to our “base desires” as it were. Yes, I’m talking about the fixation with female purity,
The world tells females that Good Girls get to wear a white wedding dress and marry ANYBODY they choose (because EVERYBODY wants a good girl) while Bad Girls end up getting spat out the bottom of the porn industry, left with no one willing to spend eternity with them. Well I’d like to tell the world a little secret. ALL THE LITTLE GIRLS GROW UP DREAMING ABOUT WEARING THE WHITE WEDDING DRESS. None of us plan on becoming too damaged for such a thing. Fuck, some of us don’t even realize how damaged we really are until you, The World, open your collective mouth and tell us.
I can’t say how it happens for anybody else, I only know about me, myself, and I. Comus didn’t come disguised as any villager, no, he wore my own grandfather as a suit, and I wasn’t any Lady at the time. I was a child, with all the innocence that went along with childhood. And Comus didn’t come wanting me to give in to my base desires, no, he set upon me because he couldn’t help but give in to HIS OWN base desires, which were wholly unnatural (incest is always against nature).
I didn’t find out about the Bad Girls go to hell rule, though, until I was in high school. My mother insisted that I go to Roman Catholic high school, and that meant my education included classes in religious studies. Freshman year that class was taught by Sister Ernestine, who appeared to be about a hundred and twelve years old, and so wrinkly she made Mick Jagger look young and fresh-faced. One class, Sister Ernestine was explaining about how premarital sex IS ALWAYS A SIN, and anyone who engages in it WOULD SURELY ROT IN HELL FOR ETERNITY.
I couldn’t help myself. I had a question, but didn’t want to give away my dirty secret. So I raised my hand and asked, “But what if a grandfather rapes his ten year old granddaughter? Does the child still go to hell even though it was done to her against her will?” The whole class looked at me & then looked at Sister Ernestine to see what she would say.
“There’s no ‘against her will’” she said emphatically, shaking her wrinkled face, “a child who seduces her own grandfather and makes him sin like that is pure evil. Of course she’s going to hell, do you understand?”
“Of course,” I said, working hard to make my face expressionless. I made like I was taking notes, but in reality I was doodling Sister Ernestine being hanged from a goddamn tree.
Oh I didn’t like what Sister Ernestine said, and I didn’t like her for having said it. But I was glad I’d gotten an answer to my question, found out what The World thought of me. In a way, knowing I was already damned to hell was LIBERATING. It meant I no longer had to like myself or even care about myself. I was free to abuse my body with whiskey binges, and to let boys who didn’t care about me, hell, sometimes even boys who didn’t bother to know my name, abuse my body with their bodies. I was going to hell for fucking my grandfather, what did it matter if I also drank a bottle of whiskey AND fucked whatshisface on Saturday night? What could they do,send me to hell twice?
I carried on like that for YEARS. Only I wasn’t a child any more. Or rather no one was calling me a child anymore. They called me other things, though…alcoholic, slut, fuckup, homewrecker, alcoholic (I know, said that one twice, but when you show up blotto as many times as I did, people call you that more than once), unreliable, untrustworthy…You get the idea.
Eventually I realized I didn’t have to DROP DEAD to be in hell. I was in it right here on earth, and it was none too pleasant. “But my grandfather raped me & Sister Ernestine clearly thinks I made him rape me” some little voice in my mind plaintively said…admittedly,I had a bad habit of LISTENING TO THAT VOICE. I’d put myself in hell because of that voice.
Now I had to get out of hell, had to dig, fight, and claw my way out. Was two and a half years ago I started my ascent back up from that hell of my own making. Have I gotten all the way up? I don’t know…sometimes I feel sun on my face, other times I feel fire under my feet, so you tell me. But I didn’t dig, fight, and claw my way up just for me. I’d be a selfish woman if I did that.
No, I had to haul myself out of hell for all the other girls who are being told RIGHT NOW by the Sister Ernestines of the world that they’re already damned to an eternity in the fiery pit for things that have been beyond their control, things that happened to them against their will. To those girls, I have this to say: You don’t have to meekly accept everything The World tells you. No, you have a voice of your own, and you absolutely can talk back to The World, and in this instance it’d be completely appropriate to tell The World “FUCK YOUR MORALS!!!!!!!!!!!”