Read Surveys (By Author)
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
After a long day of doing something I love to do, hair messy, face happy.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
Sometimes, when there is a mutual respect, good feelings shared between strangers.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
I like a woman who is unafraid to command a lot of people, who does it with confidence and compassion.
4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?
Yes, I wore makeup everyday for ten years, thinking I was ugly without it, that I would never find love. Then one day I stopped. I haven't found love since then, but I certainly feel better about myself. I also stopped messing with my hair, and it looks much better than it used to. Now it's "weather-ready," which means that any type of weather can only improve it instead of ruining it.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Always try on anything yellow.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Go with what's appropriate for your current mood, not your destination.
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
When I clean my room, I make my bed first, then I pile all my belongings onto my bed. I clean all the surfaces in the room, then slowly, one-by-one, return each item where it belongs. Anything left of the bed I put in a new pile to be hidden somewhere in my room. Sometimes I finish sorting out that pile, but usually I just put it in a bag and shove it somewhere.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
Fluorescent yellow sweatshirt. I think it's because I'm a bike rider, but I also like looking a little obnoxious to be honest with you.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
I hate high heels; I think they should have a surgeon general's warning for the amount of harm to do to women. I think they are a tool for oppression. I hate those skirts / dresses that are short in the front and long in the back.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
I'm big in the hips like my mother, but we don't have the same sense of style. My mother always called herself a dumpy child / young adult, then I saw a picture of her at 25 and she was slim. It really made me rethink how I think about my body, and how I just need to appreciate what I have. She passed on body-hating, but I'm putting a stop to it.
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
When I was a freshman in college, I had two roommates who were approximately the same size. We used to share a shirt that we called the "star shirt." It had stars,
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
When I was a teenager, I loved punk music, but my style didn't match it. One day I was listening to the song, "Halloween" by the Dead Kennedys, and I was inspired to start being myself everyday, and not just on special occasions. I started dressing like a punk, and everyone HATED me, especially the punks. I always had a rough childhood, and I'd finally found a little stability, but that disappeared overnight. I endured glares and people whispering "poser" under their breath as I walked by, but I knew I had to keep going. I couldn't stop now.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
In some sense, but the fact that I don't wear heels mainly comes from the bunions.
16. Please describe your body.
Very, very functional. I take good care of my body, but there's a little extra fat around my stomach. I do push-ups and sit-ups and ride my bike a lot, so I'm very fit. I don't want to be an old lady who can't lift herself out of the bathtub like my grandmother!
17. Please describe your mind.
Very sincere. I have a low tolerance for oppression, and will fight back with as much compassion as possible. I take all my issues up with my Buddhist practice, Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, so I try to always have endless love for people when I correct them and assert my needs.
18. Please describe your emotions.
I am someone who has been deeply hurt, but everyday I work to break down the coping mechanisms in place to prevent me from feeling pain. I am a weird mix of incredibly sincere and vulnerable, but somehow very protected and untrusting. I am always working on breaking down that wall.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
My hair is down and curly, my body is unadorned (I don't like piercings or jewelry). I am wearing jeans, Doc Martin boots, a flattering grey tank top, and a jean shirt. My favorite outfit.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
It's very important to think about why you wear what you wear. There's no such thing as "it just looks good" there are always invisible reasons why we think one thing or another. It's good to always be aware of how our culture can affect our thoughts, our neutrality.
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
People doing what they are passionate about, people overcoming hardships, people encouraging one another, people fighting tyranny, horses.
34. What do you consider very ugly?
Bullying, sexism, racism, cruelty to humans or animals. Apathy.
36. When you look at yourself before going out, and you are trying to see yourself from the outside, can you describe a bit about what this “other person” is like? What do they like, dislike, what sorts of judgments do they have? Is this “outer eye” based on someone you know or once knew?
I know it's not true because I've looked at old pictures of myself when I thought I was fat and I'm not, but I always feel fat. I know I'm not fat, so I just have to convince myself that I'm not looking in a "mirror of truth." A mirror of truth is an unexpected mirror that appears so suddenly that you get an unadulterated, beautiful view of yourself as a stranger before you realize it's yourself and all the old flaws become apparent.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
Warmth, mood, how much exposure.
43. Do you remember a time in your life when you dressed quite differently from how you do now? Can you describe it and what it was all about for you?
For a long time I dressed like a boy because I thought boys would like me if I looked like them. NOT TRUE.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
This concept upsets me. A woman shouldn't have to do anything that a man doesn't do to feel professional. Why would makeup make you professional if men don't have to wear it? Why would there be an extra level you have to add to achieve the same level of professionalism? Same with hair, same with heels.
46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?
Yes, when I volunteer at the Buddhist center I have to wear a suit and slacks.
47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?
I totally conform at the Buddhist center, but I always try to change rules verbally. I need to have one place where I follow rules, as long as I can discuss them openly!
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
Constraining. It just isn't my clothes.
50. Do you ever wish you were a man or could dress like a man or had a man’s body? Was there ever a time in the past?
I used to wake up everyday from the time I was about 4-years-old (when I realized I was a female) until about 16 and wonder why I was a girl. Why am I a girl? Then I started to get over it, but it still took me another 12 years or so before I was happy to be a woman.
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
I kind of love the 70's.
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
What an interesting face!
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
I feel very uncomfortable dressed up like a "normal person." It scares me because I just want to shout out, "This isn't me! I don't normally dress like this!"
57. If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body was a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?
I would wear little tiny shorts.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
I wear it on rare occasions, and just for fun, not to feel good about myself. I'm very careful about that due to my past!
68. Is there an item of clothing that you once owned, but no longer own, and still think about or wish you had back? What was it, what happened to it, and why do you want it back?
My weird jacket thing that said AMERICA.
83. Do you remember the first time you were conscious of what you were wearing? Can you describe this moment and what it was about?
When I first realized that a dress represented the fact that I was a female, and that I was wearing one. Much to my mother's disappointment, I didn't wear another dress again for about 16 years after that.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
December 9th, 1984. I was born in San Diego, CA, grew up in Massachusetts, and I live in Brooklyn, NY.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
Middle class, public schools.
What kind of work do you do?
Customer service, but I'm a film maker.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
I'm all about aggressive vulnerability.