Read Surveys (By Author)
Amma J. Wayfarer
1. When do you feel at your most attractive?
In a skirt and comfortable shoes, with a top that reveals as much body art as possible, so usually a tank, anything that is a bit unusual, pin-up inspired hair and makeup.
2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?
As a person attracted to women, I tend to notice women who are masculine of center, but style-wise, I tend to notice body art first, and pretty much any sort of alternative fashion will also catch my eye.
3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?
How confident and comfortable they are in their way of presenting. I've spent years trying to find clothes that make me feel so wholly "me" that I can't feel self conscious in them. Seeing other women act that way inspires me and I admire it greatly.
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?
I don't know if I would say anything has particularly "clicked", I've been experimenting with fashion, hair and makeup since I was a kid, so it's always been a part of my life, I have moments of understanding something I didn't before, or drifting away from and then falling back in love with my high-femme nature.
5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?
Touch EVERYTHING. Look through every rack, I never know what treasure might have been slipped onto a rack that isn't my size.
6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?
Be adventurous! Never wear what the majority of other people are wearing. Never wear the same exact outfit to the same place twice if I can avoid it. I make sure my style is always evolving
8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.
Love yourself with all your heart, then take that love and love others with it, the other things will fall naturally into place around that.
9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?
I tend to have the same tank top in about 7 colors, in my working life I've accumulated multiple black tees and keep them on hand in case I need to cover my chest tattoo, and if I find the perfect skirt (high waisted, sturdy fabric, black, knee length) I will buy a few.
11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why?
I usually refuse at the height of the trends popularity because I don't like wearing what everyone else is wearing. After it starts to fade away I may start looking at thrift shops and sale racks, but I could never get into the fluorescents.
12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?
As far as style goes, it was actually the other way around! My mother and I, and actually my whole family, is blessed with ample curves, and that has always been a factor of how we choose our clothes. My mother has more curves around her belly and tends to feel more self conscious, so she didn't ever enjoy fashion. She watched me explore fashion, hair and makeup and had a "click" moment with my style. As I was nearing adulthood, she started buying clothes that she liked and asked me for some makeup tips, and lately we both dye our hair purple, sometimes on the same day!
13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?
I wish my grandparents had kept some of their clothes! I am certainly inspired by some of the dresses I've seen in my grandmother's photos, but beyond that, some of my friends let me go through the clothes they are about to donate and take first pick, I've gotten most of my cardigans and tees that way.
14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?
A few times, my style is always evolving, and sometimes very quickly. I was always a...unique dresser. When I got into high school I went from a "my closet exploded" sort of look and found myself in a very "gothic" style. Shortly after high school, I donated a good portion of my clothes and found myself in a more colorful, nebulous fashion place. Then it changed again when I discovered how wonderful the pinup style looks when paired with rocker flair and attitude.
15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?
I don't know if it was intentional at first, but my favorite thing is to combine very feminine pieces with very "tough" pieces. I suppose it challenges the idea that women are weak and supposed to be pretty, but it also challenges the idea that there's something wrong with looking pretty.
16. Please describe your body.
Most of my features are short and stocky! I have a larger than average breast size and wide hips, I have a defined waist, but my stomach isn't flat. I have somewhat broad shoulders, thicker arms, and strong, sturdy legs. Small shoe size, (I can actually wear kids shoes), but wide feet, a boys 3 is usually a perfect fit. Small hands, but thick fingers.
17. Please describe your mind.
Always working. In a constant state of expanding itself and the world, intellectual, but also very fantastical, writing stories or poems about my day, inventing worlds and characters and beings that we don't see in day to day life. Constantly trying to prove its worth and fix its shortcomings.
18. Please describe your emotions.
Erratic, easily influenced by others, I have a bleeding heart! My own emotions are unpredictable and tend to spiral down, I also feel the emotions of others so strongly that they affect my reality. Wild creatures that will sometimes let me tame them, but only for a time.
19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?
I am wearing a coral tank top and a black, high waisted skirt with a slouchy gray sweater that I cut into a cardigan. I have a full face of makeup on, except for lipstick, and I just pulled my hair out of its pincurls and into a ponytail.
20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?
In a way, it is important, most specifically to us, because it defines how we see ourselves and how we want to be seen. In a way, it isn't important because our worth doesn't come from the way we look or present.
21. With whom do you talk about clothes?
With my mother and with my best friend who enjoys fashion as much as I do!
22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?
When I have a job, I have to wear the uniform, but I sometimes have to wear extra pieces that I don't want to wear in order to hide my body art.
23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?
I think everyone has both, people just have different tastes and styles. Taste to me is what you like, whereas style is how you use that taste, and I don't think they can exist without each other.
24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?
I grew up on thrift stores and sale racks, so I was always very aware of the money I was spending. I've bought very few expensive pieces of clothing, and I always wore them quite often.
25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?
I tie the straps of halter tops to my bra. My breasts are too big to be supported by them without giving me intense neck pain, so I found an alternative.
I also pull long skirts up over my bra sometimes to create a mid-length skirt.
27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?
Every time I take an exam in school, I dress up, do my hair, and wear bright red lipstick, the more fabulous I feel, the more fabulous I will do!
As for calming, fuzzy socks, even in the summer.
29. Did your parents teach you things about clothing, care for your clothing, dressing or style? What lessons do you remember? Or did you just pick things up?
No one in family cared too much about fashion when I was growing up, but they always encouraged my often unuasual sense of style. I simply picked things up by trying them, or by looking at what people were wearing and trying to come up with ways that I could make a look I liked work for me.
30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?
When it comes to clothes, anything with an exposed back or shoulders makes me feel instantly sexy, in the makeup department, I geel most alluring with pronounced eyelashes, but red lips do it too! I feel sexiest with colorful, long, curly hair, I haven't had it long for a few years now and it can't grow fast enough for me!
31. Many people say they want to feel “comfortable,” or that they admire people who seem “confident.” What do these words really mean to you?
I think being comfortable is feeling good in the way you are presenting. Presenting your truest self in that moment. And I think confidence is the result of that, you love how you look, you're fabulous and you don't need anyone else to tell you one way or another!
33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?
The old, the broken, the flawed, the misunderstood, the simple, the hidden, the forgotten, the unique, the dynamic...
34. What do you consider very ugly?
The "put-on-a-pedastal", the overly complicated, the souless (in regard to people, this would be their actions, everyone has a 'soul'), the mass-produced, the stagnant...
35. Are you generally a good judge of whether what you buy will end up being worn? Have you figured out how to know in advance?
I wasn't always! But I've recently figured out what works for me. One major way I use to decide is, if I'm trying to decide, it's probably a no! One of my best friends told me her tactic, and it goes along the same lines, but more directly, ask yourself, "do you LOVE it?" If you have to think about it, don't buy it.
37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?
I live in a cold place, so weather is always a big factor. I also consider where I'm going, who I'm seeing and how long I'll be out, if I'm going to my moms and then going home, I might wear a ponytail, no makeup, pants and tee shirt, but if I have three classes, a meeting, and an appointment that same day, I'll step it up.
If nightlife is involved in the consideration, I'll dress to the eights! (If formal is dressing to the nines, it'd be just one step down!)
39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?
Dressing is what you wear most days, to school, to work, etc. Dressing up is what you do when you go dancing, or on a date. I don't wear anything for others approval, but when I dress up, I do want to make an impression on others.
41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?
"You" is anything that makes you feel fabulous, "not you" is anything that makes you feel uneasy.
42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?
My cultural background is pretty mixed, but predominantly caucasian, so I wouldn't say it influences me, though I do try to be aware of styles that are cultural and try not to be appropriative.
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?
There were a lot of those times! But one that had meaning was being a 'goth' in high school. I know it's not the same for everyone, but for me (besides loving how it all looked!) it was a way to seperate myself from people who treated me poorly, I tried to create an environment where someone would have to love me even though I was wierd, I believed that would be an easy way to discover who would be a true friend.
It may have worked, but the attitude I had at the time meant few people saw a reason to climb that wall of dark clothes and makeup to TRY to love me for who I was.
44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?
My hair is more likely to be up if I want to feel professional, makeup in more muted colors, and as far as clothes, more collared shirts, usually a skirt, simpler shoes.
45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?
Most places I have worked I will try to wear my facial jewelry without anyone noticing, or I'll wear clothes that cover all but one or two tattoos. I'll wear fun shoes or a unique pattern somewhere, I spend most of my first training days at a job scoping out the ways I can push the dress code without breaking it.
48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?
I find it costraining, though in some ways I understand, if a customer needs to find an employee they need to be easily identified, but I do disagree with uniforms that require you to have no visible body art.
49. What is an archetypal outfit for you; one that you could have happily worn at any point in your life? What do you like about it?
Black pleated knee length skirts have always been one of my favorite pieces! Pair that with Converses and soft, dark purple 3/4 sleeve shirt and a 'leather' jacket, I would have been a happy human at any age.
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?
Never on a large scale, but I have alwayd preferred men's hoodies and swim trunks, and about half of my shoes are usually men's, or more specifically boy's.
When I first realized I was queer, I wished I could be HAPPY dressing like a man so that I looked more gay, but now I just hang a rainbow lanyard on my purse.
51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
Fashion-wise, the forties and fifties were lovely! The swing dresses and curly hairstyles were just darling!
52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?
No, actually! I look at myself in the mirror and love how I look, then I see pictures and my face is always doing something strange. I model for my photographer friends as a hobby, and I look at the photos and always feel like my eyes potray nothing but emptiness, even when I try!
53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?
I think, wow, I'm a goof.
56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?
Masculine of center is fun on occasion (I've cosplayed as a man before) but I would be uncomfortable maintaining it for a long time. Preppy or "popular" (think Mean Girls) would be uncomfortable and difficult, and I think anything described as "wholesome" would be automatically impossible due to my body art.
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 am pretty comfortable in my body, I don't think I would wear anything different if it changed! I might wear more v-necks and/or plunging necklines if my breasts were smaller, though.
58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?
I think I try to repel the societally expected and placid from my life, while attracting the adventurous and unique.
59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?
One thing I get told, because I'm a bit of an outrageous dresser, is "oh, I could never pull that off."
My dressing rule is, if you love it, you CAN amd WILL pull it off.
60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?
On special occasions I wear it, but not often. I like how people each have their own scent, so perfume is not my favorite thing.
61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?
Be anything but ordinary.
And be clean, that's very important.
62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?
I've had a love/hate relationship with makeup my whole life, I usually use it as a sort of art form, accomplishing a certain look, the right makeup can make or break what you're trying to accomplish, but every so often I have to stop wearing it for a while because I start to feel like I need it to be pretty.
64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?
With jewelry, I have a lot of crystals, 'pearls', and custom made pieces, and absolutely nothing gold-colored.
As far as clothing goes, I have a lot of tanks and overshirts, full skirts and dresses, and things like tights, scarves, belts and socks to take my basics from plain to a little wild.
65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?
My favorite piece of jewelry is my rose quartz crystal pendant, it looks great with everything, plus rose quartz gives off some lovely, lovung energy! My favorite piece of clothing was my high-waisted black pleated knee skirt, it may be broken, but I still love it and can't wait to replace it!
66. Tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear. What is it, why don’t you wear it, and why do you keep it?
I have a long sleeved white button up, I don't wear it because I don't like white clothes, but I keep it in case I need it for a job interview!
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?
I had a skirt that was a bit longer than I usually wear, but it had big, beautiful buttons on only the waist, which actually came all the way up to my solar plexus, staying slim until the hips. it was a sturdy material and one of the fullest skirts I ever owned! I donated it when I was culling out my goth clothes because I wasn't sure I would wear it, but I wanted it back shortly after! That sort of waist is almost impossible to find, and it would have looked amazing with a petticoat!
69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?
My black and white swing dress, I would sew the petticoat in so it would stay one garment!
70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?
I would not accumulate as many things that were what I needed, but not exactly how I wanted them. I would have done more research on what I wanted and hunted the things down!
71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?
Knee high, dark brown leather boots with a short heel. I still wear them, they look fabulous with so many things!
73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?
Any sort of pants or shorts with the buttons that run from the hips to the waist, sort of sailor style.
74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?
They get messy, but I reorganize them regularly!
75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?
I love it when my partners give me shirts or hoodies of theirs and let me keep them, that always touches me!
77. How and when do you shop for clothes?
A mixture of online and thrifting, peppered with department store clearance racks for the basics.
78. Do you like to smell a certain way?
79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?
Both are outside the norm! I dress unusually and have a lot of body art, which means I won't end up with many office-type jobs. I dress for myself to make myself happy, and I hope to work for myself to make myself happy.
80. How does money fit into all this?
Vintage clothes can be expensive, unfortunately, and I don't have a big clothing budget, so I save up for big, important pieces, or I thrift. I'm also lucky enough to have a mother who is a fabulous seamstress!
81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?
I never take out my body jewelry, and usually wear the same pieces, I only ever change one of my four ear piercings. But beyond that, it changes a lot.
82. Did anyone ever say anything to you that made you see yourself differently, on a physical and especially sartorial level?
The occasional snarky remark about looking for attention will sometimes make me see myself as a bit of a fool, shallow, and an annoyance, but I usually right myself after a day or two.
What’s your birth date? Where were you born and where do you live now?
Sept. 20th 1989, Born in Anaheim California, raised in Great Falls Montana, where I still live.
Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.
Economically, I think I've learned a lot, become stronger, and developed a lot of gratitude having always struggled with having enough.
What kind of work do you do?
I go to school full time.
Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?
Just loving myself with all of my heart at the moment!
Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.
I like that I look at the world in a different way than many people in my culture do.
How do you feel after filling out this survey?
Amma is a writer with a lot of feeling about a lot of things, a lot of thoughts about a lot of things, a lot of thoughts about a lot of feelings, and a lot of feelings about a lot of thoughts.