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Zoe Cat

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

I feel attractive when I'm relaxed, or when I'm socially "on a roll." I'm relaxed when I'm in a room with very little people, and there is no pressure to do or say anything, or impress anyone. I'm socially on a roll when I'm not afraid of the people around me and can freely say what I want, which feels powerful.

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

I notice women on the street all the time. I notice those who seem like they have a purpose when they walk, like they're going to an important meeting. I also notice quiet, dishevelled women who look like they mumble. Finally I notice women who bounce along happily and talk really loud. I'm refreshed by the first kind and comfortable around the second, but I resent the last kind.

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

I admire women who are not bothered by their bodies or their clothes, which is ultimately attractive because they seem relaxed. I also admire women who seem to have a lovely relationship with their clothes, like their clothes are an extension of themselves and represent their beauty.

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?

There was never a moment - clothing has always been incredibly confusing to me. I am happiest in shorts and t-shirts, but when I became a teenager I felt the need to look presentable, or pretty. I usually change my mind about what I think I am pretty in, though, so I have no set style. Pretty is never comfortable. My interest in style stemmed from self-conciousness.

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

Buy the most low-profile, unique article of clothing you can find at the cheapest price. If you get tired, buy lots of the same basic shirt, like a Target v-neck. Make sure your pants fit, even if it means buying twice as many pairs as you need when your body changes shape.

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

Wear the same pair of pants every day for a month, because the other pants are unfamiliar shapes. Assume others can't see the stains. A scarf or a jacket will make any t-shirt look fancy. Shoes with lots of tread aren't as ugly as they seem, especially when they're so comfortable.

7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?

I haven't ever had a transformative conversation. Any time I've asked a girl about her style, her response is brief... my mom has no care for maintenance of appearance whatsoever.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

I try to be daring and open. I try to be as honest as possible. I try not to get in a ditch. Of course, I constantly fail at all of these things. I have anxious tendencies, so it's not my nature to let things roll off my back. Instead I pay attention when there's something I want and work to get it. I still procrastinate, but the intention is usually enough to carry me through any dark patch. Talking to people is another important thing. I want to build strong relationships, so I care about how honest I am.

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

I have LOTS of blue jeans and slim-fit t-shirts. Jeans, aside from pajamas, are the most comfortable pants I can find that don't make me feel naked. The t-shirts are useful because they're not very complicated, not particularly unflattering, and generally comfortable.

10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?

In all honesty, most of the clothing/jewelry items i've given people have completely failed as gifts. I've given my mom some earrings she liked, but I don't have a very approachable taste otherwise...

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

Plenty of fashion trends are irksome to me. Neon feels plasticky and fake. The ultra-thin fabric most shirts are made of looks flimsy and cheap. Skinny jeans are usually very restricting and look kinda uptight. Doc Martins are honestly garish. The "vintage" trend or "hipster" trend or "gangsta" (does that exist?) trend all feel fake. I don't shop at malls very well.

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

Haha, this is what it all comes down to, I might hope! My mom is a very stationary, reserved individual. She prefers to hide her body behind baggy t-shirts and crop pants, and always has. Shopping is a chore for her. She has never owned make-up. Body-wise, she is unusual - but beautiful! This may has contributed. She has not been a great model for the whole shopping experience, though.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?

I steal items from my mother's closet all the time. I will say, despite my usual drab attire, I have had plenty of experimental days. She has thrifted button-down shirts and flowy skirts. I wear these as-is, with some jewelry - nothing fancy. I just like how they are shaped differently from things in stores.

14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

My style changed dramatically first when I was in third grade, then in sixth. I was influenced by a free-spirited first-grader who liked to wear entirely hand-sewn clothes. She lived in an equally-whimiscal house, and I wanted her lifestyle. I took to wearing hobo-like attire to mimic her. In sixth grade I started shopping for girly things for the first time. That was the first time I wanted to look pretty.

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

No, not at all. I even dress for the male gaze half the time. I want people to like me. But I do have a shirt with a phrase on it that is supposed to comment on how I tend to blow things out of proportion.

16. Please describe your body.

I'm very tall, but I'm not as tall as some. I have kind of a sloped, graceful posture and a good amount of belly and thigh weight. Generally slim, but not a stick. I have no boobs, a weak chin, and a large nose. My eyes are round and expressive. I love my face, but I often wish I could pair it with a sexier body to offset the pudgy, weepy vibe.

17. Please describe your mind.

A wild, colorful landscape of mismatched shapes. I do not understand it. I have moments of intense clarity and moments of complete nonsense. Don't we all?

18. Please describe your emotions.

Up and down. Rollercoaster.

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

I'm wearing jean short shorts that were once tight but have now stretched to a comfortable bagginess. I have on a simple slim-fit t-shirt with a phrase on it I like. My face has nothing on it but zits, as usual. My hair is tightly secured in a bun with three hair ties to keep it from moving.

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

It's all crucially important, right now, because it's all helping me be as comfortable as possible.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

I exchange brief complaints with my friends, but have no serious discussions about clothes with anyone. I give lots of compliments.

23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?

I have taste, but not style. I think style IS taste, but just on a grand scale, to the point of allowing taste to affect your every decision... I have the taste of a picky eater. I stick to what's familiar, try everything once or twice, and react negatively to a good amount of it.

24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?

Not the biggest, but most of the purchases I make are useless. I barely wear anything other than a t-shirt or jeans, even though I'm constantly buying things.

26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?

I have style at a party. I love being the odd, humble person introducing themselves to every person in the room. I also love being the dance maniac. I have style when I write essays or short stories on occasion, because it's fun to sound sophisticated in writing. I have style when it comes to having long, meaningful conversations with people at night.

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 day, it's one or the other. I obsess over whatever outfit will make me feel most attractive each morning before school, and I obsess over whatever outfit will make me feel most comfortable when the weekend comes around.

28. Would you say you “know what you like” in the area of fashion and clothing? If so, do you also know what you like in other areas of life, that is, are you generally good at discernment? Can you say where your discernment comes from, if you have it? Or if you don’t have it, why or why not?

I generally know what I like in fashion, but it isn't a well-established habit. It's a simple like or dislike every time I try something on at the store. In other areas of life I am, I'll decide right now, the same. Boys are attractive for all kinds of reasons. I don't generalize it, I just acknowledge it. It comes from being a person. Everyone has always had a favorite color or food.

What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

I'm a teenager. I was born in the US and still live here.

Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.

Never expereinced any serious economic problems, little ethnic background.

What kind of work do you do?


Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?


How do you feel after filling out this survey?

*refreshed* - but actually, it was good to finally accept that I am not a natural-born fashionista and I ultimately feel happy when I'm internally confident.

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