Monday, February 21, 2011
An Anti-Fashion Experiment
Since today is a holiday, the only place that was open in my area was the local library. I go there quite frequently, two to three times a week actually, so there are a few people in there who know me by appearance. I arrived just as one of the librarians was unlocking the front doors. There was a sizeable crowd of people waiting outside to be let in. Walking from my car to the front doors I bowed my head and didn't lift it up until I was safely inside. I could feel peoples' eyes on me as I was approaching and I didn't feel at all comfortable. Keeping my head down was the worst thing I could have done since all I could see were my grey sweatpants (ugh).
My problem is that I have extremely pale skin. So, if I'm not wearing any make-up, I feel transparent (and for good reason because you can REALLY see all of my veins through my skin). Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't wear oodles and layers of make-up on a daily basis (just a light foundation that evens out my skin tone), but even without that I do not feel comfortable, very self-conscious in fact. I cheated this morning and applied a teeny weeny bit of Nars blush in Deep Throat but I'm sure you all will forgive me.
Back to the experiment: inside the library I could literally feel people staring at me (and not in a good way). The majority of them were students and young adults and they were dressed better than I was. I felt a little disheartened because I was expecting to feel quite at home in sweats being surrounded by a bunch of tweens, teens and twenty-somethings. Nope. Utter and total failure. Out of the adults, men who would have typically given me a favourable once-over hardly even looked at me twice (in fact, they probably didn't even look at me once!).
I approached an older gentleman at the Reference Desk with a question and he literally shoved me aside and directed me to the front desk where "they'd probably be able to help me out more than he could." Wow. Something tells me if I had looked more myself (and presentable) he would have bent over backwards to help address my query. When I headed over to the front desk and asked the two women there my original question, they looked me up and down, helped me quickly and sent me on my way. I can just picture them gabbing about my state of undress and my horrible washed-out skin, debating on whether or not I was seriously ill.
Conclusion: Despite the fact that I hated every minute of this social, anti-fashion experiment I learned something really important: You never know, do you, what's really going on in a person's life based solely on their appearance. A number of you commented on my previous two entries with this exact sentiment and props to you for realizing this earlier than I did. Still, I can't see myself ever doing this again. I felt utterly self-conscious and totally uncomfortable.
Quick! Where's my Gucci perfume at?