January 2013 marks the beginning of the third year of How I Learned to Wear a Dress and I bet you’re dying to ask (in a not so creepy voice, please):
“Hey, Kelly, what are you wearing?”
The answer is:
whatever the hell I want.
Regular readers will know a dress ceased to be the point long ago. It turns out I had more important things to learn. And I learned them (not to imply I’m done learning).This public and ultimately ridiculous and self-indulgent attempt to prove I was just as girly as the next girl only confirmed I already liked the woman I was–the woman I am–imperfections and all.
I’m not girly, and yet I am.
I am all the girl I want and need to be and parading around it what feels like a costume from my days on the stage while yelling my newly minted, yet far from original, aphorisms at the top of my lungs so everyone will turn and look and nod their approval seems so silly now. Can’t I just put my pants on one leg at a time like everyone else? Pink taffeta. Faded jeans. Everything in between. The clothes don’t make the woman. Lesson learned.
And that leaves me with the rest of the lessons, lessons I might have dismissed had I not chosen to stand on my soapbox once in a while. As I once said, sometimes I don’t even know what I think until I say it out loud.
Over the last two years I’ve written about body image, breasts, boobs and tatas, a woman’s right to choose, the evils of crafting, the pain of failing to meet expectations, female friendships, fashion, feminism, gender roles, makeovers, mammograms, marriage, marriage equality, beauty, parenting, style, politics, ponytail poufs, self-confidence, self-image, sex, shoes, violence against women, women’s rights, and our responsibility to stand up when and where we can. I’ve stood alone a few times and I’ve stood with others. But what makes me most proud is that I cared enough to take a stand.
I am a feminist woman of the twenty-first century. I don’t care for dresses. I let my husband mow the lawn. I believe in human equality. I don’t believe in god. There are people I just don’t like. I think George Carlin is hilarious. I am certain what happens in my bedroom is none of your business, and definitely not the business of my government (same goes for what happens in my doctor’s office). I think Barbie is no more dangerous than a Nerf gun. I think modern fashion magazines and reality television are harmful to just about everyone. I want to slap anyone who denies the existence of a gender income gap. I don’t think pink is evil. I don’t hate men. I don’t hate women. I do hate idiots. I believe in beauty. I embrace imperfections, especially my own.
And now I think it’s time for an intermission, or maybe a rewrite. Bring the curtain down. Give me the hook. Turn off the follow spot.
I didn’t know what I was going to say today until I started writing and right now it feels like this third year of How I Learned to Wear a Dress may just start and end right here.
It is decided. I will be posting here less often so I can have more time for other writing projects, many of them inspired by these two years of writing about feminism meeting real life.
I hope you have learned as much as I have. I hope you have asked yourself where you stand and I hope you have taken every opportunity to stand up with those who need your support.
To live well we must engage.
To engage we must know what matters to us.
To know what matters to us we must be willing to stand up and risk looking the fool.
May the New Year bring you everything you need and may you be forever foolish and free.