Sunday, June 6, 2010
Yes, smart girls like to be trendy too!
I'm sure you're thinking "'The Intellectual Girl's Guide to Style'? Really? Sounds like a pretentious load of shit to me."
You might be right. I have been called an elitist snob in my time (see also: nerd/dork/Webster/pain-in-the-ass... courtesy of my younger brother). On a nearly daily basis, my siblings will tell me to "dumb it down." Side note: they also tell me not to refer to them as "siblings" because they find the word demeaning (well, that's the gist - they don't actually use the word "demeaning"). What the hell? Do other people find this word insulting in any way? Feel free to explain it to me if you do - I am mystified.
But back on topic: here's the thing - smart girls are severely under-appreciated by American pop culture. We're often caricatured as ugly glasses-wearing, sexually-repressed, mom jeans-buying, dictionary/encyclopedia-regurgitating prudes. Or slutty librarians.
I, however, like to pride myself on being somewhere in-between those things. As do many of my very brainy, not to mention extremely stylish and sexy, friends. And we don't WANT to dumb it down.
Merriam-Webster defines an intellectual as "an intellectual person.” Not helpful. I actually prefer the Wikipedia description: "a person who uses intelligence (thought and reason) and critical or analytical thinking, either in a professional or personal capacity." Am I a genius? Well, I'm no Einstein, but according to a sketchy online test I took once, I do have the same IQ as Dickens... does that count?
No, in all seriousness, I call myself "Intellectual Girl" because I think it's high time we start applying some damned common sense to the world we live in. My vision for this blog is really to explore more than just fashion trends, though I have plenty to say on that subject. I'm sure many of you are with on me on general confusion surrounding the *whys* of many modern pop culture phenomena (for example: Lady Gaga. And the re-emergence of neon orange lipstick), the strange generational gaps between Gen X, Gen Y, and the Millennials, and the increasingly nebulous cultural lines being blurred by tech and economic - driven globalization. Not to mention the terrible environmental crises we're facing - the BP oil spill makes me die a little inside every time I think about it, and that's just the tip of the proverbial ice berg.
I think style is about way more than just your clothes, though that's certainly an important (and fun!) part of it. It's about all-around self-expression and staying true to your essence. It's about how you carry yourself and how much respect you have for yourself. And it's about your passions, as they are the motivation behind your drive to clean-up the planet, use only organic skin-care products, listen to Muse, plaster your room with Escher posters, accessorize like a master stylist, read Jane Austen, learn to play the cello, study abroad, shop religiously at the DSW clearance rack... whatever. They are what make you tick, and therefore have an inherent influence on your style!
I'm a pretty normal girl, with maybe slightly larger than average body proportions (like most Midwestern girls) and blessed (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with a natural wanderlust and intellectual curiosity. I read like a fiend, everything from Nylon to Vogue to The New York Times, Salman Rushdie to J.K. Rowling, Eckhart Tolle to Stephen Colbert. I love clothes, music, film, art, food, biking, Facebook, writing, museums, traveling, Greenpeace, cable television, and shoes. And jewelry. Ok... I just like a little bit of everything.
I'm not even sure this blog will ever get read by anyone other than myself, but I recently turned 29, and I'm feeling an increasing pressure to figure my shit out before the big 3-0 strikes. After years of wallowing in self-deprecation and abusing myself with an eating disorder, I finally woke up one day and realized it's actually pretty great being me. I hope that I can encourage other people (of either gender and of ANY age) to have that same epiphany.
But I can't deny that with increasing frequency, I find myself asking the question, "Now what?"
Of course, I could also ask myself the question, "Why the hell would anyone want to read my crazy ramblings?" I mean, I don't read that many blogs, so why should I expect anyone would want to read mine? (For more discourse on this, see "The End" by The Pop Culture Initiative - it *looks* like it's about the LOST finale, but in reality it's about our modern culture's obsession with "Immediacy," and it contains some great commentary on social media.)
I don't have the answer to this, but I do hope that maybe in this blog you'll find someone you can identify with - I mean, I know plenty of normal girls who listen to fucking great music, are obsessed with Project Runway and accessorize like pros (I have been told by a neutral source that I'm one of them...), but who still care about politics, quality literature, and the environment.
So welcome, and thanks for reading my ramblings! I'll let you decide for yourself if I'm an elitist snob or not, but if you stick with me, I promise I'll eventually get around to actually talking about fashion. And everyone's favorite thing: bargain-hunting!