“No right to judge”
Today I was thinking about my post from two weeks ago, “Rip Her to Shreds“, and I want to extrapolate on the subject of girl hate and self hate and fashion blogging. I will do this using my personal perspective which I hope (which I always hope) is relatable.
The truth is: I am a flawed human. The instinctual repulsion inspired by Jane Aldridge, and her SOS blog fascinates and bewilders me. The repulsion should repel me but it draws me in. I am addicted to debating the salacious fun of it. I can sit by myself and think through my thought processes for hours. This is another flaw of mine. Start counting.
I’ve read her blog now for something like 5 years. I started reading fashionblogs because my best friend Laura Reilly* kept one in highschool. I occasionally helped her out with her photoshoots. She is way more beautiful and photogenic and fashionable than I am, so the hours and hours of shooting were not a waste of time at all. I think she contributed something pretty special to the blogosphere, actually. Laura comes from a gorgeous Irish, American, Polish, Spanish, CostaRican mixxed up fcked up coocoo bananas family of artists and vagabonds and lawyers. She grew up in London and Costa Rica. Her primary cultural influence is Spanish. Her sense of style reflects this.
Laura’s older sister Rebecca is my other best friend besides my own sister. She makes films and takes photos.
Their mother Claude is like my second mother. She is an Architect, Interior Designer. And she sews. She taught me half of everything I know about cooking (savory dishes, Spanish style dishes, breads).
Claude’s mother is famous Spanish painter, Mil Lubroth. In painting, Mil Lubroth was inspired by the Alhambra and tessellation. I grew up partly in their house which was deisnged by Claude, inspired by, built to house, art. Especially the art of Mil Lubroth (which was everywhere). The kitchen was a warm sprawling spanish thing with windows which were opened like souls to surrounding wild rainforest. It even had a black and white–noir themed bathroom. I spent alot of time in it once. but that’s a different story. To view more of M Lubroth, click here.
Anyway, back on topic (ie, the dumbest topic ever but one I am fixated on…) I really feel sickened by myself when I talk or think about Jane. I hate hating her, but I can’t stop hating her. I tried to stop. I can weigh an entire argument against myself: 1. WHY DO I CARE? 2. Just because she’s rich and can afford shit it doesn’t mean she could never deserve success? 3. Maybe I am jealous of her beauty and success and riches? 4. She is only a 20 year old acting like a 20 year old? 5. She IS superstylish and SHE IS living the dream life of any super stylish fashion crazed biddie? I am probably influenced by her a little despite myself?
Her photography and styling is pretty good. I like her clothes. That’s what keeps reeling me back in. (her Dallas pad is ugly. Too much crap. The clothing medium** suits her because you actually can’t wear EVERYTHING YOU OWN. It is not physically possible. There is a structure of restraint inherent to styling, and in clothing oneself. To style is to restrain. Jane has none, so she should stick with styling***. This is glaringly obvious in the photos of her apartment. Space is limitless. The body is a limit. But who cares what I think? WHO CARES?) …what about restraint JANE, what about restraint? Why am I so irked by your lack of restraint?
“Elegance is refusal”. Rich people who follow the old money honor code do not irk me so much. They’re elitist alright, but they’re quiet about it. Secretive, in fact. These generations of old money represent Americana in its hoity toitiest best. The subtle finery. Like Daisy Buchanan, their butter husky voices sound like money. In America, we cherish our old money American Royalty**** as national treasure. And they do as they do. No crassness and no wedding crashing. They give back to their charities, the old rich. and these good rich people don’t flaunt their wealth. It is not as they do. Old money folk are creatures of refinement and grace. People who can buy boarding school educations and ivy leagues, but can’t buy talent. If they feel like it, instead of being talented they can buy talented people. They curate humans. They are patrons. And they hold high stock in their eyes for fine talent and good art. They don’t brag about being bad artists because “Bad Art Comes From the Heart”.
Because no it doesn’t. It comes from an imprecise mind and a flighty sensibility. Fun, sure it is, surely it is also bad, bad, bad. and nothing to put on a pedestal as a testament to a lucrative and quirky life style. Cool aloofness is the symptom, irony, the disease. Apathy is contaminant. STOP DRINKING LETHE.
And then there’s the actual talented people? And talented people who become artists? What do they do? Talented people refine soupcon talent until their fingers bleed and their brains ooze out their noses. that’s what talented people do to learn to channel some universal genius.
Sea of Shoes as a blog and as an institution can be summed up by the following: fueled by SHOP AND TELL. shop. tell. beauty shot. this is my PRETTY WHITE FACE framed by fake red hair… DRINK ME IN.
And what is the angle on Sea of Shoes? Jane Aldridge’s main “cause” (call it a cause) which she tweets about all the time is, girls getting bullied online. She thinks its very very very sad. It saddens her greatly.
Fuckin’… for REAL?
Look… I write the dumbest most idiotic blog EVER. I have no qualms about what an idiot I am and how idiotic it is. I don’t put money into it and I don’t take money out of it. I post links to it on my facebook. and I mention it to people. I refused to make it private even during my job search (and I am sure it cost me a few jobs…because the people at my current job read my blog before hiring me, almost didn’t hire me because of it, and made fun of me about both blog and twitter FOREVER…. thought I was a wild sexy pot smoking nut case… all true except the pot smoking. I don’t smoke pot. I just have hippie hair). Anyways, this: I’ve gotten myself into so much trouble with this blog SO MUCH TROUBLE. With work, family, friends, boys, boyfriends… you name it. People at my college either thought it was ridiculous or brilliant (I was the first and only “fashion blogger” rose by any other name, at the place) (although I don’t really consider myself a fashionblogger so much as I consider myself a fashion putterer. that’s fun to say. say it to yourself out loud. it’s fun. FASHION PUTTERER.)
You know what? All this trouble is worth it. In this world, I have two priorities. Two things that are important to me, art (in all mediums) and the people I love. That’s it. Nothing else is important. I like to combine the two things. and separate from this blog, what I do is try to learn things about poetry, learn things about how to write poems, learn things about how to sequence and make books. The process is trial and error. I don’t call myself a poet, but I call myself someone who loves poetry and wants to write good poems. Someone who wants to teach people about what I love, both to practice and to appreciate.
The blog gives me a voice. the blog is a platform for this voice. I will fight to the death for my right to voice. It lets me participate in the world I want to write poems about.
Sometimes I post my poetry on here, but for the most part, I don’t really consider it appropriate. The poems are a different thing. Their platform is a book. Maybe one day I’ll make an e-book, but until then, I’ll only post a few here and there. One day a book of mine will be available to purchase and destroy… but until then…
you can fucking make fun of me for this blog all you want.
If mockery is the price of blogging. I’ll pay. If people being pissed at me is the price, I’ll pay. Once my dad didn’t speak to me for 6 months because of one of the first blog posts I ever wrote. It was called “Starring Your Penis“. I wrote this post because one night during my magical summer in Greece I had insomnia and stayed awake all night thinking about dicks. I needed a place to put my thoughts so I could sleep. I wrote the post. I fell asleep. Everything was all good until my dad called me FURIOUS… (he thought my blog was a TRAVEL BLOG. wrongo father, I have no filter and my thoughts aren’t containable by genre). LIke I said, he didn’t talk to me for 6 months. When we did see each other, we had a drunken screaming brawl. Then we didn’t speak for another 6 months. We are a really functional father-daughter pair, I’ll tell you that.
As per censorship, my one rule with the blog is, I try not to fuck with the lives of the people I love by revealing them on here in disrespectful ways. Admittedly, I broke that rule earlier this year and I still feel ashamed of myself for it. I don’t want to hurt people. Especially not innocent people.
NOW, TO COME BACK ‘ROUND TO THE ORIGINAL SUBJECT: Jane Aldridge, miss holier than thou whimsical rock ‘n roll princess elitist. You have a blog which makes you a lot of money. You founded that blog on the back of $200,000 in shoes paid for by your daddy. Which is perfectly fine. Just don’t expect me to respect you. Don’t expect me not to criticize your indulgent self entitled self centric lifestyle and your 8,000 beauty shots per blog post and your trying to make bad art cool and respectable because you don’t have the work ethic to make good art and you don’t have the balls to try. Don’t expect me to feel sorry for you because you were bullied online. Don’t expect me to respect you and don’t expect me to shut up and don’t expect not to be criticized and don’t belittle those criticisms as “nastiness” and “vitriol”. What, are we not supposed to have critical opinions (in an effort to be nice, albeit frivolous) all the time? Is that how things are in your bubble world?
You are beautiful. You are wealthy. You have awesome shoes. You are successful. Your success is based on the attention of the public on the first three items stated.
You love your mother and your sister. You behave like many 20 year olds would behave in your position and lesser positions. Still,
in the words of late and great and dead as fuck kurt cobaine, “IF YOU READ YOU’LL JUDGE.”
So I say, Don’t expect me to respect you and don’t expect me to shut up and don’t expect not to be criticized and don’t belittle those criticisms as “nastiness” and “vitriol”.
As for me, for myself, I have higher expectations .. than to be so hot and bothered by the arbitrary existence of Jane Aldridge. She is not the enemy. The enemy is out there, but it isn’t her. and I need to stop.
This is MY lack of restraint.
I am an idiot, but I’ll die trying. and I’ll take the punches for my mediocre contributions. and I’ll keep fucking trying. and I’ll do it all in the name of the people I love because I want to make the world fuller and prettier and more fantastic and more of everything and give all of myself to the task. give all of myself for the task of connecting with people by scalping my brains-cap and letting it ooze onto every platform that is accessible to the masses. To create a conversation. To have a voice. To share thoughts and thinking and to encourage people to have the balls to play their part, and to make the beautiful things they are capable of making.
And that’s all I’ve got when it comes to life. Those are all my cards. in 5 minutes, I’ll have more cards, and tomorrow, I’ll have an entire new deck. I keep giving myself up, giving myself away, but the truth is, I am a human being. and human being is a container for a life that keeps changing every second of every day. Even the container rots to dust until from it eventually grows a thing that supports new life.
to quote the genius that is JD SALINGER, “I’m sick of liking people. I wish to god I could meet someone I could respect.”
I feel very fortunate in my life right now. I am not surrounded by a million people who I know and like ok, all of whom I could hold a 5 minute silly conversation with, ripened by lackluster philosophical debates, pc political buzzwords, or fanciful absurdisms, like I was at college. but the people I am surrounded by in Seattle, ALL 15 OF EM, are respectable to my eyes. At one point or another you have to make a decision to stop busying yourself with being likeable and start building yourself into a human who is respectable (by your own standards). I think building your own respectability is a respectable task in itself. Humans are good. Have a good core. Jane loves her sister. She sort of sucks. Who knows.
When I read her blog and talk about her O-so-terrible qualities, it makes me lose respect for myself. My dislike for Jane is not an isolated quirk of personality. It is a sprout with deep roots. There is something in me that is fickle. That is occupied by fickle items. I could cut the sprout to the dirt but the roots would still be embedded in my soul or in my skull or in my heart.
I write about it to weed myself out. But it’ll take more than just a little work.
AND DO YOU WANT ME TO PULL MY FINAL CARD? strip the final layer of skin from the blood of my flesh? Maybe I just hate her because she is skinnier than I am and her parents support her impractical passions to the teeth. Maybe it’s that.
*This link is not to Laura’s original blog… but to something she worked on at art school. Probably from a while ago. She tried to major in merchandizing and fashion journalism. She quit them and now she is in journalism. The fashion world is yucky and a terrifying rat race pretty much anywhere you go.
**I say styling is a medium, not because it is a medium of art, but because it is a creative medium. Huge difference. Styling is not art. Styling is creative structuring. Creative structuring is a skill and a talent that can be developed, but it is not an ART. Designing is an art. Sometimes a good designer is a terrible stylist, but inherent to the design is a component of styling. You can’t design without style, but you can style without designing.
***Not to say that styling isn’t respectable. It is. And while it suits Jane as an occupation because styling necessitates restraint, which she lacks, I think better stylists create their own system of restraint and transcend the limits supplied by the body.
****Acceptance of the hierarchy which old money perches on like a rheumy old hen sitting on a golden egg on top of a mountain of corn IS THE ENEMY. Acceptance and passivity in the face of power structures created by money, that’s the trap.The struggling American education system at the mercy of the powerfully rich playing games for more power.
And old money or no money, being “nouveau riche” is a crime punishable by social ostracizing. This problem isn’t American. It is global, excepting Asia. The nouveau riche upset the power structure. They strike fear into those whose money is churned out by dated industries. And, they are brilliantly brash and fresh and bright and smart and NOT INBRED. They crash weddings and they throw them like they’re tossing back thousand dolla scotch.
Jane’s lack of restraint is not innocent or boisterous or brilliantly brash (these qualities are the true zeitgeist of Americana now and forever). Jane puts on mondo airs by calling out her detachment as a bubble of whimsy. The mighty vantage point of being “above it all”. I bet it’s super duper nice up there. EAT CAKE.
and now latelies and mentalgems, its time for me to eat my words. all of them. like a contest. How many can I stuff down my throat in 2 minutes tops? really vibin’ on female carpenter vibez tonight. I met all of Eric’s coworkers and mentor and everything the other night… and they are the most intelligent, weird, multi-talented… humans I’ve ever met collectively. The combination of intelligence and creativity with hands on working and detailing is the most astonishing thing.
To celebrate that, I spent too much of my paycheck on a “utility” alexander wang skirt at 1/4 its original cost.
Sometimes I am a deplorable human.
vibe vibe vibe