Do you ever feel like you’re misunderstood?
Rachel Hills does, in “Lessons in Feminist Activism, From Someone Who Has Been on Both Sides”:
“I felt like I was being mischaracterised… by 20 I was well and truly a feminist. A bottle-blonde, Elle Woods style feminist with a penchant for pink, perhaps, but very definitely a feminist nonetheless.”
And I certainly do sometimes. The other day I was called a “closet feminist”, which I found as offensive as if I had been homosexual and called closeted. Or, just because I take pride in my appearance and like me a new clothing purchase here or there, the copious amounts of blogs, articles, books and non-fashion-related magazines I read mean nothing, because people think all I read about is fashion. (To be honest, I find nothing more boring than reading about fashion.) Or, when I asked to borrow a copy of a friend’s Time magazine when they were done with it, they retorted with “why?! There’s no fashion or celebrity items in there!” (It was the 100 Most Influential People issue with Lady Gaga on the cover, so technically, there were celebrity items in there!)
Sometimes I feel like my life is one big Clueless repeat. When Cher cracks it with Josh for telling her not to worry about her dad’s business going under and to go shopping instead, that is a constant conversation I seem to have with people in my life.
Or, in Legally Blonde, which Hills refers to, when Elle is shunned from Enid Wexler’s study group when she approaches them in her signature uniform of pink, bearing a basket of muffins; I can’t say an incident like that has ever happened to me, but I can definitely empathise with Elle’s dejected feeling when she’s deemed not worthy (or not smart) enough to join their group.
Not everybody makes me feel like this: I have a handful of very close friends who know me inside and out, and know that what I present myself as on the outside is not necessarily a reflection of what’s on the inside.
My defense mechanism is to put on a cold, ditzy, Valley Girl-esque persona, which is why most people don’t like me when they meet me. But at the end of the day, it’s not about what people who don’t know you think about you; as long as you, and the people close to you, are happy with who you are, not what you wear or what you choose to do in your own time, that’s all that matters.
Images via YouTube.