I recently spent about three hours perusing an inspiring fashion/beauty/interior design/advice blog created by an acquaintance from high school, and it got me thinking. How do girls like this exist, and how does one obtain such a status (maybe I should have read the advice entries more carefully)? Who are these goddesses of high fashion? Are they instructed by elders or do I lack some gene that codes for the proper application of shadows and shimmers? Horrors! Is something missing from my otherwise flawless DNA?! The answer is obviously “no”, yet I can’t shake the feeling that at some point I missed a vital part of becoming a woman.
Though I’ve never been the coolest kid on the block (which isn’t saying much considering I grew up on a ranch and my closest neighbor was a mile away), I’ve at least always considered myself intermediately fashion savvy and about a 7 on the chic-o-meter. Based on extensive research into photo evidence from my past, however, Sarah is downgraded to a 5.3 on her good days.
This delusional and false sense of a fashionable self can be attributed to one of two opposing, and equally wrong, schools of thought, depending on how I am feeling. I have supported my points with examples from sixth grade, arguably one of the most severely awkward years of my young life:
1. Sarah picks ONE stylish element of the moment and sticks to it.
Result: An electric blue cream eye shadow pencil from Claire’s loses its cool when paired with an oversized Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, ill-fitting Canyon River Blues jeans (damn you, awkward chicken legs!), and Reeboks. Keep in mind this was sixth grade. Electric blue eye shadow was ‘da bomb’…the rest, not so much.
2. On the other side of the spectrum, Sarah sometimes opts to pick EVERY stylish element of the moment in hopes that the more trends she abides by, the cooler she’ll be.
Result: THE WORST OUTFIT EVER WORN BY MANKIND.
The time was 7:00 AM, and I was in a rush to get ready. Logically, I grabbed the coolest things I could from my closet as to not waste any time. The result was perhaps the most ghastly thing any middle-schooler has ever worn, and assuming you, Dear Reader, were once in middle school, you understand how gruesome this imagery is about to get.
The pants were from Limited Too. Lilac. Covered in silver glitter. Bell bottoms. High waters.
It was cold out, so I grabbed my favorite and coolest pullover hoodie. It was two sizes too big, but it was Hurley, and therefore ensured I would catch the attention of all the cute skater boys. It was also red.
Just in case that wasn’t eye-catching enough, I pulled on my new white and orange Osiris D3 skate shoes. You know the ones.
According to middle school mantra, the greater the likeness your shoe shared with a jumbo marshmallow, the cooler you were, and these were about the puffiest of them all. These shoes may have been my saving grace on any other day…if it weren’t for the fact that my thighs were about as big around as my ankles, making me look like a giant bird (Seriously, take a moment and combine those last two photos in your brainspace).
Alas, I consistently chose to ignore this fact and wore them every day for three years. Rocket Dogs also sometimes made an appearance. Don’t act like you didn’t either own a pair or desperately desire one!
To top off the look, I put my hair up in two very high pigtails. There may or may not have been scrunchies involved. I carefully pulled out two long, thin strands of hair to frame my tiny face, looked in the mirror, and thought, “Perfect. I look like a blend of Lizzie McGuire, Avril Lavigne, and all of the Spice Girls.” Then I slapped on some of that blue eye shadow for good measure, sparing no part of my eyelid. It’s moments like these that I seriously question my sanity.
The saddest part is that this atrocity against all that is fashionable, otherwise known as Sarah, is still taking place. It’s an inescapable part of my being. Right now I’m thinking, “Wow, that outfit I wore out to the club last night was soooo trendy. It’s a shame I didn’t run in to any cool girls from my past to prove that I too can look cool.” In ten years, I will undoubtedly look back at pictures from the evening’s revelries and experience the same queasiness I do when thumbing through old yearbooks.
I just have to live with the fact that I will never live up to society’s style expectations of a woman my age. Unless of course Jellies are involved. Jellies were the pinnacle of the fashion industry, and on this point I will not be swayed.