Tuesday, March 19, 2013

On the Effort of Getting Dressed

Photo Collage for 3_19_13 Post_JPEG

“Wear a tired, frumpy face and chances are pretty high that the world will give you its tired, frumpy goods, its gray silt and stones.  On the other hand, dress up for the day, insisting on optimism, and you’ll find that you have more love in you than you knew.”

The quote above comes from a story by Lauren Slater called “Getting Lighter.”  It was published in the April 2013 issue of O.  It’s the story of how Slater, who has suffered from severe, lifelong depression, decides to use grooming and dressing up each day as a way of beating back the darkness that threatens to swallow her.  Restricted by her depression to just a few precious hours of mental clarity each day, she muddles through primping and fussing with clothes each day and finds that indeed, her efforts are not in vain.  Her spirits are lifted by the love and attention she gives to her exterior, proving that beauty is anything but skindeep.

Mostly the essay made me feel grateful that for me, each day is a delightful chance to wear a dress, put my hair up, and pick out a pair of earrings.  And when I don’t get dressed on the weekends, it’s an indulgence, a choice.  I am lazing about, taking a break from my normal beauty labor.  Most weekends I do get dressed—three out of the four photos above are weekend shots—but there is a world of difference between choosing not to get dressed and lacking the time, the energy, the will to take a shower and put on real clothes.

Try to catch “Getting Lighter” if you can.  I haven’t found a copy of it on-line, but it should be on newsstands now.  And with that, I thank you for indulging me in a narcissistic post featuring pictures of ME, just like Oprah always puts herself on the cover of O.

(For the record, I do prefer to be behind the lens rather than in front!)


Laurie said...

So nice to see your friendly face. Having just started posting self-portraits online myself, I know how strange stepping out from behind the lens can feel.

Will have to look for that article.

Rosiecat said...

Aw, thanks, sweet Laurie! I think you are super adorable--I'm looking forward to catching up on your posts tonight :-) Having read your words for so long without having an idea of what you looked like, it's a real treat to see you in photos.

(But seriously: a whole photo collage featuring pictures of me? I liked putting it together, but there was definitely a moment of YIKES NARCISSISM! when I put the collage into my post draft. I try to think of it less as HEY LOOK AT MEEEEE! and more as sharing. Hopefully my readers agree! Otherwise, yeah: me me me blah blah blah.)

Rosiecat said...

And here, finally, is the original piece from Lauren Slater!