Friday, July 19, 2013

Sometimes it hurts to be a hipster

The other day I was accused of being impractical. More specifically, an impractical 'fashion type'. There was no malice in this accusation and I wasn't deeply offended, but it surprised me. I have always thought of myself as a very practical individual, which is probably why I loved running a large business. I like order and functionality. I enjoy things like stock audit and tax time and creating a budget with Excel that will calculate the interest I'm paying on my credit cards and applicable exchange rates (I have a credit card in England which I have to pay off on the's a bad time for me right now).

In my personal life I am practical too. For example, I have never owned expensive furniture because it's not really important to me if it looks like it came straight from the set of The Golden Girls, so long as it does its job. I refused to throw out my old 35cm television because it still worked, I was until it died. Which it never did. We left it on the curb when we moved overseas, my boyfriend of the time snorting his derision as he placed his BBQ beside it with a sign saying 'Free'. 'Nobody will ever take that,' he said. The following day the BBQ sat alone, the little TV having been whisked away to a new home.

I believe in honesty maybe to the point of bluntness, because I think we're all too busy to be tiptoeing around a subject. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, I just appreciate the same level of honesty in return. I would be more embarrassed to find out I had broccoli in my teeth or my lash was sliding down my cheek or you were offended by my 'I don't like your Face' Sweatshirt, than if you actually just came out and told me straight to my face. 'Hey Ebony, you've got shit in your teeth?' 'Serious? Thanks for telling me.' Really, it's not that hard.

I realise that everyone's measure of 'practical' is different. From the casual observers point of view, my love of fashion may make it seem like functionality isn't important to me. I want to wear heels everywhere, even if it means I have to hold someone's arm like a pensioner while we walk down hills. What you're not aware of, is I have a pair of Dr Scholls flats folded up in my purse. So when we're down the chippy at 2am, I won't be the drunken barefoot girl waiting for her kebab. Totally practical. OK, so my Bjorg spine ring made my finger go a bit numb at first, but once you understand you need to take it off every hour to get the blood flowing, you're good as gold. My Ray Ban prescription hipster glasses DO slide down my nose and force me to tilt my head backwards to see my computer screen...hang on, I can't really justify that because my neck does hurt, but I do look SUPER cool.

This is all pretty minor stuff, trust me. I've lived in Manchester and have seen girls walking around in strappy sandals and bodycon dresses IN THE SNOW. I wanna look good, but I don't wanna lose my toes to frostbite. So I'm thinking I lie somewhere bang in the middle of Lady Gaga and Sue Sylvester (Who doesn't love an adidas track pant with a nice heel though? Come on). 

Really all any of this says is that I express myself through the way I dress. Just because I'm not seeking appropriate arch support at all times, doesn't mean I can't still balance a profit and loss statement or make a great lasagne or fix a tap. Lady Gaga is arguably one of the most successful business women of the last few years, named Forbes most influential pop star with an alleged net worth of $80 million, and she wore a meat dress.

I'm no Lady Gaga, but I'm more than comfortable with who I am. Being confident in yourself and proud of your own achievements is far more important than worrying about others people's perceptions of you. My neck might be hurting from my hipster glasses, but that has never hurt my career, my relationships or my skills. Go forth and conquer my fashionable friends.
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