Strange Dreams: Body Work

Do people wear clothes?  Or do clothes wear people?  I had another wacky dream last night and got some answers to these questions.  I’ve kinda always thought that real people wear real clothes (like off-the-rack type clothes) and that the haute couture type clothes wear people.  My dream explored anorexic models, clothes as art, and runways.

Clothes as art are designed by true artists, but not necessarily to complement bodies.  Our perception of what humans should look like is so out of kilter that models have restructured their bodies to unreal proportions so these clothes can wear them:  young women with the bodies of young boys, women with butts so large they can balance champagne glasses atop them, women with breasts so large they look like they’ll topple over, both men and women with so much plastic surgery they’re not recognizable except by DNA testing.  Hairstyles from which real birds fly, helmet hair, colors that don’t occur in nature anywhere.  Makeup that magnifies, geometricizes, and creates skin color unknown to man.

The dream provided me with a viable solution to some of these problems.  I propose society approves the use of robot models for designer clothing.  These robots could be the women’s size zero or two, or whatever ridiculous negative the clothes are designed for.  They could be made of the same materials as those real-life-like baby dolls with soft skin and angelic,but angry-looking, faces.  They could wear various wigs to accent the designer clothes and could wear whatever makeup the artist chooses.  They would be scrubbable and pose-able.  They’d be seven feet tall with a twenty-inch waist, and legs the length of three-quarters of their total body height.  They’d float down the runway, one foot exactly in front of the other, and wouldn’t trip or fall in footwear that isn’t shoes.  They could be remotely controlled from the audience to perform at any moment to highlight the designer’s vision.  Best of all, they wouldn’t ever have the need to eat.

The rest of us could then be free to be human, to have cellulite, and to eat pie without any guilt whatsoever.  We could happily continue to shop for clothes at Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Ross, and all the other wonderful places where we can buy clothes in which we can sit, run, drive, and enjoy ourselves.

Published in: on November 21, 2014 at 7:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Happy Halloween!

Girl in Halloween costume, 1955 (credit:  Mashable)Halloween Mask

Halloween is next week already.  More and more neighbors are running to the store for decorations.  Our neighborhood is decked out to the nines with orange and purple lights and gigantic spiders made of black garbage bags and enormous, house-sized rope spiderwebs.  Yards have been turned into Styrofoam cemeteries and there are coffins on every corner.  Costumes have become elaborate, so much more than when I was a kid.  Our costumes were certainly not store-bought; we’d pull out our rattiest clothes and oldest shoes (think Dad’s old work pants cut down to child length) with a flannel shirt and suspenders.  Sometimes we’d stuff leaves in them so we’d look “lumpy.”  We’d burn cork and rub the ash on our faces to look like unshaven bums, and into our hair so it would look dirty.  We all went as “a hobo.”  Do kids today even know what a hobo is?  Remember the vagrants who used to ride the rails and hang out in the yards?  They weren’t homeless or beggars.  They were just transient.  Long before spray-painted graffiti on the train cars.  A hobo would never deface his chosen method of transportation.  Those were the last days of the Iron Horse (the black steam engine) and boxcars chugging along with open doors, inviting the hobos to hop in and take a ride.

Other than the candy, I hate Halloween.  I do not like to be scared.  There is a definite difference between being afraid and being scared.  There’s nothing of which I’m afraid, but I scare easily.  I despise haunted houses and horror movies.  My children and grandchildren love these things and love to scare me.

I do enjoy the little Trick-or-Treaters, but three barking dogs for four straight hours frays my nerves. It took years of coaxing by my family to let my four children go trick-or-treating back in the day.  I felt that I’d spent all year drilling the “don’t talk to strangers” thing into them; I certainly didn’t want to send them out begging candy from strangers one night a year.  I could afford to buy them all the candy they needed and they didn’t need to beg for it.  I was finally overruled and after hours of walking them up and down streets in my town, they’d empty pillowcases of crap, the cheapest of which we’d still find hidden alongside their beds in April.  The teachers at our school would make math games for the kids during the first week of November.  Graph your chocolate, non-chocolate, fruit, gum, non-food items.  Ugh.

What I do miss is “Injun Summer.”  This was published every year by the Chicago Tribune until everyone got up in arms about the “Injun” implication and they discontinued it.  I’d wait for it every year.  When my dad would pull out the wire garbage can and burn leaves in our driveway, I was sure I could see those indians dancing around the fire in their buckskin and silent moccasins.  They were real to me and I respected them and admired them as indigenous Americans.  I loved the ritual of the burning leaves: the dry leaves crackling in the blue-orange fire and the wonderful smell.  I miss roasting marshmallows on the fire and throwing foil-wrapped potatoes into it, only to be rewarded with the most delicious baked potatoes as the fire died.  Most of all, I miss my dad.


Ya’know how all the non-Christians get up in arms over nativity sets at Christmastime?  I’m thinking about making a fuss about Halloween.

Who’s with me?

Published in: on October 24, 2014 at 12:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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