Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sometimes I Have Skin Trouble: Clothing Edition

So in my Racialicious essay, I said something to the effect, "corsets looked uncomfortable, and being Asian, I'd look dumb wearing Western clothing."

Which kind of made me do a trackback after a bit, because pretty much everything I wear is "Western". You know? T-shirts? Jeans? Blouses? Tank tops?

Of course, I was talking about stuff like Victorian dresses. Imagining myself in one, I feel silly. Wrong look, wrong shape, wrong skin colour, wrong phenotype, wrong everything-with-my-appearance.

But, well, look, it's been done before.

This problem, of course, doesn't apply to aforementioned modern clothes. As part of the cultural assimilation process, we've all taken quite happily to T-Shirts and jeans (besides which, they're bloody practical).

It's when I get to the frilly stuff, the more outre clothes, like that worn in the goth subculture, that I feel weird. I know the Japanese have taken to these kinds of clothing quite swimmingly, but I am not Japanese.

Perhaps my trouble is that I don't like wearing something that marks my race out quite so startlingly. Which then leads to the next question - what then, can I wear which doesn't mark my race? Because I'm pretty sure my face already does that.

I would like to wear something which feels like I belong in them. Something that not only matches my sensibilities but also reflects where I am from, how I grew up. I would like some blend of ethnicity alongside practicality.

I'm not asking for some messed up ethnic fusion which means taking away more fabric from the "ethnic" costume.

....... This may call for some sketches being made.

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