April 1, 2011

            This week Danielle gave me a surprisingly difficult assignment. She asked me to think about some of my favorite movie characters and their unique style. I was then supposed to dress up in my best replica of that style for a day and record my thoughts on the new style. I immediately thought about all my favorite strong and independent female movie characters, from Erin Brockovich to Angelina Jolie in any action movie. But I was quickly faced with a rather disturbing truth; all these strong woman were designed by men for men. With their tight body suits, revealing tops, or sexually charged language, I realized I may have admired their courage and fight power in a movie, but these weren’t the type of women I could look up to and dress like.
I struggled for several days, looking through internet pages titled 100 Greatest Movie Characters (of which only 11 were female) or Movie Characters that became Icons (Scarlet O’Hara would have been rather difficult to imitate). As I grew more and more frustrated, I decided to look up movies instead of just characters. I new I enjoyed the styles in 80s movies the best so I looked for the top movies of the 80s and instantly fell in love with the idea of become Molly Ringwald in 16 Candles or The Breakfast Club. Immediately I took to my moms and my own closet for a floral knee-length dress, a large tee shirt that I could cuff the sleeves on, or a long skirt. I couldn’t find anything remotely similar to her outfits. Now I was really frustrated.
            Then, while looking through a list of newest movie releases, I found exactly what I was looking for; The Runaways. This movie tells the true story of Joan Jett’s all girl rock band known as The Runaways. Although transforming into a 70s rocker is not too far away from my usual dress, allowing myself to go all-out (with leather pants and jacket and even an old black wig) made me feel as if I was truly in that decade. I ran to my parent’s closet to grab some black leather pants, then my dads black converse, then to my own for the jacket, and finally the costume closet for my second grade witch wig (which I cut to model Joan’s hair). Danielle had wanted me to go out and about in my clothing and judge the reactions of people I saw, but when all came down to it, I couldn’t bring myself to go out in front of people in such an outfit. I can’t pinpoint exactly why I ultimately decided not to reveal my outfit to strangers, but I feel that with time confidence will allow me embrace myself no matter what I’m wearing.

Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett

Lindsey Loeper as Joan Jett

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