Monday, May 26, 2008
Having an Audience
One thing that can be a little disconcerting about living as a pinup is all the attention one gets. I know what some would say to this--that they wish they got so many looks, or perhaps that this is conceit and vanity on my part--but I'm here to tell you that in any case, it's not easy having a constant audience.
I started modeling my everyday style after 1950s pinups about two or three years ago. At first when people were staring at me, it felt awkward. It feels like a cross between flattery and espionage, and often times I wondered if something hanging from my nose was the reason for the attention. By now, though, I've gotten fairly used to it. Little boys and little girls sometimes snicker at me on the subway, older women lean in and whisper together with their eyes locked on my face, and men's eyes travel me up and down. I imagine that some people like the look, some think it's exhibitionist, and at its worst maybe they think I'm a freak of some kind. Perhaps still others wonder if they're walking by a celebrity--after all, big sunglasses and hats are common props for disguise, and famous people are always so polished, right?
Here I am making guesses at what may be going through the
minds of the onlookers, because only a fraction of them actually say something. When they do, it's often to compliment the look as a whole or in pieces, and there have been some humorous ones too. I was standing on an escalator one day when a woman ran up it with great urgency to tell me that my seamed stockings were crooked. It was as though she thought I should stop right there, hitch up my skirt and adjust my garter among the other morning commuters. Another time, a woman asked me if I just came from one of the theaters, because do I know that I'm dressed entirely in vintage?
Unfortunately, yes, some of the comments are not welcome, but these are few and far between. I think this has to do with the fact that I dress like a lady, and my look commands that I be treated like one. No one has ever said anything so inappropriate to me that I started screaming at them on the street, no one has rubbed up against me or grabbed me. Generally I'm thanking someone who kindly told me that I look nice, or I'm spelling out the name of the website where I got my dress/stockings/makeup for someone scribbling on a piece of paper they dug out of their bag. Oddly enough, the reason I never pursued acting was because I didn't like being watched. Like I said, I'm better with it than I used to be, enjoy it sometimes and tire of it at other times. In the end, I hope that I'm one of many to inspire others to make classic beauty a part of their daily life. You only live once, and there's no reason not to look your best doing it.