22 November 2005

"because every once in a while life actually becomes a made-for-TV movie"

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving Break for the opportunity to write something of substance, but until then, I will let Ratto speak for me. I can't say I didn't shed a few tears on the way to work while reading this article. Big Game was fun as always (since we started winning that is) and it made it even more rewarding that Danika was finally there to see Call take down her precious Cardinal (Enter evil cackle here)


10 November 2005

With my twenty-something female friends the topic of nuance and choice comes up quite often. Can we be "girlie" and taken seriously? Are we innocent or experienced? Adults or some post-college pre-adulthood? Is it possible to be emotional and driven? Potential mothers or career-minded? Can we appreciate luxury and be cognizant of poverty? Am I doomed to be categorized, or can I walk the nuanced line between stark contrast?

Many of you know I love my designer jeans... and when I read this article on Slate I was fascinated with the ingeniously cogent analysis Louisa Thomas put forth. I am but one of many young women struggling to define a personal identity in a world that constantly attempts to define it for me. Young women are drawn to objects/commodities that similarly live within a gray area, defying simple categorization. I like the way Thomas deconstructs the designer jean fad to show how their use serves two purposes in two worlds, thus allowing women to co-exist in both. Thomas notes both the lure of celebrity and superior fit as surface level reasons for designer jean appeal and then moves on to the crux of her analysis...

"But the real appeal of designer jeans may be that they are at once egalitarian and exclusive, lowbrow and high-end. They transform their wearer into a social chameleon of sorts, allowing her to look like any other American while signaling her status-consciousness to those in the know. Celebrities can thus wear $675 Dolce & Gabbana jeans and project a down-to-earth image. College freshmen can emulate celebrities without seeming like they're trying—and without worry about fitting in, since everybody's wearing the same thing. Indeed, jeans have become the staple item, acceptable almost anywhere, day and night. This is true in part because dress has generally become less formal, but also because the thinking seems to be: If jeans cost as much as a Vera Wang dress, shouldn't they be good enough for a movie premiere? And anyone who pays this much for jeans can trust that the price won't go unnoticed. Like a Mercedes medallion or the print of a Louis Vuitton bag, the symbol on the back pocket sends a signal to those versed in identifying labels. This is consumption conspicuous only to those whom conspicuous consumption doesn't offend."