|Sunglasses, earrings, and sandals: vintage; Top: Old Navy; Skirt: vintage gift from a friend|
As is usual for me, it led me to think Deep Thoughts, in this case about oration, writing, and rhetoric and the body's role in all three. But we'll get to that later. First: the outfit.
It's a skirt best seen in motion. It swishes, it rustles, it flips. As I wrote in my last post with this skirt, it immediately calls to mind ballerinas of yore, when their skirts weren't so short and their bodies weren't so thin. In keeping with this look, I chose to wear a tank top and a very casual, high updo, like a ballerina in rehearsal.
I just had a much needed hair cut and, as always when my hair is shorter, my little corkscrew curl escaped and took off on its own. I've had that curl since I was absolutely wee, I have a photo of me at about two with said escaped curl.
And check out my eyelashes: I told you I was a natural red-ish head! Even my eyelashes are auburn. I somehow get a kick out of that.
But let's get on to my earrings! Despite my three piercings in one ear and two in the other, lately, I've been really into clip-on earrings from the 50s and early 60s. I love the way they follow the lines of the ear and jawline to create a wonderful, feminine elegance.
They're also generally quite cheap as so few people want to wear them, convinced as they are that they will hurt. Some do, but many do not. If you're willing to fuss with screw-back earrings, you can get them even cheaper.
I got this thermoset pair for $10 and was so eager to wear them for my blog (that's you, dear reader) that I didn't worry too much about the fact that they don't quite match the skirt. I figured there was enough space between the skirt and the earrings that the mismatch of colours would not be easily noticed.
Besides, I didn't so much colour coordinate this outfit as choose colours that created a fun, sunny mood, as befits such a whimsical skirt.
I got these shoes from a street vendor for only $10. They're Aerosoles and are wonderfully comfortable on my always aching back. They're very soft on the soles of my feet too.
Yes, I know I'm very white. I've mentioned it before. These feet were in the sun all summer. Really. The freckles on my arms prove it.
Altogether, I think the outfit worked quite well, yes? I'd like more canes in more colours and patterns, but the black one wasn't too bad. It didn't really detract from the outfit, did it?
Now on to the meat of my post, the thesis if you will. Notice how much I've talked about my body in this post? Does it sound vain or trivial? See if I change your mind as you continue reading.
Perhaps because the skirt is so lovely in motion, I was in motion a lot as Beau took these photos.
|Marlon Brando as Marc Antony in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar|
It's true: I'm a talker. I have been all my life. While I may possess the gift of the gab, I hope that I also possess the rigor of the rhetorician. I recall from high school that Antony's speech was presented to us as a prime example of fine rhetoric: the ability to convince others of your view, by using the fine art of speaking and writing with flourish, beauty, and reason.
|Portia in Julius Caesar|
Are these poses universal? They seem to be.
Portia used her body to convince her husband, Brutus, of her own argument -- that she could be trusted with a secret. She stabbed herself most brutally in her inner thigh, then gave no sign of her pain in word or in deed. He was convinced and he told her his secret.
As someone whose body has been brutalized and suffers terrible, constant pain as a result, I am all for the inclusion of the relevance of the body in all our comings and goings in this world, including or the content and form of our rhetoric.
This sets me apart from many academics who claim that the body is a social construct. (Don't get it? Don't worry. I think it's a stupid idea.) It sets me apart from many philosophers who see the body as little more than a container for the mind, its sufferings, needs, and pleasures irrelevant to any truly intelligent understanding of the world, politics, and society.
The body is relevant and it is through the body that we communicate with one another.
|Some kind of feminist gathering or conference in the early 70s. Gloria Steinem is smoking on the left.|
The body is the vehicle for communication, even when we're writing. When the body fails us, so does our ability to communicate. Just ask anyone with a neurological disability that makes movement, including speaking and writing, difficult or even impossible.
|Marlon Brando as Antony|
|Martin Luther King, Jr.|
The body is relevant. The body is central to every aspect of living. It is not merely a carcas in which our souls and voices abide. We are our bodies -- free or enslaved, fit or broken, black or white, male or female -- and we have to speak and write within its limitations, and within the limitations placed upon it by an often unjust society.
So don't forget to enjoy your body too! Speak with it, write with it, listen with it. But also adorn it, love it, treat it with kindness.
Adorned and vocal, hear you roar.
(I'm sharing this over at Visible Mondays on Not Dead Yet.)