universal beauty, learn the rules
I’ve been writing about different iconic and national styles and style icons: places and women that appear in glossy magazines; glossy-glossy people and venues. While I admit that it can all become too much, what I like about the glossy-glossy are ideas, inspirations, and what I’ve learned.
Thus far, there are four things I’ve learned and firmly believe in when it comes to beauty and fashion. I generally don’t like lists of anything except the groceries I have to buy, or the errands I have to run. We all know why lists exist, but how much do we ever really learn from them?
Italian story part III, Bat Gio, the Vespa
(If you missed ’em, read parts I, and II of my Italian story.)
As I’m walking beside the Circus Maximus, I sense something behind me. That is I sense someone behind me, and when I turn around, I find a blond, curly-haired young man straddling a lemon-yellow Vespa. I have no idea why I didn’t hear him ride up—those things make noise—but I didn’t. I think I was in a reverie, walking towards the Coliseum, in Rome, on a gorgeous summer morning. The sight of this interloper, reverie buster, both annoyed and pleased me. After all, I was meant to be alone on this trip.
I once had a boss who had two sheros: Frida Kahlo and Marilyn Monroe. Darkness and light, fragmentation and wholeness, hard and soft in both of them. Interesting, right? Well to me, that describes most women. Kahlo’s art work was once described as a “ribbon around a bomb.” If you know anything about Kahlo’s art and life you know how apt that description is. And what do we say about Monroe? Well, she appears to be ditzy but she’s smart, she’s open and unattainable. Undoubtably though, both women were vulnerable.
There was a time when I wanted to hide my vulnerability. Honestly, I wanted to be invulnerable, hard as nails. But I was the opposite, and I felt weak and I equated vulnerability with weakness. Today, I’m trying to stop seeing vulnerability as weakness, but I find it increasingly hard to do. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s noticed that misogyny seems to be blossoming everywhere. It’s in our face, make no mistake: from childhood to old age, women are under siege.
I’ve found that vulnerability, and the ways in which it’s an asset, has been a popular topic lately. Please see this amazing TED talk called The Power of Vulnerability given by Brené Brown…