I decided to look good today. Looking good is my finger up to the world, I may be skint, I may be on the way to the job center, I may be a sleep deprived single mum but thanks to charity shops and Primark I can still rock a look, take pride and enjoy my original brand of femininity and style.
1 So I put on the lovely platforms my daughter bought me for Christmas, against doctors orders, my knees are messed up from years of walking, raving and skateboarding , so I march into town in trainers and have the big, glorious shoes in my bag to change into for my first appointment. Sometimes the pain of big shoes can be worth the pain for the few inches in height and the confidence they can give a girl, I understand the thrill of the drag queen because in different shoes I'm a slightly different woman, no longer the tomboy but a woman with longer legs and a bigger attitude, that's until my ankle turns and I walk on slightly embarrassed, hoping nobody has seen my femininity fail.
Then the job centre, where I see my ex (see poems), we don't speak but he stares, are his eyes judging me? Why should I care? Seeing him looking good felt like a finger up to him, this man tried to ruin my life, so I walk out proud that I didn't start a Jeremy Kyle style row and I looked good, a sign that all the time he spent trying to ruin me was a waste of time, I may be in the job centre but I've spent the last two years doing a foundation degree so hopefully this will be one of my few visits to the job centre of modern shame and I simply wont have to come across him.
I walk out confidently, feeling a bit more cocky than usual thanks to being taller and well dressed, soon my feet start to hurt, really sting. I take some photos for my voluntary job and then give in, I'm back to average, one of the lads me in old trainers.
The heels are my choice and I know they are a foolish one, they hurt, my doctor has told them they are not for me, they are a choice, you can simply take them off and put on your trainers, I feel no pressure to wear them, I would be furious if somebody took that choice away "for my own good." or another woman judged me for wearing them.
I have to walk down the street, I have no choice. So I walk home, at a crossing a man shouts "get your tits out" I am furious, I have had this abuse since I was 14 and I have always shouted back, the thought of being an object to abuse disgusts me. Then he calls me "ugly", I look at his red, fat face and tell him to "crack a mirror". The funny thing is over my respectable top I'm wearing a baggy denim jacket, hardly provocative, not that it should matter anyway I should be able to walk down the street in a bikini, a boiler suit or a niqab if I feel like it. I'm not the only woman not to welcome this attention, surveys show women feel many emotions from disgusted to frightened, shouting back makes me feel a little better.
Do we have to look like men to feel safe? If so why should we give up the pleasure of looking good so horrible men don't abuse us? isn't that a form of repression? I would love to see a world where men enjoyed their clothes as much as women. A woman walking down the street is not wrong, she is not a threat but a man giving unwanted attention is a huge threat, especially when it's crude and aggressive abuse.
3 I long for a world where clothes are simply a way of expressing ourselves and we can enjoy our femininity, wear a boiler suit, a bikini or a niqab depending on the day, but life is more complicated and maybe I'm naive, while a woman can't walk down the street wearing whatever she pleases we need feminism.