Shopping

2

I both love and loathe shopping. I love hunting for clothes that fit my style perfectly: a little creepy, a little cute. There’s great satisfaction in finding awesome items. However, I despise the rigid gender norms present in almost all clothing stores.

Now, there was a time when I solely wore men’s clothing. I never even entertained the idea of wearing women’s clothing. And why would I? Crossdressing is still taboo in most parts of the world. Parents certainly aren’t going to encourage their kids to explore the world of gender-bending. What would society think, after all? I followed the norm like everyone else.

At a point, I found myself wanting to experiment with feminine clothing. Some obstacles came with this decision, though:

1.) Weird looks from other shoppers

~ Being the only guy in the women’s clothing department can be awkward. I get many strange looks, which aren’t fun. I can’t say I blame the shoppers for their reactions. However, it’s fucking rude. Gawking at anyone for whatever reason is beyond rude. The stares, in turn, make me very uncomfortable and ruin a bit of the shopping experience. I’m not some pervert touching all the sexy lingerie to get off. I just want to buy some pretty heels because they make me happy. I don’t think most people make that connection. They are too stuck on the shock of it all. Some crossdress as a sexual fetish, but plenty of others just partake in it to express how they feel on the inside. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with expressing your femininity through fashion. People’s opinions need to change, not those who crossdress themselves.

2.) Things don’t fit

~ With a shoe size of 10 and a height of 5’10”, women’s clothing isn’t really geared for me. Finding cute shoes isn’t easy. I’m not Paris Hilton (sadly), so I can’t afford to pay someone to make me custom heels. I suppose I could go shop in a drag store, but I don’t consider myself a queen. I’ve actually had to return clothes that were too small for me because I bought them without even checking if they were in women’s or men’s sizes first. (Thanks Hot Topic :P) If I see something pretty, then I buy it. Luckily, jewelry always fits, so I can purchase all the sparkly things I want. I actually have very feminine hands with long fingers, so I love wearing rings. My mom hates my fingers, but hey, that’s genetics. πŸ˜‰

3.) The men’s clothing section bores me

~ It always seems like the men’s clothing section is smaller than the women’s section. This means that the available options are limited. I enjoy being unique. I have no desire to look like everyone else. I’m not trying to prove anything. I just dress how I feel in things I like. Three types of pants and variations of the same shirt in muted colors don’t entice me. I do find men’s clothes I love, but not enough of them to fill my wardrobe with. Fashion is limitless, so why limit my style? The men’s section has cute stuff, but The Little Mermaid leggings over yonder are screaming my name. And I’m not going to deny myself. Ariel is a legit fashion inspiration for me. When I get bored shopping in the men’s department, I can just hop over to the women’s section. Totally the best of both worlds. Mixing feminine and masculine clothing is really fun to do.

My remedy to these obstacles has been online shopping. I can find extended sizes in clothing and shoes. I also don’t have to deal with haters and their disapproving attitudes. Win win. πŸ™‚

I think I’ll end this post with some pictures of stuff I bought on my last shopping spree.

Skulls and Diamonds

I harassed a cute store employee until he found this shirt for me. I wasn’t leaving without it. It’s so scene.

Spikes, Studs, and Frankenstein

Belt and bracelet found in the ladies department. All my studded belts are broken from wearing them too much, so I needed a new one. And 99 cents forΒ Frankenstein…hells yeah!

Swimsuit

New swimsuit. Not that I swim. Or would be caught dead topless. I don’t know why people keep assuming I bought a Speedo when I tell them I got a new swimsuit. haha Do I seriously come off that slutty?

Tie Dye Skulls

Tie dye and skulls. For those grunge days.

Gothic Charm School

3

Image

Is this my very first book review? I think it might just be. It seems fitting for my first to be the informative and adorable Gothic Charm School by Jillian Venters. Complete with gothy makeup tips, badass illustrations (by the author’s talented husband), and great advice for Goths (and everyone else, really), this book was an enjoyable read. It even confirmed my suspicion that I was a Goth, too! (Sidenote: I once was that person who was too special and awesome to be tied down with labels. Nowadays, I happily embrace them. Maturity is a funny thing.)

I will be shamelessly honest in saying I was drawn to this book because the title reminded me of one of my favorite crappy reality TV shows. The difference is, Gothic Charm School is full of class and Rock of Love: Charm School was full of…trash. (I believe being a stripper/porn star was a requirement on that show.) As we all know, stripping is not polite. The Lady of the Manners (a.k.a. author Jillian Venters) simply wouldn’t stand for it. Scaring children intentionally and acting a drunken fool are off limits in her book, too, ghoulies.

The main premise behind Gothic Charm School is to treat others how you would like to be treated. Just because someone calls you a freak due to your elaborate makeup and Victorian fashion does not give you free reign to retaliate. Let’s please not reinforce any scary stereotypes the general public has about us darklings. The Lady of the Manners stresses the importance of etiquette in romantic relationships, at the club, and even on a job interview. No, little old grandma really doesn’t need to see your new PVC corset, no matter how cute it is. Respect others and they will respect your gothiness, too.

I actually learned quite a bit more about the Gothic subculture through this book. Jillian’s tips and recommendations are really helpful, especially if you’re new to the subculture. While I was never a babybat (a naive teenage Goth), I suppose I was an emo kid. As I’ve gotten older, I naturally drifted more to the darkside, but I think I was hesitant to fully embrace my gothiness. I thought I would be viewed as childish for not outgrowing the hair dye and decadent fashion I loved. The Lady of the Manners made me feel a lot better about embracing my individuality. According to her, Goth is for all ages and people who disagree don’t know what they’re blabbering about. Jillian herself resembles a Gothic Mary Poppins and often gets mistaken for a Christmas caroler. lol How freaking awesome is that?

Image

Jillian Venters

Thanks to Gothic Charm School, I’ve now learned how to remove hair dye from bathroom surfaces, survive the Summer in Goth clothing, and explain why Marilyn Manson is not Goth. I also now have a bunch of music and book recommendations to explore. The Lady of the Manners should write many more books! πŸ˜‰