Thursday, May 10, 2012

On The Subject of Princes (Or Princesses, If That More Strikes Your Fancy)

Okay, ladies and gents, let's just admit to this: well-dressed people are attractive.

You know it and I know it. It's the sort of truth that I will not even attempt to avoid because it crosses boundaries of subculture, race, and class. Especially if they are dressed in line with an aesthetic we favor, people who dress well and in a flattering way are attractive and bound to catch our eyes. This is just as true in off-kilter fashion as it is in the realms of more conventional style. To some people, a ruffled hem or line of well-applied eyeliner will entice. To others, it's tattoos and piercings. Personally, for me it's men in well-tailored suits of the old-fashioned variety. We love looking at well-dressed people, and we frequently fantasize about being in a romantic relationship with them.

And that's fine.

But here's the thing, dear readers: it can go too far. I see far too many people who want someone to fill a particular slot in terms of a romantic relationship and use the garment choices of a possible romantic partner as the absolute deciding factor.

But it's not necessary that the person you date fit that image.

I wouldn't like it if the person I was with had a defined image of everything they wanted in a relationship and simply pasted me into the position of girlfriend. Why in the world would I construct an elaborate plan for the appearance of my significant other and then expect to shove someone into that mold? I am more than what I wear, and so is any person I date.

I am in favor of imagining people complexly.  How a person dresses is just one facet of who they are. I have met people who dressed in a way that I found beautiful but who were so far from all of my other interests that I passed by them in a moment in favor of people who weren't much to look at but were a blast to talk to and hang out with. I wouldn't dream of changing who they are on the outside simply to fulfill some fantasy of mine.

Remember also, dears, you do not need to be dating someone to enjoy spending time with them and dressing up with them. Yes, I understand that this flies in the face of the Prince Charming fantasy we've all been encouraged to have since we were littles sitting before the altar of the almighty Disney. I understand that going to events, especially dances, with someone who is "just a friend" can disappoint our carefully planned fantasies. I understand that many romantics out there will not particularly embrace this idea.


But your friends are your friends because of common interests. If you are single, you have no problem getting dressed to the nines and running about with them, right? Why should your romantic relationship have to fill that space, too? If your significant other doesn't want to frolic with you, you still have your friends.

Don't they look fantastic?
The best example I can think of is Jillian Venters of Gothic Charm School. She has stated that her RealHusband, Pete, is NotaGoth and that some of her social engagements simply aren't his thing. As such, she often goes to such events with a friend she usually refers to online as StuntHusband:
the StuntHusband is one of my oldest friends, and is my favorite companion for fancy events and concerts that the RealHusband doesn’t want to attend.*
They look fantastic together in every photo I've seen, and they clearly have fun.

And why shouldn't they? Really, what is there stopping you from going out dancing with friends or walking through the park with them? What is there stopping you?

Absolutely nothing, that's what.

I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Doctor Who:
You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful and then you actually talk to them and five minutes later they're as dull as a brick? Then there's other people, when you meet them you think, "Not bad. They're okay." And then you get to know them and... and their face just sort of becomes them. Like their personality's written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful.

Give the people around you a chance to become beautiful. Don't limit them by what they are on the outside. They'll surprise you.

I promise.

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