Reading Refinery29 and fashion-y email newsletters means lots of headlines like this:
The “it” girl species (Homo itgirlius) is always well-dressed, always on the cutting edge. Fashionable, flawlessly made up, “effortlessly” dressed, minimalist rose gold jewelry, blond-streaked hair gently tousled or piled in a bun on top of her head. (Her Instagram is amazing.) For a small fee, you too can dress like the ‘it’ girl (Alexa Chung, apparently the “Man Repeller” woman, maybe the Olsen twins?). On the “it” girl’s thin frame, ugly things like frumpy trousers and burlap sacks look sexy (especially when styled with the requisite 4-inch heels). Oh yeah, she’s usually white too.
For a while my eyes turned all swirly and hypnotized–I too wanted to look like an “it” girl. What colors are in? What length of skirt is hip? Where can I find affordable high-rise cropped flared jeans in the right wash? How can I wear a romper without flashing everyone? And then failure and exhaustion set in. Trying to be an “it” girl, much like trying to be popular in junior high, is TOO MUCH WORK (and ultimately impossible without changing, like, who I am). Expensive, tiring, just not me. And “it” girls all kind of look the same.
I’m not dissing all fashion bloggers by any means. I LIKE fashion bloggers if they have their own style, some personality behind it (like Midge at Modern Girl Blitz). If you change too much with the trends, who are you really? Who are you without them? Do you have any creativity of your own?
I want to dress for ME. Maybe drawing inspo from trends…but not letting them dictate my wardrobe. From Eleanor & Park:
I think confidence, being happy with yourself, not needing the fashion approval of others–THOSE are even better than being an “it” girl. The trade-off is less immediate shallow gratification, but it’s a lot less fleeting. ❤
Updated 6/20: Awesome quote from actress Constance Wu on Vulture about this (well, acting rather than fashion, but still relevant):
Hollywood likes their girls to feel like, Oh, I discovered her in a pizza parlor. Fresh plucked. New. Still sweet. Not battle-tested and wise and smart and strong. There’s an “It” girl every year because there’s a slot that needs to be filled, and this girl gets all the parts, and she gets them because she is so new and she’s having her moment now. But an “It” moment only lasts X amount of time. Some of them are able to transition into leading-lady status like Charlize or Angelina. But how many “It” girls haven’t been able to do that? And why is the “It” girl even a thing?…The “It” girl is a very fucked-up idea when you think about it.