February 18th, 2010


non-conformity and tiaras

I'm home sick again today. This sucks. My dogs decided that my sleeping time this morning was the BEST time to use the bed (the same bed I was sleeping in) as a wrestling mat. Joy. The main symptom is aching all over, a sore throat and occasional coughing of gross stuff. I'm hoping it goes away soon.

I've been watching a lot of Olympics and I was overjoyed yesterday to see Julia Mancuso win a silver medal in the women's downhill. Longtime readers may remember that I liked her last Olympics especially because of her tiara, and she was the only women to win gold, much less any medal, for the US women's ski team last time around.

As with the last Olympics, she was wearing her tiara at all times. She'd hotglued crystals onto her helmet in tiara form while she skiied, and she changed into her regular tiara while she waited for Lindsay Vonn to beat her score. Her friends and family in the stands were sporting the tiara. At the medal ceremony, she took it off for the national anthem but otherwise wore it throughout her podium ceremony.

So this morning, I check out my lawyer board, and one of the guys starts harping on the tiara.

I probably shouldn't have taken it as seriously as I did, but it was a comment that really, really irritated me. I think I took it personally. Part of it, is that I am likely to wear something like that. I have a few headbands with large feathers that I wear to work occasionally. I have lots of sparkly and other eye-catching jewelry. I have a few barrettes and pins that catch light that I throw into my hair. I have a few sparkly headbands that probably fall into the "tiara" category. I do have something that probably could be called a tiara, but fell apart awhile ago. Part of it is that I got the impression that non-conformity, the frivolous aspect of it was frowned upon. As if once you hit a certain age, you can no longer take joy in simple things that make you happy in life.

Later on in the discussion, another guy chimed in with a better argument. He has a daughter, and I think he struggles with the Disney-fication of little girls. He doesn't like that girls are encouraged to want jewelry and become princesses and be pretty. I tend to agree, but then I think Julia Mancuso's tiara shows that you can be a supreme athlete and still be a girly girl. And a lot of women, especially in male dominated areas like athletics, end up co-opting male characteristics in order to be taken seriously. I don't think that having fun is mutually exclusive with being taken seriously.

The guy who originated the discussion went on to harp on Shaun White's use of a do-rag during his run. And I think that anything at all that is non-conformist or unusual is suspect to this guy. So he and I aren't going to agree on much on how people should present themselves.

In related news, the Diverseworks gala is tomorrow. I pulled down my modified wedding skirt for it, with the LED lights and flowers on it. I'll wear it with a purple corset, and my hair will have pretty hair falls in it. And if I'm feeling well enough to go to work tomorrow, I might pull out one of my tiara headbands.