Sunday, April 28, 2013

An incident

I wanted to go to the fair. It was Sinai Day on Thursday and Friday, and so around the Citadel there was a celebration: just like everywhere; rides, useless merchandise, special food, dancing and music. 

We stopped on the way for coffee with some young men we know who live nearby. With hindsight we shouldn't have done that, because they were instantly concerned and over-protective about an English woman at the fair. They insisted on accompanying us. They're very nice young men and they wanted me to have a good time, but they were worried about my safety in the crowds of celebrating locals. It's funny because there was exactly the same air of jollity and latent danger that you get at the fair on Wanstead Flats in Forest Gate. Fair people have the same air everywhere of cautious friendliness, with a kind of toughness and tension that I guess comes from life on the road. You can feel that they're welcomed but mistrusted. There were the same minor spats between groups of youths that you see in London fairs, the same over-excited youngsters, the same atmosphere of the locals letting their hair down.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Feeling like a 'woman'

Marlene Dietrich- successfully feminine?
I like wearing make-up, even though I can't be bothered to wear it very often, but when I apply it, I always have this strange feeling that I'm failing at something expected of women. This despite my knowledge that judicial application of Maybelline is not much to do with my gender, sexuality or identity. I feel feminine and attractive in a feminine way in general- I never feel ugly by my own standards or by the standards I adopt from the media, but because I'm not very good at applying make-up and spend a lot of time dabbing at black smears with a cotton bud, I feel like I'm inadequate in something I should be able to do.

My mother rarely wears makeup and so no one really taught me- is this something to do with it? Or is it that because I rarely wear it, I'm wearing a costume rather than an every-day ritual/ image?

Women (and everyone else)- what do you think? Do you ever feel like you're failing at some kind of test of your gender identity, and does it make you anxious?