The Pursuit of Beauty
Since the age of 7, I have had a fascination with clothes and have invested a chunk of time piecing together outfits. I have been embarrassed by this passion of mine because my mother raised me to believe that a woman’s worth comes from her intelligence and personality, not from her looks because beauty fades. One of my biggest fears has been that I might waste too much time investing in my appearance and be valued only for my level of beauty. You can imagine that I have had an internal battle between this fear and my pleasure obtained from styling clothing.
Crocheted fairy tale cape: thrift store
Anne Klein high-waisted wool skirt: Neiman Marcus, thrift store
Recently I have given myself permission not to feel guilty about my interest in fashion and pursuit of beauty. There are a couple of reasons why. The first reason is I have come to realize that play in life is important no matter what form it comes in barring that it isn’t a sociopath behavior. When I am getting dressed, I get a lot of joy from trying to figure out a beautiful combination of colors, textiles, and silhouettes. The second reason is that this creative exercise of fashioning an outfit I have never worn before makes me a better graphic designer.
Chocolate brown beret: Dillard’s clearance
Floral pink blouse: thrift store
Element of surprise: juxtaposing girly blouse with gnarly Turkmenistan vintage necklace, Armor Bijoux
Silver vintage Navajo bracelets: gift
Vintage ethnic ring: Turkmenistan, Armor Bijoux
Retro red shoes: Urban Outfitters one year ago
Vintage 1960′s reversible purse: L and M, antique shop
. . . the feeling of beauty is useful. The aesthetic emotion might have begun as a cognitive signal telling us to keep on looking, because there is a pattern here that we can figure out it.
(Why Does Beauty Exist? by Johan Lehrer)
As much as people try to de-emphasize the value of beauty, it has a purpose. In Johan Lehrer’s article Why Does Beauty Exist? he discusses that beauty is a signal to man that something has a pattern and it is worth figuring out. He says that beauty is a motivational force that heightens our conscious awareness and makes us learn. Beauty might be a guilty pleasure but it is also an expression of mathematics and beauty’s purposes is making us take notice. Man’s curiosity with beauty has helped lead to our evolution and pursuit of knowledge.
Photographer: Anna V. Demetriades