Rainboots and Houndstooth: A Survival Guide

In preparation for an important meeting with a College official, I put on what women in my family call my “Sunday best.”  I strapped on a strand of chunky pearls and rolled on a pair of brand new black opaque tights under my houndstooth dress and yellow Hunter boots.  I walked in to my meeting, and I was immediately complimented on my outfit by the person with whom I was speaking.  That led me to wonder what it is about outfits and personal appearance that can either lead to infinite success or stunted social and career growth.

I am all about “sticking it to the man.”  I don’t think that one becomes a Women’s Studies major (which I am) without knowing how to a ruffle a few feathers, and moreover, possessing a lack of concern for what others think.  However, I am not blind to the realities that exist within our society.  I know that in order to be successful one must be willing to present oneself in a manner that fits in closely with social norms about appearance and appropriate dress.  That is one of the reasons that I am currently cutting off my own circulation in a pair of tights that are meant to suck everything in: I know that this is just a part of the game.

Sure, I feel more comfortable in sweatpants and jeans than I do in dresses and control-top panty hose, and I wish that our society could see past exterior appearance and objectively meet someone and judge them based on their ideas, character, and aspirations.  However, I know that the likelihood of this happening is slim to none.

That aside, I am really enjoying my new school year.  I am doing a lot of exciting work with sexual assault prevention in our college community, and I am taking SUCH interesting classes.  I’m worried that these posts are getting a little monotonous, so if anyone who reads this (all 5 of you) have anything you’d like me to write about…please just mention it to me in an e-mail.  My school e-mail is ehscott@email.wm.edu, and I would LOVE to hear from you.



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