The Sweet Life

The last few days have been rather unusual for me in that I have been strangely aware of the fact that I'm a girl. And no, it's not that time of the month. I just think my sister's elegance offensive might have finally kicked in. And there were some contributing factors.

It started on Sunday when, after a frustrating day procrastinating unhappily (which is a very different thing than the happy procrastination I engaged in today) from the physics homework lying next to my laptop. Oh, I tried. I read through things three times, even made neat little cardboard sheets with all the definitions found in my hellish reader, but it wasn't until I decided to go wild and not to care about what my -male- classmates and my -male- professor would thing, i.e. to write my homework on pink paper this time, that the hoped-for breakthrough happened and the solution to (half of the) problems started pouring out.

Emboldened by my victory, I put on my most feminine shirt the next day, bright pink (though not baby pink, hell will have to cool down just a little bit more before I ever wear thát color) and with a bared shoulder, and watched the first episode of "Commander in Chief", a new series in the US featuring Geena Davis as a female president. It's not a great show, but it fit my mood, and made me feel even more convinced that being a girl was something I should advertise more, in a way. Something to take into account, maybe even to take advantage of.

Roger Ebert say in his review of Fellini's La Dolce Vita that it is a different film for him every time he sees it, depending on who he is at that point. This might explain why, when I finally saw this classic yesterday evening, what struck me most is what the film says about gender roles and views of feminity and masculinity. There might not be a harem scene as in Otto E Mezzo, but the main character (played by the gorgeous yet too sleazy Marcello Mastroianni) clearly has a problem with what he wants in a woman, with what he should be as a man. And the women in this film are, while stereotypical, very interesting.

Anita Ekberg as Sylvia is infantile and beautiful, but she's interesting, not because of her inpredictability, but because -while she lets Marcello chase after her and sweet talk her in Italian- their interactions always stay on her terms. And what to think of Anouk Aimée's character, a bored, rich nymphomaniac on the one hand, who proposes to Marcello, showing her vulnerability, only to discard him a few minutes later when she gets him to be vulnerable. There's the whole virgin/whore paradox in this film (literally even, with many whores and an appearance by the madonna), but the female characters are, while just as desperate and lost as Marcello, much more layered than you would expect.

My thoughts on the movie as a whole are still confused, I'll need to see it again. It fascinated even if it was almost three hours, but it still feels too much to me like a jumble of scenes, and I still need to figure out the connections, the thematics, basically the point of it all. Most films resemble novels or plays, on occasion history books, but Fellini writes poetry with his films, and like poems, they take time and contemplation to decypher. I remain convinced that there is more to them than empty imagery, and I think that's what makes his films great and not merely confusing.

Today, continuing my exploration, I decided to wear my new skirt for the second time, and a nice sweater offering ample decolleté. The skirt feels nice and swishy, and it makes for armfuls when I go to the bathroom, but I'm still not a fan of pantyhose. It felt nice though, feeling elegant and feminine (although everything needs its limits, I díd wear my "Fezza" underpants underneath the fancy skirt to compensate). I know I'm not the elegant, feminine type...but playing the role for a day was interesting.


P.S. Joyful announcement! If you now google "As cool as a fruit stand", you get this blog and my blogger profile. It's not that I actually expect people to google that exact phrase, but it does feel nice to have, in a way, conquered my own little corner of the web.

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