Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baubled Beauties

I’ve talked to you about the ladies of my hood. Some go out at 2o’clock in the afternoon with enough makeup on to rival RuPaul.

It’s not just the makeup, however. Ladies flout about town bedazzled beyond belief with tons of shiny baubles bejeweling their bodies, skyscraper high shoes with acrylic heels (just saw it last week), and skirts with hemlines as short as a sailor’s haircut.

After living here for a while you start to realize that maybe your sense of style changes. No, it doesn’t mean that I have cut my hair into a mullet, but it does mean I keep letting it grow. Nor does it mean that I’ve picked up a pair of hooker heels to wear to Sunday brunch. Instead, it takes on more subtle things, like wearing makeup (which I barely wear anyway) to lunch or always making sure I’ve got on some earrings or a little something to jazz up my outfit when I go out.

Women here also love jewelry. And I always have too, honestly. Even when I lived in DC, I still managed to gather a collection of little bits of glitter and sparkle to bejewel myself with when I felt like it. DC gals are a bit more, well… conservative in their style than many other places I’ve been or even lived.

But here they take it to whole other heights. For example, there is the flower. We’re not talking a flower on a lovely spring day or for an event. No, we’re talking a plastic flower in the hair for a Friday night drink with the gals. A friend from the US who has lived here for a while even sheepishly admitted to me that she has one and has worn it on occasion. We got a nice belly laugh out of that one.

Maybe it is because women like to fix themselves up. Maybe it is because women equate femininity with the stuff that is seen as “womanly” – jewelry, makeup, etc. Maybe it is because gender roles are a bit more rigid here and women are expected and taught to behave as women were traditionally expected to behave and look. Granted, Buenos Aires is one of the more progressive cities in Latin America, but old habits die hard I guess.

Whatever it is, I have to admit I am affected by it. As long as it’s a little jewelry or a touch of makeup to keep me fresh-faced, that’s fine. But if you see me eying any heels with metal tips… please shoot me.


Wendy Walker said...

Jill, I could not agree more. In Tennessee, I was a bike-riding tomboy that rarely wore earrings and eyeshadow. Now living in Cordoba, I find myself taking a bit more care with appearances. If I put on my Chacos however, any cover is blown.

Mi gusta tu blog! Wendy

Unknown said...

Thanks so much. It is amazing how much a culture can impact what you wear!
My Birkenstocks are my dead giveaway. That and the fact that I am 5'7.