Monday, March 17, 2014

de profund-ish

By now it should be obvious that my signature style is neither a floppy hat nor a robe nor a combination of the two, but a pattern of dependably unreliable highs and lows that decorate my ceaselessly evolving moral outfit. It's exhausting to have to annually, biannually, n-annually reason with myself why I continue to blog about fashion when my interests are elsewhere. I'm always taking breaks from my blog and vacations from real life. I travel manically. I jump into unsustainable relationships because I'm a bored escapist. When the going gets tough, I get going. I revel in the social acceptability of "soul-searching" but am usually first to criticize my fellow millennial narcissist friends for griping over the agony of their privileged self-awareness. I'm a lazy hypocrite, and I'm egotistical for even having the patience to take enough free online personality tests to come to that Jungian conclusion.

I won't offer a defense. I will offer an honest explanation of why I (we) continue to blog and what I (we) get out of this. My condition is not unique, and I don't say that to absolve myself of the lone responsibility to change. I say that to draw attention to the lack of control I and a lot of women my age have given the physics of our conscience's interaction with culture.

A vain career is insured by its value to corporations that commercially thrive on feminine insecurity. And I work as an accomplice to these conglomerates because my survival – daresay conditional excellence- depends on the reliability of such a lucrative Idea’s infrastructure. The more I encourage you to value beauty, the more ideologically founded the beauty industry becomes.  And the more money I can potentially make by investing in it. I know better, but I submit regardless. What’s worse is that my submission, though obviously conflicted, is not reluctant. I’m not sure that in fashion blogging I am doing the ‘bare minimum’ to demonstrate my concession to The House. I seem to be giving extra, offering my creative efforts instead of my impersonal and detached labor as a physical employee. But in this context, I can at least superficially play along with the delusion that I am my own boss.

I’m sure some of you are already prepared to undermine my inconvenient proposition with some iteration of postindustrial capitalism's most reasonable self-defense, one that I may aggrandizingly assume I played a role in disseminating: material self-enhancement in the form of makeup and apparel levels out the non-egalitarian playing fields that nature, in its eerily harmonious rhythm between stasis and chaos, guarantees. We don’t all look the same. We’re not all beautiful. Our bodies don’t represent our personalities, only our gene pool.

What I, and what my supporters, fail and have failed to counterpoint is that valuing a beauty standard is not necessary to happiness, that tastes are not indicative of personalities, and that choices are not uniformly representative of our mental process, but instead of our alliances with fluid cultural frequencies and exposure to forces as influential as they are invisible (ergo dangerous, but that’s just my opinion). Our tastes don’t really even belong to us. They belong to the world, and we simply rent them out during our short (and all the while eternal) time on earth.

But in order to feel better about our cooperative roles in such an oppressive system, we re-present the morbid fa├žade to ourselves, more or less hacking the syntax of the process, to protect us from guilt. We talk ourselves out of anxiety because we are infected by an uncanny mutation of Stockholm Syndrome. Somehow, through some series of psychological or sociological impressions, we have learned to romanticize our imprisonment in an effort to tolerate our captor: Materialism.

This blog absolutely cannot be political because it is my job. I profit from this platform. And to assuage my raging cognitive dissonance for choosing to continue bolstering ideology, I offer you the tools to trust that everything you read here is, deliberately or otherwise, corrupt. Know better. 

Everything is infinite (pretty sure this isn't actually true),



  1. As anyone else here, I started following you because I liked your outfits. Thorugh these years, you have proved yourself an intelligent young woman who's way more aware and mature than most of the girls her age (and my age too).
    What you did with this post is the only possible compromise between your ideas and your need to keep your job. I don't think you're a hypocrite; a hypocrite would have said nothing. You were very honest, at the point of accusing yourself as part of the System. At least you are upfront about it.

  2. Hi Bebe--
    I've been following you since you started out here via lookbook. We're the same age--you were eighteen, I was eighteen, and so you began blogging here and there, and I'd followed you as one does, here and there, on lookbook, blogspot, instagram, twitter, what have you. It's such a strange thing, but I've been a voyeur of your life on display, and it's been a gorgeous, beautiful ride. This isn't exceptionally relevant to what you've posted (which reads like something ripped from bell hook's diary, if she kept one) I just want to situate/contextualize myself. I'm someone who's an avid watcher of this ilk of stuff--fashion blogs and beauty posts and all things material--but I've always seen it as some sort of escapist indulgence. There's something alluring about fashion that allows it a power all to itself--it is fetishistic and seductive, sensuous and powerful. I have no rebuttal to your words: fashion and economics (especially considering your role as a sponsored blogger) are inexorable. However, I feel as if there's something to be said about the love of aesthetics--which is, at its purest, fashion should be (and really, is). You blog because you are paid to do it, honoring thy dollar. I see that. But you also blog because you are--like the rest of us--taken by the erotic thrill of aesthetics and the pleasures of beauty, whatever forms it may take. If anything, it's apparent in your last series of posts that you've become more and more disenfranchised with this thrill. Bring that ecstasy back.

  3. Dear Bebe,
    i miss you blog post like seriously
    (i think everyone miss your post too)
    in the name of love, please please please continue your blogging activity for all of your lovely readers

    Mr. Rebel in Town

  4. I've only followed you the past couple of months and even in this short space of time I've really seen how this has affected you. I agree with all comments above tbh. At least you're true to yourself. Beauty really is pain physically and emotionally and to even go to the point of accusing yourself as a promoter for the system is absolutely brave of you. We are all materialists in some aspects of our lives and it just so happens for some of us its clothing and the way we wear what we wear that helps us to express ourselves. As pollutive as it is we still keep coming back for more regrettably and I doubt much will change. It is uncontrollable and really does depend on the individual. Do what you enjoy and if that means keeping or leaving the blog than so be it. You will be missed :(

  5. Hi, Bebe, I don't have a Twitter but I want to answer your question you posted on Twitter. I've had 2 septoplasty procedures. I had a severely deviated septum rendering me almost debilitatingly anxious, I could not breathe through my left nostril at all, and breathing with my right nostril alone would not have sustained life because it was like attempting to breathe through a folded bedsheet pressed up against one's nose: exhausting and nearly impossible. My first septoplasty improved my breathing but I still couldn't breathe properly so I went to a different doctor a year later and got another septoplasty in addition to a free (insurance covered) rhinoplasty. A week and a half later, I could breathe, and I bawled incredibly hard. My life improved in a way I cannot detail accurately. I would say I would recommend the procedure absolutely, but I wouldn't; my sister wanted a rhinoplasty so her doctor masqueraded it as a septoplasty to get insurance to cover it, and my sister suffered very rare complications with blood clots, lost more than half of the blood in her tiny body, and could have easily died. If the very real risks of surgery (listen closely when you doctor discloses them to you) are worth it to you for the condition of your septum, it's worth it. For me, it would be worth a scrape with death to have improved my life the way it has since surgery. For my sister, it wasn't worth it. Weigh your options, and good luck if you go through with it. Take care of yourself during the recovery phase (as in, don't starve yourself... nourish yourself so you heal efficiently). You're beautiful, Bebe Zeva.