Friday, March 13, 2009

Before and After


For some reason it looks to me like Jake is wearing shades in this pic. Also I love the tiny me in the doorhandle.

It's not just we humans who wear persona costumes. My dog, for instance, (in his youth) wore a mask of aggression to hide the fact that he was afraid of everything. Chameleons are famous for their quick costume changes and for their marvelous ability to blend in with the surrounding environment. Lots of insects are great camouflagers, too. Walking sticks don't change outfits, but they sure look more like sticks then bugs, don't they?

The landscape changes outfits along with the seasons and weather conditions. Over periods of time too long for our species to imagine, the land radically changes appearance, including its "accessories" - the living things that adorn it.

How about the sky? Does it ever look the same way twice? The sky is a super model of costume change.

So - is there really anything wrong with the fact that we humans wear costumes? Is there anything wrong with trying on various personas, even if they don't fit? I wore the I'm Cool outfit because I thought it would be a lot more fun to be cool than nerdy. The High Priestess outfit is what all of us in Reclaiming tradition aimed for, whether it fit or not. We were allegedly egalitarian, so we all had to try, even if (as in my case) we didn't much want to.

In order to successfully live in civil society, all of us have to wear some kind of costume. During the past few years I've tossed out lots of old, ill-fitting persona outfits. The problem is that I haven't replenished, so my persona wardrobe is about as skeletal as my clothing wardrobe. No wonder I feel so boring these days!

How should I go about choosing new, appropriate, well tailored persona outfits? What are the rules? I don't have a clue, but I'm thinking about it. Wouldn't it be great if there were a Stacy and Clinton of persona costumery? Well, wouldn't it??

28 comments:

Auntie, aka cagny said...

Good morning,
I always love your photos.
Esp. the ones of Jake.

BTW,I change my persona, via shades of lipstick.
Today it's red.
Tomorrow? Maybe pink.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

The photo of you (little) & Jake (stretched) is way cool. With what looks like shades on Jake he is tres cool today in his Jake Cool costume!

willow said...

Yes! I need that special Stacy and Clinton (of the persona type) to come over and give me some personal attention! In fact, send Carmindy over, too!

Chris Wolf said...

I think the most important "costume" element is your inner peace. When you like yourself from the inside out, then it's no longer hard to find the outfit, costume, that fits. And an even better outcome is when you stop caring so much about what the world thinks and be true to you.

So, make sure it fits inside. We discover a little more about ourselves and our relationship to the world everyday.

You're changing so quickly lately Reya; it's ok for your wardrobe to catch up!

Evening Light Writer said...

On What Not to Wear, the best makeovers are the ones where they marry the person's personality with their style. I work with a very neat woman who has her own style. I always compliment her on her outfits, I never tire of seeing what she's wearing.

That being said, our personalities are so complex that the possibilities are endless.

You are beautiful the way you are Reya!

Mrsupole said...

I have to agree with the others have said, change via lipstick is fun and Chris said it so perfectly about what is on the inside will take care of the outside. ELW said it too, we think you are beautiful the way you are. I love the pic of Jake and you, so cool. The clouds are fantastic. And yes can you send them, Stacy and Clinton to our houses. They do a great job.



Anyway our GHOST POSTS are going up all over, I am putting the links on my site and on Auntie's too. So if anyone wants to read them or join in just click on and let us know.

Thanks to eveyone who has been joining in and reading too. So far it is ghoulishly fun and spooky.

Reya Mellicker said...

Oops. Forgot about the ghost post. I'll do one tomorrow, I promise!

Sandra Leigh said...

There's something in the air today. Everybody is a little more introspective than usual. I suspect we react physically and emotionally to the change of season - earth's costume change, if you will. Our technology shields us, to some extent - central heating, artificial light - but we are still animals, and we still respond to signals from the natural world. I think we all have Spring Fever.

JOY said...

Jake is wearing his hot dog costume! And you are doing the "Honey I shrunk the photographer!" Great fun!

Reya Mellicker said...

Joy you're so great! Jake IS wearing a daschund outfit. Very cool.

Sandra, some people in the blog world are having autumnal melancholy. I love it that my blogfellows live everywhere, north, south, east and west.

Elizabeth said...

Jake looks very cool anyway!

Meandu said...

Humans do at times where masks depending on what we want to show the world. Today maybe a happy carefree mask, who knows what tomorrow may bring. I love your pictures and Jake does look like he is wearing sunglasses.

Barbara Martin said...

We all have to wear many hats these days.

I have an award and a meme for you on my blog.

Steve said...

I don't know if choosing a costume should be a deliberate act. I think our costume, if it really fits, sort of chooses us. Know what I mean? Seems to me that if we're trying to decide what to choose, we run the risk of forcing ourselves into another priestess robe...or whatever.

Reason said...

Jake does look cool, he looks like Chester Cheetah, the cheetos cat...Not to offend him lol. I have been thinking about this same idea, of different personas, but more specifically in getting to know someone. How do you really know someone if we change everyday and present different wardrobes all the time, I wonder? What we see in others are our own interpretations of them anyway, so your skeleton may look something like "the cool chick" to someone else!

runmotman said...

don't ask me, half the time my socks don't even match.

Delwyn said...

Good morning Reya
I like Steve's comment, let the situation choose the personna rather than the other way around.

Have you thought that perhaps your closet is bereft of outfits because you no longer have the need to wear personnas that don't accurately reflect who you are and as you get older and wiser you will have less and less need for masks, attire and accoutrements and can relax into being the one that is inside on the outside.

Reya Mellicker said...

I almost always agree with Steve. In this case, though ... I think conscious choice always trumps just letting things happen. We can't choose everything, but sometimes we can. Since in order to live in civil society I can't run around naked (thank God!) I'd like to actually consider my motivations and think carefully about which outfits I want to wear, and which ones I want to avoid.

The Priestess outfit was the result of letting the persona choose me. I want to do it the other way around this time.

And ya'll, this isn't about me having some kind of weird self esteem problem. My life is a bit monotone at the moment, just t-shirts and jeans. I need to mix it up a bit. Variety is the spice of life!

Lynne said...

I really like what Chris said.

Since our move to NJ I've changed costumes a few times and some did not fit very well. My favorite costume is one of earth-girl-meets-urbanity but I've been known to adapt myself to people who clothe themselves in more expensive clothing and adornment than I would like. That has only led to discontent within my soul. Not me. Not good.

I am who I am. I can be disguised but my real self always comes through or I suffer for it.

You made me think yet again. Thank you Reya!

debra said...

It's my first time here (via Barbara Martin) and I will be back.
It's hard to find clothing that "fits" as well as clothing that fits, I think. At least for me.

k-brow said...

I change personae with hairstyles and hair colors I think. I love the Jake in shades pic. Maybe the shades are psychic..."brave glasses" if you will. It was a big epiphany for me to see Cricket's fear behind the aggression, too.

Lover of Life said...

Very cool photo! Jake looks very hip. I always called the changes of persona as "trying on shoes", looking for just the right look and fit. Our taste changes with time, and who we are at any given moment. Thanks goodness there are lots of shoes to choose from.

tam said...

I have a suitcase of costumes that (I pretend) I am keeping for theatre productions, but in reality(I suspect)they are just dormant personas waiting for their moment in the sun once more. I have some beautiful pieces that my grandmother gave me. She had such style! I seldom wear them, but when I do I feel like a queen from another world - a little bit of of my gran's former glamour, mixed in with 21st century irony. I love a bit of dress-up - playing with personas (sampling) tho my day to day uniform is jeans and t-shirt.

Val said...

have fun with it Reya and let us know how it goes. Whatever persona you choose will be way cool i am sure :-) and the true you will always shine out

Reya Mellicker said...

The "right" persona outfit will enhance the "real me" - whatever that is. Tam I love thinking about your wardrobe of old clothing. Excellent.

ArtSparker said...

One of my favorite photos, I love scale changes of the visual sort.

Of course, I have to jump into the costume thing since it involves visual stuff...What about accessories that are a little surprising? A basic classic outfit with an eccentric touch, a bit of exotic color. Just saw "Happy-Go-lucky", the Mike Leigh film, in which a woman who is constitutionally cheerful comes face to face with some of life's ordinary horrors and makes a conscious decision to stick with her previous persona. Actually kind of an irritating film to watch, but the point is well-taken.

Bee said...

That last photo made me think of Hera and Zeus. Perhaps you could wear a graceful, white toga-like robe this summer when the humidity kicks in? You are our goddess!

I admire people who are rigorous and chic, but also people who are quirky and colorful in their mode of dress. I'm afraid that "warm and comfortable" has been my persona since moving to the English countryside.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

mini you - i love it!