Femme to me feels like pressure. Femme to me feels like loss. Femme to me feels like victory. Femme to me feels like drowning in the deep salt sea.
I found myself avoiding last month's writing prompt until I was forced to admit to myself that I was intentionally ignoring it. My femme inspirations were fragile. They were mortal. They were flawed. Most of my femme inspirations looked beautiful but were sad inside. They were all glamourous but many died early deaths. The Dorothy Dandriges, Nina Simones, Marilyn Monroes, Eartha Kitts, ZsaZsa Gabors, Ella Fitzgeralds, Josephine Bakers, Rue McClanahans, Eva Perons, Marie Antoinettes were all fighters who saw every inch of what it means to be feminine in this world... and they are all dead. Which one the universe might take next terrifies me. Dolly Pardon? David Bowie? What worries me is that my life is like theirs, too much spotlight and not enough rest. Too much pressure and not enough floating. I want to be weightless. I want to be air. I do not always want to be heavy, weighed down by rhinestones and platform heels. I want to explode, disintegrate, dissipate like sequins, like glitter, like gold dust. I want to be the sharp, shiny flecks of sea shells that wash up on shore and turn the sand into mosaic.
Femme to me feels like fighting. Femme to me feels like coming home. Femme to me is chilly. Femme to me is cozy. Femme to me is what it would feel like to wrap yourself in dough and be baked into a loaf of your favorite bread. It would suffocate you. It would nourish you to death.
When I think of those I have lost, I also think of what they accomplished. While the world did have my femme icons, we had art, music, political activism, and fabulous outfits. We had personality up the wazoo. We had a fierceness that came in every style from intentionally flighty to gentle to a vicious thunderstorm-- and they were all a force to be reckoned with. I am all of these things, in one way or another, and I know that I learned from the best. My femme icons changed the world. These public women, and yes, a few brave public men, gave me everything they had, and I took it, and I held it, and I molded it. And what's more, I know there are countless, nameless others, and I want to know their names, I want to remember each and every one that has changed me. But I'm horrible with names. So to all of them I say-- I see you. I love you. I thank you. Everyday I am still learning from you.
Femme is the eye of a hurricane. Femme is the highest thread-count of sheet you can buy. Femme hugs you fierce like the last friend you have left just when you need it most. Femme is smoke and mirrors. Femme is what happens when you stop trying for it. Femme slips through your fingers like grains of sand but leaves a fine layer of grit. Femme is consensual violence. Femme is the sudden rainstorm that ruins your hairstyle but turns it into something so much sexier. Femme is a cowgirl bursting into a honkytonk fists first. Femme is a Sunday dinner with all the trimmings. Femme is fresh air. Femme is clean, fresh air. Femme is breathing.
Latest posts by LolaSunshine
- Catastrophe, Community, and Competition: On Creating Femme Shared Space - July 10th, 2010
- Femme: A Work in Progress - June 17th, 2010
- How the Orchestra Tunes for the Dance - June 3rd, 2010