First things first: the quality of these photos depresses me. This was the best I could do in fading light, with no tripod, and with no DSLR. I seem to have forgotten how to use normal cameras, and it would not focus on the spot I was stood on. I’m still waiting for a reply from Canon about whether my camera can be fixed under warranty (even though it’s only 6 months old), if it can’t, I can’t afford to have it fixed, so I don’t know what I’ll do.
But away from the depressing things. Outfit time now: when I saw this outfit of Annebeth’s I remembered these shoes that I don’t wear often enough, and decided I should give them a go with white tights, so here’s the result. I’d left this dress in Newcastle over Christmas, so when I spotted it in my cupboard, I just had to put it on. Originally I planned on wearing the cardigan backwards so the open back was on show, but it was far too chilly for that!!
If you’ve read the title of this post, you’ll realise I have a couple of things to talk about which are kind of related to this outfit. I read Lauren’s post on anonymous commenters earlier and thought I was lucky not to have had any major problems with derogatory comments on my blog. But it wasn’t until I left the house that I remembered the ‘insults’ I receive day-in day-out because of what I wear. I’ve spoken about this before, but because I live alone with Ben in a not-studenty area, it means I have to walk to and from uni by myself everyday. Apparently people take this as an opportunity to ‘attack’ me (not literally but I couldn’t think of a better word!) – they seem to spot the vulnerability of a girl by herself, just minding her own business and walking with her head down. I know this because it has very rarely happened to me when I’m in a group – and when it has it’s been because we’re dressed for a night out or something. I cannot wear heels if I’m walking to uni alone. A skirt or dress with flats is enough to bring this on. I think of Newcastle as being a fairly fashion forward city – we now have our own fashion week, and Northumbria University does courses in fashion. Yet because I dress a little differently (and I mean I’m not crazy out there!) I get abused for it.
This rant has been brought on today especially because of a couple of incidents – maybe I’m just noticing it more because I’ve been at home for a couple of months, but it really hit me how awful people can be. As I was walking to uni, a group of girls (all students from Northumbria) behind me starting commenting amongst themselves on what I was wearing, until one decided to shout out: ‘Hey, white legs! Can’t afford yourself a tan?!’, followed by the giggling of the whole group. That’s nothing awful, but it’s little things like that I get everyday. I know I draw attention to myself by dressing slightly out of what would be their comfort zone, but why should that bother them? It’s not often I draw insults from girls around my age, and I thought today’s outfit was a pretty plain one in my opinion.
When I was heading home from uni later, I got my usual line of abuse from a group of lads probably a little older than me. I was alone on that road and they were on the other side, so it was pretttyy obvious they were talking to/about me, and not quietly either. It went along the lines of: ‘Look at that c**t!! Hey, if she doesn’t look up when I shout at her, she’s a c**t. HEY YOU…’ at which point I just carried on walking with my head down, then the others began shouting it at me. I don’t know what they think they’ll achieve by doing that to be honest, but that sort of behaviour is something I encounter everyday, and the area in which I live isn’t even a rough one. The most frequent thing I get is the beeping horns – at least 3 a day. Am I supposed to take this as a compliment?? I’m quite often in a big coat, scarf, no make up and messy hair, sometimes it’s raining on me and I just look bedraggled – but because I am a woman and I’m by myself, and they’re behind the wheel of car, it seems to mean they can do this. Why should it be like this? If I was dressed up and waving at cars or something, fair enough; but when I don’t respond to them, they get worse, proving they’re not doing it because they think I ‘deserve’ it (or whatever goes through their minds), they just want to make me feel vulnerable.
But don’t think Newcastle is a bad city or anything, I know this happens everywhere but people don’t often speak about it. It’s difficult for me to dress the way I want to if I’m going to get this sort of attention, it’s not what I do it for.
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