Friday, March 8, 2013

13 Fedoras, My Painted Face, and Endless Assumptions

The 13th Fedora!
It has been about a year since I purchased my black and white checkerboard fedora for myself.  I have dug hats in general much of my life, my dad seemed to always be sporting some fun head wear with or without a feather in it when I was younger.  Actually, hats did always seem to be on his head, but one of the main reasons for this was that he had no hair on the top of it.  Combine this with all of the outside work he did and he never would have stayed warm in the winter without his staple hunter orange beanie cap.  I learned the importance of head gear for warmth through him and over 8 years ago started to wear winter hats to save my body heat.  It worked magically, perhaps because my hair isn't so thick itself.  I felt so cold whenever I was without my hat.  It's funny how used to something you can grow.  When I adopted the fedora, or rather, when it adopted me, my constant wear produced the same separation anxiety when I was without.  I feel naked without one now.  I have half of my collection stacked in the living room and it is the last thing I put on when I am getting ready to go, and the first thing I take off when I return.  I have quite a few now; last year I got one for different events or occasions and happened upon some at other times that simply couldn't be rejected.  I often waited until they were on clearance and for awhile only paid $3 on average for most of them.  Today, I think the average is up to $7.  A few of them I received as gifts.  My parents got me one for Christmas, and my sister brought me one back from Korea that I can't wait to rock out this summer!  In all I have collected about a dozen fedoras in the last year. That's roughly one a month; not too shabby!  Recently, my friend Christal gave me my thirteenth fedora for a just because gift just because she is awesome like that.  It was my first official animal print fedora, which I find quite fitting.  And it was lucky number thirteen as well!

It is actually a rather breathable warm-weather fedora made of a mesh paper blend; not quite as warm as my black felt that I was already wearing the night Christal presented me with it, but I put it on when I picked her up for our mild Sunday night out.  Snazzy zebra stripes! She said I looked like Bret Michaels, but at least it wasn't a turban. I obviously don't mind looking ridiculous, as per my own definition of the word, that is.  Sometimes in public I forget that I am wearing a fedora because I generally do and am puzzled when people stare more than usual.  The same happens with my lip stick.  I forget my lips are bright red so you'd swear I was dressed for Halloween or something? It's just a hat; it's just lip stick!  I'm not the only woman to wear a fedora, they sell them at Walmart for fuck sake!

I don't necessarily enjoy the attention but I like being different because I like being myself.  There is a difference.  I was applying my trusted long lasting lip stick for a night out a few weeks ago and a male friend said all girls who wear make up as such do it for attention.  I FEEL I NEED TO MAKE A POINT!  Perhaps, I told him, I enjoy the angles of my face, I find them aesthetically pleasing, even.  Perhaps I even enjoy the contrast of the bright color against my pale flesh.  Painting a face is much like painting a portrait, only 3D and in makeup.  It's a very personal ritual, face painting.  Just because I wear a fedora and red lip stick doesn't mean I want the attention of every Tom Dickin' Creeper at the bar.  My make up is self love, it's me enjoying my femininity.  I'm sorry, but ironically, that has absolutely nothing to do with men!  My fedora is a form of self expression.  So, I'm just another poor girl 'asking for it' if I brighten my lips or wear a shiny hat?  Because I could only possibly be doing it for some outward form of attention?  Well, some women do, I give you that.  They build themselves up by the amount of attention they get from others.  That is how they feel loved.  This doesn't hold true for every woman.  The fact is, you have no idea what a woman is "asking for" unless you ask her.   In most cases, she probably isn't asking for anything!! Maybe that's your problem, men.  You assume too much.  Far far too much.

Regardless, the fedora does get some attention, not me.  It's like a tail, it has a personality of its own.  It has a fan base, some good, some bad.  I had one man tell me once that his friend told him that you have to "embrace the fedora".  That has stuck with me and remains one of my favorite found quotes.  Some man approached me and asked to buy my new fedora that night.  He apparently was a Bret Michaels fan.  A different night another man took it off of my head and proceeded to louse it up for me.  How dare you!  Another time, some drunk offered me a dollar to trade my shiny faux denim fedora for his ratty ass ball cap?  The nerve, the gall and the assumption!  I haven't lost one yet, and I'm proud of that.  Lay off the hat, you crazy Bret Michaels fans.  I'm expressing myself, over here!

Would you believe I have already moved on to number 14?  

Missie Sue

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