"I’ve never liked the word “sexy.” In high school my friends tried it on as if it were a costume a few sizes too big. Before Valentine’s Day they made stealthy trips to Victoria’s Secret, in hopes that a shock of red or black lace under their well-mannered clothes would persuade them that they had wild sides waiting to be unleashed. The boys at our brother school ranked us according to “hotness,” and as offended as we were by their rampant objectification of us as women, there was not a girl among us who didn’t secretly long to be on their hot list. The boys even devoted a page in their yearbook to the girls they deemed worthy of pinup status… We knew the boys weren’t worthy of passing judgement on us. And yet we had spent our lives chasing approval. We had been trained to get A’s. We were good at taking tests. We abided by rules and honor codes. We underlined our books, made careful observations in the margins, aced our SATs. And so these sons of statesmen, uniformed in blue blazers—they pulled off their ties at the end of the school day and swung them around like weapons—became another jury for us to please. Before we walked across the Cathedral Close to play fans at the boys’ lacrosse games, we brushed our hair, glossed our lips. They wore helmets; they brandished their lacrosse sticks like Vikings."
- You Are One of Them by Elliott Holt
My review of Elliott Holt’s You Are One of Them is live at The Female Gaze.
"Why hadn’t he expected her to be so beautiful? To have so much negative space? He closed his eyes and saw her again. A stack of freckled heart-shapes, a perfectly made Dairy Queen ice cream cone. Like Betty Boop drawn with a heavy hand." - Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
(Fan art by Simini Blocker.)
"It is a feeling familiar to any teenage girl who has been in platonic love with another teenage girl. Together you create a tiny, obsessive world: in-jokes, coded words, frantically loving bands and films and books because they’re meant for you, they’re speaking to you – and not just you, singular, because there is no you, singular any more; there is only Us, Me and You, the pair of us so bright and vivid and glitteringly perfect that everyone else in the world feels like a grey shadow miming inanities."
- Kirsty Logan
"Beauty is rarely soft or consolatory. Quite the contrary. Genuine beauty is always quite alarming."
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt
I made a Pinterest yesterday concerning my novel-in-progress. I’ll also occasionally make boards for stories-in-progress. These represent my lead Lane’s favorite shoes.
At Isabel Marant, Paris « The Sartorialist
"Cool has come a long way, literally. In a 1973 essay called “An Aesthetic of the Cool,” art historian Robert Farris Thompson traced the concept to the West African Yoruba idea of itutu—a quality of character denoting composure in the face of danger, as well as playfulness, humor, generosity, and conciliation. It was carried to America with slavery and became a code through which to conceal rage and cope with brutality with dignity; it went on to inform the emotional textures of blues, jazz, the Harlem Renaissance, and more, then percolated into the mainstream. [Scholar Peter] Stearns argues that cool’s imperatives of flexibility and fluidity helped Americans escape rigid Victorian morality into modernity and developed along with mass production and mass media as a new individualist ethos."
- How “cool” was born. Pair with the surprising origin of “meme.”