2.12.2009

Story of Power

I was reading through my Gmail the other day, and stumbled upon a proposal. Some contact lens e-store wanted me to blog about them, and advertise their business on my site. I'm not going to lie. At first, I felt flattered. However, that feeling quickly escaped me. Why?

I'm reading this book called, "In My Mother's House" by Kim Chernin. The woman who wrote it is a distant relative of mine, so the book is about my heritage. From her grandmother, to her mother, to her, to my grandmother (married to her first cousin), to my mother... and now to me. I don't know what that makes us? Cousins -- once or twice removed?

I relate myself to so much of the story she tells. I, too, a writer, a "Luftmensch" -- a dreamer.

"The twilight comes into the room. It spreads itself out on the stack of magazines, the lacquered Chinese dish, the little carved man with a blue patch in his wooden trousers. Everyone begins to look as if they have been brushed with understanding. For here finally is the clear shape of the story my mother wants me to write down -- this tale of four generations, immigrants who have come to take possession of a new world. It is a tale of transformation and development -- the female reversal of that patriarchal story in which the power of the family's founder is lost and dissipated as the inheriting generations decline and fall to ruin. A story of power.

"Daughter," she will say, in a voice that is stern and admonishing, "always a woman must be stronger than the most terrible circumstance. You know what my mother used to say? Through us, the women of the world, only through us can everything survive."

An image comes to me. I see generations of women bearing a flame. It is hidden, buried deep within, yet they are handing it down from one to another, burning. It is a gift of fire, transported from a world far off and far away, but never extinguished. And now, this very moment, my mother imparts the care of it to me."

I mention this passage because a lot of this is stirring within me while I'm reading this e-mail. My communist activist background is telling me to protest. Radical, violent in passion, and extreme in life choices -- this is what I've inherited. Kim writes, "I have inherited my mother's fierce, revolutionary fervor, my father's quiet inclination for scholarship, and someone else's wild, untutored mystical leanings." I have strong beliefs that the women before me fought to nurture. I don't want a meaningless ad on my blog. I don't wear contacts, so why would I promote them? I have no idea if these people are good people. I don't know how they run their business... and should I even care?

When I apply to write for a publication one day, I want them to see that I've done my research, and committed every minute of my free time to this endless dying passion of mine. I have this fire for fashion, and I refuse to become the very thing I hate so much.

Who flips through their Vogue and washes themselves in the inspiration pouring out of every Tampax and Venus razor ad? I don't care if my tampon has anything to say! I want news, ideas and inspiration -- not fine print and a slogan!

The goal for this blog is to provide the written word in a way that is beautiful, inspirational, and comical. I'd like to feature pictures taken by beautiful souls, dresses that drape the most important parts of a woman, and thoughts that we never give the time to develop. I'd like my blog to be all of this in light of fashion. Sure, I won't make money from ads, but this blog wasn't started for that.

I started this blog because you can't get in this industry any other way. When you're a real person... with real bills... life isn't as glamorous as Christian Louboutin heels and a Chanel clutch. I can never see myself doing a free internship. I can't afford it. Luckily, Darrah's Dresser is a place where I can be myself, feel fabulous, and all the bylines are mine. It's my oasis, and I hope you feel welcome. This is my story of power.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Everybody knows Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and bestowed it to man.

girl said...

Well put!

amy@flyingakite.blogspot.com said...

You have the most beautiful soul.

lydia said...

Funny the things a mother packs into her daughters emotional bags as she goes off into the world. ;-) I love you Dollface!

Underfunded Heiress said...

How cool that your distant relative wrote a book. Such creative genes.

I wouldn't take it personally about the contact ad. It's just business. They probably think your blog reader's are their target market. They probably don't know that you have your blog to express your creative side not as a business.

Have a great weekend!

Andy said...

There's nothing wrong with ads, as long as they're relevant to your audience. Seedy companies like your contact lens people just want to leech your Google pagerank...

Don't do it. They don't even care about your audience... Just their Google search ranking.

alyssa said...

I think I may want to read this book you are reading... I do not even want to know the fire I am passing to my kids!! I think I am getting a taste of it every day with the way Ava debates every rule I set in my house.
You get to choose how you want this blog to look... I think you have made great choices. I always love reading about what you are interested in.

Maggie May said...

that's awesome you have a book to read, a real live book! that relates to you at all. how cool :)

Darrah said...

Thanks! I feel really lucky to have a book about my past as well! I'm not saying I'll never have ads on my site, but they must have purpose.