So my last post on groups in costuming kind of got posted by accident – I thought I had saved in as a draft and oooops, it published.
But I figured I’ll take some time and revise it, because I think that the thoughts included are at least a bit useful and legitimate.
I singled out three groups:
PPP – Pretty Pretty Princesses – Those who are single or ladies with partners/spouses that costume by themselves, and aren’t really involved in reenacting. Depending on the level of history involved, can look like an adult version of dress up.
FARF – Fantastically Able Reenacting Families – Those who reenact as a family and do historical costumes because they reenact.
FVLL – Fabulous Vintage Lifestyle Ladies – Those who rock the vintage lifestyle and image, with varying levels of commitment and authenticity.
Now, keep in mind that these are stereotypes. I’m not attempting to judge or be harsh towards you or anybody you know that might fit into one of these categories. Lots of people cross over between categories, and if I know you and you fit in between any or all of these categories, I pretty much guarantee I thought of you during this post.
I guess this becomes a pertinent topic in my mind because the blogging world tends to run in little circles that cross over into other circles every so often. It’s a giant, interconnected web. I enjoy a lot of aspects of it, but am realizing that every circle has certain faults and flaws. I also find it very interesting that certain groups tend to come from the same slices of society as others in their group. Something about reenacting draws more conservative people with families. Something about hobbyist costuming draws more single, liberal ladies. Something about the vintage lifestyle draws younger, hipster, and offbeat ladies.
Not that any of these groups only draws those sort of people. But sometimes I wonder why each slice of the hobby is interesting to those who participate in it. What is attractive in these lifestyles? What is important to these people? What does their hobby show about their goals and priorities in life? What my participation in any of these groups say about my priorities and goals?
I’m not comfortable putting myself into any of these groups right now. I love aspects of every one of them. I have volunteered at Fort Nisqually and run my own independent living history events. I love vintage clothing and will be working for a vintage shop doing repairs to garments this summer. I’ve also done my fair share of costuming not connected to reenacting or theater, but just for fun. Individuals who I might categorize into one or more of the groups have given me great assistance and advice on my way to becoming the costumer/seamstress I am now.
I feel tension right now in my life. I don’t have a community that I can identify with when it comes to hobbies, or work, or school. I am very used to having at least some sort of identity in hobbies or work or school. I am finding myself in the middle of redefinition – from single to married, from student to graduate, from theater costumer to . . . I don’t know.
I love vintage clothes, but I also love my classic PNW clothes – down puffer jacket, Patagonia skirts and pants, Chacos, workout tops, Keens and tall fuzzy wool socks. It’s definitely polar opposite from the vintage look I also love. I love sewing and go crazy if I’m not creating, but I also realize that I need balance in my life – I need to spend time with Rik, and my family, and his family, and all of that.
When it comes down to it, I think I know where this tension exists.
My identity is not in my hobbies. It’s not in how I dress. It’s not in what blogs I read or what costumes I make or how I make them. Ultimately, my identity is in Christ. I know who I am and who I need to be. I’m first in Christ. Then I am a fiancee/wife. Then I am a family member. I am a life long student and learner. Then I can work out the little bits of hobby after that, and how it applies to my life.
But I need to let first things be first. And let myself be myself. And let my highest identity be where it really belongs.