Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Attire As Transformation

    I've spoken and written before about the power of apparel to change us away from the normal run of humanity; and its a subject broad enough and deep enough on its own to bear continued examination.  Whether our purpose is merely to carve ourselves a special place to express ourselves, a chance to touch the animal, or spiritual side of us, a sexual need, the placement of ourselves into power, or simply the desire to unsettle, we seem to need to do this, as a species, and to do it with wild creativity.
   That need can make itself known with some special tattoos, in less than common places. It means we have taken the idea of these alterations so to heart that we will carry them always.  It speaks loudly, because its a permanent commitment to an image, or expression.  You cannot really take it back.  So any tattoo is a declarative remark; a pronounced one. And such an perpetual statement changes the bearer for life, since, regardless of how they change as a person within themselves, the presence of the mark they chose will always resonate to them, and to any observers.
    Sometimes the changes we seek are meant to connect us to power, power over others in a temporal sense. Sometimes that change is so extreme the human becomes completely obliterated within the trappings of that power, as in this image.
We do not know who this person is, not even if this is a male, or female, or other person.  All we can know is that we are in the presence of power and mystery.  Keeping an observer off balance and unsure is a basic concept for getting, and keeping power.
    When we want to get closer to the spiritual we can subject ourselves to a good deal, we will paint, scar, pierce, and otherwise morph ourselves, if it will get us to any perceived nearness to whatever we see as divine.  In fact, the act of placing oneself onto this pathway, often painful in the extreme, is considered of itself the door to divine association.
As a side note, I'm aware that this image is not of a real person, but it was so evocative of what I wanted to say, I couldn't resist.
    Our need to get closer to our animal part is just as profound, and sometimes we mask ourselves, or dress in hides, or even fake fur, in order to take the qualities of the animal we wish to emulate onto ourselves.  We become, in the process, more than human. By backtracking to our more essential natures, we also move forward, and away from normative humanity.
    Now and then we give a more deliberately sexual spin to our need to change ourselves up.  We trick ourselves out in apparel that has gained, over time, specific fetishized meanings, in order to communicate what we claim to be ourselves, and what we desire from someone else.  This image blends a number of divergent concepts together to create a sexual invitation that is complex and layered.  But the overall impression is one that has separated this fellow from the commonality.
    And finally, sometimes our desire to transform is at heart a desire to disturb; to discompose the viewer.
  Who are we seeing here?  What do they want?  Sometimes we change ourselves to make others ask questions, even when they don't consciously want to. It is a sort of challenge that is an intrinsic part of the Attire dialog.  We must ask questions of ourselves and others, often.
    Regardless of the deep seated reasons, which we often don't even know ourselves, we have this need to make ourselves different, and special.  We want to insure that others know, when dealing with us, that we are meant to be taken into account, not brushed aside.  We want, if not to be taken seriously, to be taken as important.

No comments:

Post a Comment