Tuesday, May 25, 2010




1: foolish character or action : folly
2: the behavior or dress of a fop

So, apparently while FOP used to mean simply "a fool," the modern definition connotes "a man who is excessively vain and concerned about his dress, appearance, and manners." In a way, this new definition is just more specific. After all, fool is a broad term, but I might, on many occasions, refer to someone who cares too much about their appearance as foolish.

While FOPPERY among men is nothing new, I'm still surprised when I see it. Although, in most cases I've encountered, it doesn't reveal itself as vanity as much as insecurity. An old boyfriend of mine used to spend an excess amount of time in front of the bathroom mirror, trying to properly adjust his hair. He also ironed his clothes (something I do as often as I renew my driver's license), matched his socks to his button-down shirts, and cared way too much about the sporadic appearance of hair on his shoulder blades. In his defense, he never seemed vain, only concerned. And of course, insecure.

But perhaps this says something about my insecurity as well. I have never been someone to care that much about my dress. And definitely not my manners. I'm far too concerned about presenting myself as an intelligent being to care about whether or not my jeans have stains, or that I'm wearing jeans in the first place. But as a woman, I've always felt like I'm supposed to care more about my appearance than I naturally do.


Okay, I care to an extent, a small extent which appears minute compared to how much some other women care. Here are some things I do:

- depilate the hair above my upper lip when I notice it's getting out of control (I'm Italian)
- maintain a space between my eyebrows with a tweezer
- shave my legs once a week
- pay $21 every couple months to Michael at Rudy's for a decent haircut
- put a little eyeshadow on my lids in the morning

Here are some things I do NOT do:

- style my hair in any way
- wear foundation, concealer, overnight cream, wrinkle control potion, lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, sheen, or powder
- wax anything
- manicure anything
- shave my pubic hair (this once resulted in an ingrown hair: never again)

And this is just body stuff. I don't even want to get into dress/clothes maintenance. Or lack thereof.

The point is, next to this boyfriend I often felt that I should care a little more. This is perhaps partly why it didn't work out between us. I didn't spend enough time in the bathroom. Red flag.

At least I smell okay.

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