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But, mum, it’s fashion!

But, mum, it's fashion! pt.2

I’m pretty sure that by now we’re all familiar, or at least, acquainted with that mild sting of disappointment and resentment that we experience whenever our parents subject us to a session of mild taunts and heavy jests while they poke fun or ridicule at an outfit choice.

Whether it’s our chokers, ripped jeans, ombre hair tips or grey lipstick, they always have something to say while completely disregarding the ludicrousness of the trends back in their heyday (although, to be fair, bell-bottom jeans are slowly but surely easing their way back on the scene).

I remember all too well the day i returned back from my six-month stint in Bandung, Indonesia with a fresh septum ring the size of a tiny doorknob hanging from my nose. Most kids are filled with dread at the thought of the wrath of their parents at their children’s choice in facial jewelry. I, on the other hand, was dragging my feet off the plane for a completely different reason. And rightly so. Not only was i greeted with peals of laughter, i was also made to endure an entire week’s worth of cow jokes from my family. I’m glad everyone found it all so “amoosing”.

So i thought i’d dedicate a post for all the fashion-forward clothes that i can envision myself leaving the house in or have tried to wear a variant of at some point paired with the reactions of my parents. These are mostly fictitious examples of my parents’ responses but believe me when i say, i write out of experience. All of these things have been said to my face at one point or another. I’m not being imaginative or exaggerating, simply realistic.

Welcome to an insight of what it’s like to be a “fashion forward” kid in a typical Asian household.

 

Fashion example #1: Culottes

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Cut-out floral culottes, Rosie Assoulin

“But mum, they’re so comfy!

Mum: “No, no, you look like ahjumma. So ugly”

** Asian mother speak for “I would like to have grandkids eventually at one point in my life so could you please stop dressing like a spinster in advance”.

Note: Has never been to Korea but thinks she’s watched enough Korean reality tv to know what qualifies to be an ahjumma.

Fashion example #2: Capes

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Heart-shaped fur cape, Saint Laurent

Dad: Eh what’s this! You look like that, like that, what’s that called ah? *starts humming the opening tune to Sesame Street*

Me: I wouldn’t expect you to understand, dad! It’s fash-

Dad: Ah! Elmo!

Me:

*Has a muppet bitch fit*

Fashion example #3: Crop tops

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Cropped kimono sweatshirt, Fenty Puma by Rihanna

Dad: Um girl, i think your shirt is too small for you. And what’s this, i can see your belly button. Later masuk angin ah, better cover with scarf (really, dad, a scarf?)

Me: But dad, it’s a crop top! It’s supposed to be short!

Dad: Haiyah what’s this. Then better suck it in.

Me: I already am!

Dad: *glances at my tummy disbelievingly*

 

Fashion example #4: Fur loafers

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Princetown leather loafers, Gucci

“But mum, it’s the trend now!”

Mum: “What is this, like bedroom slippers not bedroom slippers liddat.”

Dad: “OMG ARE YOU WEARING HACHIKO?! Hachiko, are you okay?! Hachiko, where are you?!”

*Hachiko is the name of the family cat.

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Hachiko looking severely unimpressed with my dad’s annoyingly lovable sense of humor

Fashion example #5: Rompers

Off-shoulder striped playsuit, Yoins.com

Dad: But how do you use the toilet? Do you have to take everything off? Eh better be careful in public toilet ah, girl, better check if got hidden camera or not first-
Mum: I think it’s riding up your crotch, girl. You need to pull it down more.
Me: *pulls it down at the crotch area while simultaneously showing more cleavage on top*
Dad: Ah! My eyes! My eyes! Pull it back up! Pull it back up!

 

Fashion example #6: Floral blouses

Pussy-bow silk blouse, Gucci

Dad: Eh girl, are you wearing Ah Ma’s tablecloth kah? Har har har

Me:

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I can’t help it if i have similar tastes in clothing as my grandmothers! Their outfits are always so comfortable and so extra with the bunga-bungas. And not to mention, like, super practical with their colourful stirrup tights.

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Nothing says “a day at the market” like stirrups

Although once, a long while back i went to give my grandmother a ride to the supermarket. I was wearing a hideous old t-shirt and faded sweats with my hair in a loose half ponytail and my grandmother actually said to me, “Ahh machiam ini baru bagus ah, Yenyen. Tidak payah pakai itu makeup tebal-tebal, kasut tinggi-tinggi” (this was back when i still wore heels).

I’ve never been more insulted in my life.

xx

SS

 

The day i broke up with heels

I was looking through Instagram the other day and came across this picture on my feed that sent shudders through my spine. My knees quaked as i scrolled through as quickly as i could without dislocating my thumb.

Heels and i have had a complicated relationship. It wasn’t always like this. Once upon a time we were inseparable, a mere shell without the other, always standing together as one, hatching plans for world domination day after day as we pranced through sunflower fields.

Now we acknowledge each other with silent nods as we cross paths everyday on my way to my makeup table from my bathroom. I can feel the sting of the resentful gazes on their dusty, ashen faces as i take my pick of their stumpy, less flattering but more comfortable aunties. I turn away before they have time to say anything to me because what’s done is done. The damage irreparable, i try my best to be respectful to my heels and the good memories we shared but the truth is, i’ve already made up my mind. I’ve moved on.

Don’t call me, don’t send me dirty sole pics, don’t stumble to me at three in the morning after a drunken Thursday night at the polish bar, don’t spread rumors of how i only get a pedicure once a month and how cracked my heels are. Just don’t.

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Our relationship first started twenty years ago when my mother ordered my first platform boots from a Next catalogue and waited patiently as they were flown in from the UK before presenting them to me (my mom was obviously the OG savage). I was four years old and i insisted on wearing them to kindergarten, holding my head up high as i stumbled and rolled around in the dust amidst non-stop falls.

They were my very first but far from my last and from then on it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship filled with plenty of ups and downs. Like, literally, because even with all my experience i was still clumsy af.

I went far with my heels. There were many, many of them but each and every one of them took me to a different place that i never would’ve gone without them.

For instance, a black pair of six-inch block heels took me to my high school principal’s office for an hour long bollocking. Another five-inch pair covered in smooth magenta silk took me into a ghetto ass drain as i stepped in a pothole on the way to my father’s car. A beautiful, slinky pair of slingbacks covered in discreet silver mesh took me by the ankle and rolled me down a flight of stairs as i distractedly fantasized about all the witty comebacks i would deliver to my ex-boyfriend if i ever bumped into him (in fact, I still have a deep-ass scar embedded on my shin four years later, you can ask to see it if you ever bump into me).

But, ironically, it was a pair of turquoise Adidas sneakers that ultimately did the both of us in for good.

UNNECESSARILY LONG RANT AHEAD OF THE ACTUAL REASON WHY I STOPPED WEARING HEELS (feel free to skim through lol): I went to a spinning class, fell down sixteen times during and after in the span of less than eight hours, tore a muscle, couldn’t pee or sit down without sobbing my eyes out for four weeks, had to shower with the door open and with clothes on in case i fell down, couldn’t bend my knees for three months after that which meant going down the stairs took ages and I constantly fell down on my knees with no warning at the most unpredictable moments (read: at the bottom step of the escalator at Huaho where i caused a commotion because idk maybe people thought i had an epiphany or something and needed a place to pray– which is what i like to believe happened since no one stopped to help me! #truestory. I couldn’t even get up on my own because my knees were still so weak so i just had to continue kneeling there and, like, pretend to pray or something while waiting for my boyfriend to find me #orangpalingbarimaludidunia). I also overdosed on muscle cream which got absorbed into my bloodstream and turned my pee the colour of Pepsi, and cried daily to my boyfriend because i constantly imagined having to be wheeled down the aisle in a wheelchair on our wedding day. I eventually had to get an injection from the doctor in my right buttock to ease the pain. I wish i was exaggerating. You can see just one teeny tiny example of the many types of bruises i had here.

And that is what, in long, created the divide between my heels and I.

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You smug bitch you Ari

Before what i like to call the “spinning incident”, I used to belong to the group of women who think that heels amp up the whole “power woman” status by helping us stand taller and closer to God. But i don’t really see it that way anymore. So no, i no longer need my heels to make me feel fabulous. Sure, I still wear the occasional platform wedge but other than to keep my skirt from wiping the floor clean or to give myself a leg-up when looking for my friends across the dance floor in nightclubs, i rarely feel the need to break them out.

Disclaimer: I’m in no way dissing anyone who loves heels just because i no longer wear them. I dress for myself and i hope you do too. If wearing heels is what makes you happy then by all means, you do you, girl/boy. You do you.

But the way i see it, i may feel powerful in heels but in flats, i’m fucking invincible.

xx

SS