Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gritty in Pink

Okay, I'm not really gritty (maybe like a fine-grit sandpaper, heh), but I got called "pretty in pink" all day today.
That didn't bother me too much, but after reading both Lorena talking about "little" describing a skirt, and Curtise discussing the word "pretty" and the gender inequity around that word, I find myself thinking about words other people use to describe our clothes and us.

  • Sweater - Harrod's, consignment; purchased here for $14.00
  • Skirt - no label, thrifted; purchased here for $6.00
  • Shoes - Born, consignment; last seen here (3rd outfit) in September 2014 

Pretty = girly, feminine, of course pink. It's like cute, another word I am not fond of. I'm too fecking old for cute. Kittens are cute. Men are never pretty (and if so-described, it's intended as demeaning).

Little, as in this cute little sweater = diminishing in a more metaphorical way. Feels like a pat on the head, while I swing my fists. Men's clothing isn't ever described as little, i.e. "What a charming little suit you have on, Charles!"
Hmm...feeling feisty today. Could be because the dishwasher at work is broken and I've been reduced to washing dishes (a la the "little woman"). No one better mess with me. I better goth it up tomorrow!

In Outfit-land, I liked this outfit. I wore a full vintage slip underneath it, which helped as the sweater is high-waisted and liked to ride up. No showing my belly, which is neither little nor pretty, hee hee. It's just there, performing its function.

The stuff:
Pure comfort mode for the shoes. These will be in heavy rotation until I pack them away in September.

  • Necklace/earrings - Aldo Accessories

How do you feel about women-only adjectives? Do you use them to other women? Your daughters/nieces/children/teens in your life? Will you re-think that?


  1. I think pink and pearls is a very (dare I say!) pretty outfit combination, really classic.

    I found myself thinking of the words I use after reading Lorena's post too. I've been guilty of saying 'cute little..' many times. I don't mean it in a negative or demeaning way at all! It is true that words can have more than one connotation though.
    I have a friend who (sweetheart that she is!) calls me 'love' and 'lovey'. It's just a term of endearment to her, and I've grown to get used to it - after all she calls everyone that unless they are a stranger. But if anyone else was to say that to me I'd definitely be on the defensive thinking they mean it in a derogatory way.

  2. Yes, I want to rethink those words but I probably let them slip once in a while. I find I'm not a fan of "sweetie" said from one woman to another either. It feels condescending, or maybe it's mostly in the contexts I've heard it used that it comes across that way. The softness of these colours make me think of pretty before I self-censor. I wonder if you'd be dishwashing if you were gothed. Let's see how tomorrow goes!

  3. I don't love to hear "cute little" to describe my look - it reminds me of home shopping channel! That said, I don't mind pretty so much, and I have used it as a compliment about a man too (Cillian Murphy, soooo pretty). And I do love your feminine look, and my preppy look, and your goth look. Keep on with your fabulous self, xox.

  4. Thanks for the mention, I am going to read Curtises' post :)
    I think you look absolutely beautiful in the best of ways.
    I totally agree with you on "cute" being a little baby like and I am long past that stage. I have been getting tougher on my closet edits because of that. I don't want to look cute.

  5. I have mixed feelings about 'pretty'. I do use it for everyone, and I agree with Patti - Cillian Murphy is quite pretty! However, I know that there is a traditional view that women are pretty and men are handsome. I think that's going the way of the dinosaur though. Personally I equate pretty with nice. It can be a crutch of an adjective.

    It all depends on the context though. I'm not going to take offence if my sister tells me I look really pretty, because I know how she means it.

    I wonder if your coworkers were calling you pretty with their "pretty in pink" references? You are a very attractive woman but I took it as more of a pop culture reference than a compliment, although maybe both. You know, referencing the redhead in pink? Of course you know them far better than I!

    Anyway, it's good to be mindful of language. Say what you mean but more importanly, know what you mean to say.

  6. You look great in soft pink, Sheila, and I'm pretty (ha!) sure that your co-workers were merely referencing the film/song, cos it's an obvious thing to do! Yes, I do questions words that are applied mostly to women , whether as apparent compliments or not. I'm not so keen on diminutives; endearments, I don't mind, I call everyone love! It's a man-made language we're using, and it's the way we describe and construct our world, so it matters.
    Thanks for the mention! xxx

  7. I am totally guilty of calling men pretty. In a totally non-demeaning way.

    But I also feel like those same men I've called that would be happy to be called "pretty" or whatever.

    Personally, I'm against the restrictiveness that people police on language. You can look cute at any age. That doesn't mean you WANT to, or even dress to be cute instead of pretty, gorgeous, badass, classic.

    Then again I'm also the same person who stopped a big, tall black guy in line at a thrift store to gush about how cute the shirt he picked out was and how I should've gone over the men's shirts.


Comments are so incredibly special, and I love them and hug them and treasure them forever. Please feel free to tell me what you think!

I'm not currently able to respond to comments, but I will make every effort to answer questions. I do read every single one, and appreciate your comments.

Please note that comments containing affiliate links spam-y sites, spam comments and anything I deem inappropriate will be deleted.