Playing dress-up has never been my thing. I’ve never been much of a fashionista, and one look at my closet will prove that I’m not one now. It’s color-coded, which might be impressive except for the fact that my clothes are red, black, and some shade of green. I have a few white and a few blue, and a handful of multi-colored dresses. I find it hard to believe that at one point I wanted to be a model. I even had a comp card, if you can believe it. But in the late ‘80s, a 5’4” woman who weighed more than 100 pounds wouldn’t make the cut. At least this one didn’t. And I found that it didn’t bother me in the slightest.
So this whole posing twelve days in a row thing is a bit of a stretch. I knew it would be, but realizing that each wig can show a different side of my personality has taken this from a physical presentation to a more personal one. I’m more comfortable expressing my inner thoughts than I am modeling for the camera.
Today’s wig is a gift from one of my best friends, and one of my bridesmaids, Cara Carriveau. It’s soft and elegant, and when I put it on I feel soft and elegant. I’m wearing it with the beautiful dress my mom got for me to wear to brunch the day after Jim and I got married. It’s paired with her seed pearls earring and necklace set, a set I borrowed whenever she’d let me. The coat was my grandmother’s, with whom I shared a birthday. She told dad I was the best present ever. This ensemble is infused with emotion, and yet I can tell in the photos that I’m not entirely comfortable.
I think it’s because those items all have meaning and memories, and those memories are tied to my physical appearance. They’re the outer trappings of my past. In this wig, I look different. Therefore I am different. Therefore the items I’m wearing are different, too. Or, are they?
No. They’re not. They cover the same person, and this person has grown and is growing beyond a familiar look. What I am is inside.
Near the end of our little photo shoot, I can see my expression calm. I can tell I’m going beyond the wig wearing me, to me inhabiting the wig. I think – I know – as this exercise progresses that I’ll think less and be more.
And then there’s Jim. We’ve been taking pictures of me first. Maybe from now on, we’ll start with him. One look at the characters he creates and I instantly want to let go and have more fun.
All I can say is, wait until you see tomorrow’s pictures!