I have about another week of this @RenttheRunway dress business and, so far, it was an excellent experiment, worth the cost.

That's right; they did not pay me for this or even give me the dresses for free. I am paying out of pocket to do their work for them.

#Chump
My life has taught me that I can either be comfortable or I can write but also, I can be irrationally terrified or I can write. There's a sweet spot of unease where the writing flows.

A sour spot, if you will.

Wearing a dress puts me right in that spot.
Yesterday, I figured out one of the reasons why I draw a sigh of relief when I hand the dress back, slide back into jeans, a t-shirt and a cardigan.

I don't know if you're aware of this, but the entertainment industry is kind of nuts. Their priorities are singular.
More accurately, the entertainment industry lives that which everyone else is just thinking:

"It's fun to do stupid things!"

"If you gave me money, I'd like to think I'd be charitable but frankly, I'd be an asshole."

"All things considered, I'd rather look at pretty people."
Flash back to the prettiest girl in your high school class. What was her plan? Well sure, Cindy Crawford had planned to be an engineer before someone reminded her she was Cindy Crawford, but a high percentage of the prettiest people in every cohort buy tickets to LA.
Not all of them will end up acting. In fact, most of them don't end up acting; this why our yoga instructors look the way they do. The parts of LA which are a company town have a higher than average percentage of physically-ideal specimens. I have always been surrounded by that.
I have always known I wasn't that.

Whatever you're thinking about typing right now...don't.

"I know you said not to comment on this, but I think you're pretty!"

You are a stranger on the Internet.

I don't care what you think of me, internally or externally.
This is why the hoopleheads and ol' Gunning-Kruger @johncardillo delight me; they think telling me they don't want to fuck me is a pain point.

First of all, they would.

So much.

That's the curse of having a dick.

Second, and I cannot stress this enough, I don't care.
Until I started this little experiment, I didn't realize the agreement I had made with myself, with the world in which I live. My wardrobe of jeans/striped shirts/cardigans/tank tops/basically a 90's CK One ad was my way of saying to the world, "Feel free to look elsewhere."
The entertainment industry has a strange relationship with beauty, both recognizing that in a visual medium it is of primacy, which requires endless upkeep and tweaking and demanding it appear to be effortless; Aphrodite never got Kybella.
Alice and the Red Queen ran faster and faster to stay in place; people in the entertainment industry labor mightily to appear indifferent. I once attended a party at a Gwathmey house, literally on the beach, filled with priceless art and the priceless people who make it.
Everyone there was in what appeared to be sweats until you got close enough to recognize the markers and then suspect there were a whole other level or markers you weren't rich enough to recognize.

That's the entertainment industry.
If I'm wearing a dress, I'm appearing to care and if I care, I can lose.

"Lose what, exactly?"

I'm not sure.

I do know that for the formative years of my life I was in a business which is the ultimate bad boyfriend, a career which has an indefatigable ability to destroy you.
Every single person in the entertainment industry has a story about how after many a month, or year, you finally get up the courage to leave and you're one foot out the d-

You get a job.

"Baby, it'll be different this time," the business coos.

You choose to believe the lie.
The metaphorical bad boyfriend burns down your house and runs off with your kid sister.
I think it's that, on some level, dresses make me feel vulnerable. No can look at a cardigan and jeans and think I want your approval. It's a reasonable assumption if one is wearing a dress and, to me, it's not a conversation I want to have.
@Leamer has a fantastic new nonfiction book about Truman Capote's coterie of women, women Capote both worshipped and, ultimately, betrayed. Read this and also, @MelanieBen fiction version, SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE and be very happy.

As you may guess, I kind of know this subject.
These women were world-famous beauties, chatelaines, possessors of objects.

Without looking them up, I defy you to name three.

Hinging on externals is a mug's game.

But also, pretty people get better stuff.

Until, of course, they are supplanted by new pretty people.
It's complicated.
I prefer to dwell inside my head.
But what, if anything, have I lost by ceding that ground?
In some ways, I've been more comfortable with I tried something on and looked terrible. Yesterday's dress looked good on me. My brain immediately reminded me that everything which made the dress fit well was mostly genetics - over which I have no control - so why be pleased?
The parts which are within my control could easily be undone by any one of a dozen medical conditions I could be diagnosed with tomorrow. It's nice that I look good but it seems no more substantial than hinging my self-worth on a butterfly landing on my knee.
It bears noting that Capote's book about the Swans is called ANSWERED PRAYERS, from the epigraph "More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones."

These women had all the externals they had worshipped.

By and large, they were unhappy.
As was Capote.

Externals will fuck you up.

But also, they're fun.

It's complicated.

I'm still pleasantly surprised I found a flattering longer dress and I was utterly relieved to hand it back.
And now, the ad!

I have a deal for you on @librofm (libro.fm/redeem/Quinn)

My membership benefits @vromans! Yours could benefit your local indie bookstore! Here is @Leamers’s book!

libro.fm/audiobooks/978…

And @MelanieBen book!

libro.fm/audiobooks/978…
(I stand by my lifetime suspicion that Lee Radziwell was a complete waste of carbon)
🎶It’s the final (dress) countdown🎶

My @RenttheRunway subscription runs out tomorrow and I had three to torch through before I finished so…DRESS FLURRY.
It’s cute but, honestly, the one janky line would have prevented me from engaging traditional discourse:

“I AM AWARE OF THE JANKY LINE, IT WAS INTENTIONAL LET ME LEAN TO NORMALIZE IT.”

“Ma’am, this is Arby’s.” ImageImage
This, I would buy and then not wear because it’s red and also, a dress. Image
Until an hour ago, I had no idea I put handkerchief hems in the same category as daytime shawls or Lindsey Buckingham as “Things only Stevie Nicks should do.” Image
And…scene.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with Quinn Cummings

Quinn Cummings Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @quinncy

27 Oct
A small story:

One of the most dangerous sayings among artists is "Jump and the net will appear." The idea that if you risk the universe will automatically protect you from the worst possible consequences is very seductive and is not actually true.
(In my twenties, a friend of a good friend of mine had a habit of announcing a change in career or life's longing monthly, each time blithely announcing that "The universe will provide." My friend once grimly noted "The universe" looked a lot like the woman's husband)
When you produce an indie, money is gathered slowly, painfully; I'd say you chip away at the amount you need like a sculptor working some marble, but imagine if while the sculptor delineated a leg, a bunch of marble sometimes grew back. Money gets promised, not always delivered.
Read 19 tweets
22 Oct
A small story:

"Why read good writing?"

Because good writing, writing scrubbed of everything but the essential truth, will strengthen and improve you.

This is not to say I'm squinting at SILAS MARNER in a candlelit room while the rest of you marvel at NeNe Leakes.
Anyone who has been around Twitter at Met Gala night knows I'm a shallow little thing.

But even as I wait impatiently for Rihanna to finally FINALLY arrive, I know this is an unsustainable diet, a steady fois-gras feeding tube of words making me linguistically malnourished.
Good writing isn't the same as tricky writing; in fact, good writing is the opposite of tricky writing. Tricky writing - with its great lashing of weasel-words and logic based on the model of the double-helix - isn't meant to illuminate you. It's meant to cow you.
Read 23 tweets
21 Oct
A small story:

For a couple of years, Kid swam/water polo’ed/dove. She was never completely dry and the back seat of my car was a shade lighter than the front seat thanks to chlorine.
While all three pool sports shared a venue, the participants were easily categorized. The swim-team kids were the ones shaped like inverted triangles, the water-polo players were covered in bruises and the divers had destroyed hair.

“Didn’t they all?”

Nope.
Swim team wore caps, water-polo wore caps- at least in part so an opponent didn’t tear off their ears- but divers, did not. The pattern of diving/waiting to dive created greater porosity in the hair, leading to greater damage.
Read 15 tweets
20 Oct
For those who asked, here is the book (feat: Non-janky highlighter)
Here is the first page. I will give you no more but lie to me and tell me you don’t want @ElieNYC’s book.

Pre-order it.
You have no idea how mad I am at you, @ElieNYC.

Three chapters in and I CANNOT GIVE THIS TO EVERY PERSON I KNOW FOR CHRISTMAS THE FUCK.
Read 20 tweets
20 Oct
A small story:

I loved ballet.

I loved the precision, the quiet, the discipline, the chasing after a Platonic ideal of a line, a movement, the feeling of flight, of speed. I loved the wardrobe and oh, did I love pointe shoes.

Ballet tolerated me.
At its heart dance is a sport * and, like all sports, there are certain people more physically-suited to the sport than other. I wasn't designed for ballet.

* At its heart, ballet began as a way for French aristocrats to look at lady-legs and pick out their new mistress.
Even though I was small, I was the wrong kind of small; the perfect ballet dancer should have a smaller head, very long limbs and very bendy feet.

If spiders could pirouette, Balanchine would have married three of them.
Read 26 tweets
19 Oct
A small story:

If pressed, I think the most baffling thing to explain to anyone younger than 25 is how rarely anyone over 45 took a picture.

Well, that and rotary phones.

I imagine myself pulling down a photo album and then stopping to explain a photo album.
Having broken down the idea of "We printed them and then put them in a book and never looked at them unlike now, where they are in your phone and you never look at them," I'd show them an average page.

Birthday or two.

Holidays.

Vacation.

"That's a year," I would say.
They'd possibly push the pictures a few times, thinking that maybe it would open a file of the rest of the 16,000 images of pets, meals and bomb-light pouting which is now how we measure a year.

"Nope," I'd say cheerfully, "The picture were printed, picked up, put in here."
Read 18 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!

:(