Jasper’s Brand New Skinny Jeans

Posted: January 30, 2009 in Uncategorized

I just got these jeans and am having fun with red. I find this outfit has a great degree of cultural ambiguity. In San Francisco it is ‘culturally intelligible’ as mission hipster with some gender ambiguity. If I leave my island of white middle-class progressiveness I notice a lot of disapproving but not phobic gestures from working class or underclass men. Fashion seems to be policed more intensely in less privileged settings. On the other hand, I had three women approach and voice their support for my fashion statements.

  1. sarah says:

    I am happy that I found your website today. I’m just starting to work out new politics for my own wardrobe, making it more queer and sexy, and more critical of whiteness. I’ve been looking through various diy fashion and style blogs, but when I see your analysis and fashion together I feel delighted and also relieved. I don’t have to squint so critically, you know? So thanks! I appreciate it a lot.

    Do you think fashion is policed more intensely in less privileged settings, or just with different rules than in middle class settings? In my own middle class hipster neighbourhood, I see a lot of disapproval for outfits that are read as trashy, old (“mom jeans”, “dad pants”), non-cosmopolitan, poor fitting, etc.

  2. Jasper Gregory says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for your interest. I checked out your websites (pearlofcivilization.net). You are my new hero. I guess we are both using blogs as performance art. Your bizarreness is so much more interesting because it is your life.

    I think fashion is policed more threateningly in less privileged settings, but I think you bring up a very interesting point. Every group has its ‘other.’ I think some points to note are

    1) whether the group thinks it represents ‘civilization’. Do they think that violating the norms make you less than human (fag bashers, taliban)?
    2) how do they police? with violence? snubbing? ignoring?

  3. sarah says:

    I am thinking about “more threateningly in less privileged settings,” and about how physicality works with class. I have the idea that middle and upper class people consider themselves more intellectual and more polite, and have stricter etiquette about physical control. Farting counts as low class. Physical fighting counts as low class.

    I am considering that their might be fashion police moves that happen in more privileged settings that I’m not used to defining as threatening, because I see them as more “polite” or classy.

    Kind of like how physical crimes are punished more heavily than “white collar” economic crimes that do more damage? I’ve never really thought about this before. I can’t think of a real life example, I just have an itch about defining less privileged people as more threatening.

    Anyhow. Thanks for the encouragement about the websites. I took a long break and I’m trying to figure out how to write honestly again, so I appreciate the enthusiasm for bizarreness. It helps.

  4. Jasper Gregory says:

    I wonder if white collar policing is very effective in institutional settings when there is a power difference. Your parent, boss, teacher, coach, social worker or spouse, may be able to police your gender very effectively with an insinuation, a sarcastic comment, a raised eyebrow, gossip, or the silent treatment, but they are not as effective at policing anonymous public spaces. Catcalling and physical intimidation seems more likely in less privileged settings. Possibly because a physical masculinity is more valued. On the other hand young white middle class masculinity can seem very physical too. I am thinking of jocks and frat boys.

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