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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Column: Sorry I’m not sorry for not wearing sweats

Yes, I am wearing jeans today. No, I don’t have an interview later.

Abigail Fisher

March 4, 2014

The opinions expressed by The Maneater columnists do not represent the opinions of The Maneater editorial board.

One of the biggest changes I experienced during my move from high school to college almost two years ago is that not one person on a college campus expects you to look nice for class. All we ask here is that you smell decent and don’t have any live organisms making a home out of your facial hair.

During the four years I spent walking the halls of high school, if I wore sweats or forgot eyeliner for a day I could expect the phrases, “Are you OK? You look tired,” directed at me by no fewer than three people.

Needless to say, being able to dress down when dragging myself to class in 30-degree weather has been a dream. But sometimes, I want to look nice. I have the time now that I’ve wizened up and refused to take any class that starts before the godforsaken hour of 11 a.m. And after amassing a collection of clothes I am fond of and products that make my face look a little less like it was hit by a truck filled with sleeping pills, I enjoy putting these items to use.

Unfortunately, I have spent many cumulative days standing in line at Starbucks being stared up and down by a league of girls in matching leggings, T-shirts and North Face fleeces, all because I assume either a) I have some sort of large growth protruding from my face or b) I’m wearing brightly colored lipstick. And no, I looked; there are no unchecked growths in sight. Not even a benign one.

I am sick and tired of being asked why I’m “so dressed up” when I’m wearing clothing that looks like it couldn’t have been bought from a table outside a sporting event. Why do I get the urge to lie and answer, “I have an interview after class,” when clearly I woke up and dressed the way I did out of my own will and volition? Why do I feel guilty for waking up 20 minutes earlier than everyone else so I can slap on a little makeup before class?

I don’t do these things because I’m insecure. If I’m willing to talk about my digestive habits in a published newspaper, I feel fine going outdoors in a T-shirt and no mascara. I’m definitely not trying to impress anyone. Believe it or not, I am not fishing for men; I have a boyfriend and he held my hair while I vomited last weekend, so I think he accepts me without the help of MAC Cosmetics.

Finally, you can bet your ass I’m not trying to trick anyone into thinking this is what I actually look like when I wake up in the morning. If you find someone who was born with violet lips, please call an ambulance — that person is probably suffocating and/or freezing to death.

While I love Mizzou and will always embrace the “One Mizzou” stance we take when it comes to race, sexuality, gender, religion and a host of other things, I don’t understand why putting effort into personal appearance automatically alienates me and warrants questions. When did this become such a social extreme? We’re all adults here, and as long as there aren’t any fire hazards or live animals involved, looking however you please should be just dandy to everyone else on campus.

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Article comments

March 6, 2014 at 10:51 a.m.

Barbara Burlison: As an alum of J School and the former advisor of The Maneater, let me applaud you! Good writing and good reasoning - and it always is nice to see someone really "put together" rather than looking like an "unmade bed!"

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