Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Do You Have "A LOOK?"

Do You Have "A LOOK?"
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
I adored Terrance McNally's play "Master Class," which features an imperious Maria Callas mentoring and tormenting three singers during a master class, and generally just oozing fabulous diva-dom.

(PeaceBang would like to say, as an editorial aside, that the word "diva" is ENTIRELY over-used today. Maria Callas was a DIVA. Kelly Clarkson is not a diva. Queen Latifah is a queen. And a diva. So is Michael Kors, for that matter, which is why we worship them. Celine Dion, for all her histrionics, is not a diva. Canada, I know that hurts. But it had to be said.)

Anyway, in the play, Maria Callas repeatedly accuses the students of not having a Look.
"You don't have a LOOK," she says, but in her Greek accent it sounds more like, "You don' hev alooook."

As I sat in the center of the orchestra watching Dixie Carter chew the hell out of this fantastic role the many years ago I saw it, I thought to myself, "UH-oh... I don' hevaloook." Heving a looook is hard to do when you're pretty much limited to Lane Bryant couture, but by God, Maria, from that day forward, I tried. I think my Look -- on the days that I have one -- could be described as "Vaguely Bohemian Plus-Sized Professional." Some days it's just "Please Give Me Some Credit For Accessorizing." And in the summer it's "21st Century Babushka."

I was fondly reminded of Maria Callas this afternoon when I stepped off the hospital elevator at the 4th floor and sucked in my breath when I saw none other than Holly Hobby walk by with a clipboard. She was middle-aged ("Holly! Girl, it's been so LONG!") and smiling, wearing a long jumper with a gingham-checked pinafore top, ankle socks and little tan lace-up booties. Not the sexed-up, high-heeled kind of little booties, but the kind Laura Ingalls might have actually worn to go milk the cows.

As I was taking all of this in out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that the door Dr. Hobby was closing behind her was similarly adorned with a gingham heart plaque. And then I got it: this was her Look!
Whether Dr. Hobby just personally liked gingham hearts or was channeling that Jane Seymour pioneer doctor-lady character from that show whose name I've forgotten, or thought that her prairie fashion might be comforting to patients, I will never know. But this I do know: girl was rocking that gingham jumper with confidence and pride, and while I probably would have begged to be seen by another physician if I was under her care, she certainly had a Look.

I honestly think if she roughed it up with a few of those Jane Seymour buckskins, she might be able to pull it off. Even some denim. Something to break up the treacly little girl effect. But hey, give her credit for making a statement, however puzzling that statement may be.

Go get your Look on!


Blogger Chalicechick said...

My favorite college roommate said my look was "spacey smart girl who doesn't pay attention to her clothes."

But hey, I'm working on it.


10:51 PM  
Anonymous MissConduct said...

I've been told by various people over the years that my Look is "naughty librarian," "postmodern bluestocking," and "overworked Jewish secretary" (this latter, incidentally, some 15 years before I actually became Jewish). There's definitely a theme going on.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous jinnis said...

In college my look was such tie-dye West Coasty that even a Californian thought I was of his kind - until I spoke and I was all Yankee. I had a good time with the "thrift store-army navy-theater rat" thing all through high school and college.

And then I went to div school - and have been figuring it out as I go along. I seem to remember PB calling my div school look "classic" back in the day. Classic professional sounds good to me. I'll keep working on it.

11:54 AM  
Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

LOL - I love the names of your look.

I'm pretty sure I have a look, but haven't named it. Maybe Bookish Earth Sista/Hermana.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous marcia said...

Hi dear Peacebang...
The show is Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

LOVE the blog!

8:17 PM  

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