There is essentially nothing left on this earth that a girl can wear without some sort of aspersion cast upon her. And no, surprisingly, it has nothing to do with being maligned for a “whorish” aesthetic, so much as the selfishness she might be prone to conveying as a result of her lack of environmental consideration in making “careless” sartorial decisions. Case in point: glitter–as elucidated by sequins. Whether on dresses, tops, shorts, pants or shoes, a little shimmer was, to Corinne, a signature of the holiday season, most especially when New Year’s Eve finally rolled around. It was one of the few and only times of the year when it was “fashionably acceptable”–sort of like dressing “like a total slut” was only acceptable on Halloween. Considering Corinne also partook of that unspoken rule as well, it felt like, all of the sudden, the universe was inclined to balance the scales in taking this one other time of the year for vestiary “brazenness” away from her.
Cruelly, the damning report was released the week before New Year’s Eve. Like the sudden banning of microbeads in skincare products, the tastemakers of environmental “well-being”–whoever they were, Corinne still couldn’t understand–seemed to be very bored as the year came to a close in strategically opting to ruin everyone’s party outfit with their assessment that, “Not only will the addition of sequins and glitter to the oceans prove harmful to the wildlife, but their production and the materials they are made from can also have a detrimental effect on the planet. When it comes to the effect on the underwater ecosystems, it’s not simply damaging that the plastic is floating around in the water—it’s much worse than that. When small materials like sequins and glitter enter the oceans, they are ingested by small organisms. Glitter is sparkly, and everyone and everything likes sparkly things. Organisms might be more attracted to the sparkle of the glitter, compared to microbeads.”
But like, honestly, what kind of incompetent nitwit manages to get sequins from her dress into the sink, huh? And who even wears body glitter anymore unless they’re still clinging to the rave scene that seems only to still exist in suburban Los Angeles? As she ruminated on this question while staring at herself in the mirror in the shimmering, mermaid-tone (in its multicoloredness) sequin dress she had freshly purchased from the Forever 21 in SoHo, she sighed. Why did the “council of deciders” have to do this to her? Thwart her passion for shining in the only way she knew how. For her love of the material seemed to arise at birth, something her own mother, Helena, attributed to the fact that Corinne was conceived at Danceteria, at the height of glitter, sequins and all other absurd synthetic fabrics. And though it grossed Corinne out to hear the tale of her mother’s one-night stand that led to her birth, she relished the lore too much not to ask about it more often than she should. According to Helena, Corinne’s father was a Puerto Rican who captured her attention the moment he stepped onto the dance floor looking like a greaser from The Outsiders. “I knew I had to have him. Even if it meant compromising my ‘morals’ by having to settle for getting him in the bathroom. He also said the magic word to me at that period in my life: coke.” While this, to be sure, made Corinne cringe–she still couldn’t help but picture her mother wearing fishnet tights, a blue sequined strapless cocktail dress and metallic silver pumps as she sat on the nameless Puerto Rican’s lap on the toilet and threw caution to the wind on potentially conceiving an AIDS baby.
“It was the ’80s,” was all Helena could offer as a consolation. It infuriated Corinne, who felt she was born after her time. She was aware that everyone felt that way (at least any sentient being–though there are fewer and fewer of those) at one point or another, but was also certain that no one felt it quite like her. No one could possibly–at particular moments of the day, it was almost as though her soul was jumping out of its skin in an attempt to escape back into the past. A past where even glitter wasn’t somehow ruined by the controversy of “newfound information.” She made a fart noise with her mouth to snap herself out of her reverie, unzipping the back of the dress and letting it slide off of her. At least cocaine was back in style–so much so that she had been doing it often enough to lose the noticeable amount of weight that allowed the frock to fall down so easily. Almost as easily as her spirit was sinking into the depths of her stomach at the prospect of wearing something “sensible” to the party. She shuddered at the thought of herself in a black knee-length spaghetti strap dress with black pumps and a simple strand of pearls. If that’s what it was going to take to not be judged anymore at a motherfucking fête–the last sanctuary where people could actually showcase any semblance of so-called bombast in their attire–then she wanted no part of any purported “celebration” in the twenty-first century.
Picking up the open bottle of champagne from atop her bureau, complete with a framed picture of George Michael, she dialed the number of the friend she was meant to be accompanying to this godforsaken “shindig.” That’s what the disgusting email invitation had referred to it as. For fuck’s sake, were they in the fucking Midwest or something? As she proceeded to blather on about all the reasons she could not attend tonight as a result of the political incorrectness of wearing glitter now, her friend countered, “Well, why don’t you just invest in some sustainable, biodegradable glitter clothing that you can wear to a future party?”
Corinne guffawed. “Because it looks like shit. It’s visibly inferior. First they take away fur from me and now this. It’s like, there’s nothing worthwhile left to wear in this life.” And if that was truly the case, Corinne reasoned, then the Orwellian prediction about a future colored only in gray appeared to be coming to fruition. And it was not one she wanted to exist in. Thus, she would make her own alternate reality. At least for that night, during which she put her glitter dress back on–complete with rhinestone jewelry–and danced to “Into the Groove” on repeat until blacking out on her supply. It might have been a new year outside, but in Corinne’s world, it was still no later than 1985.