Emma Watson graces the cover of the 2015 September issue of Vogue UK. She’s well-styled, put together but not contrived, and well spoken in her interviews. She has certainly had enough practice. This girl is one of the most impressive and accomplished 25 year-olds on the planet, and along with being an actor, a model/muse, and a UN Ambassador, she is also a feeling human being. I have been aware of the her virtues for a while, along with the rest of the world, but something she said in this interview resonated. In reference to being an actor, she said “I feel like an imposter.”
Imposter. Someone who is clearly talented, admired by her community for her work, and has also gone on to do insanely important work by starting He For She, feels like a fake. Rationally, it makes no sense to me, but I get it. A lot of women get it. It’s a bizarre thing, but I have talked to a lot of friends in the past year who have felt like this. Women I know who are accomplished on all fronts; head boss ladies, masters of their fields, super moms and general badasses, have felt this same notion, that somehow, they are faking it. That they are somehow undeserving of what they have accomplished.
It sucks, and can probably be attributed to a mountain of societal pressure, ass-backwards social norms, stupid misogynistic crap and the notion that women’s self doubt is somehow a virtue, but it’s total garbage. It’s garbage that I feel on the daily. Its a strange thing, to be self-aware of the feelings, already knowing they are misplaced and damaging, but still have them.
I have no idea what I am doing a lot of the time in my fashion life here, and I do something that’s new to me every day. I feel behind when I see 18 year olds, bubbling over with talent, and I am 32 and struggling to draw pants. The other students have more energy, better clothes and go to fashion parties and shows that start at 12am. I go to an 80’s aerobics class and have a long list of “fashion things to google” on my phone. There is a constant battle on my head between the “you are doing it your way” camp and the “holy shit, you are lame” camp. I talk myself down from that pointless ledge a lot, noting that I have other talents, different valuable experience, and that I know all the words to “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue, and they don’t even know what that means.
So this next week, I have a class on draping. We will be working on dress forms and pinning fabric to make different shapes and looks. It will be another new thing that I have never done, but I am looking forward to it, and am determined to know I belong there. It has been incredibly helpful to hear from lots of you, and all the messages that you wrote about the collection on Tuesday were amazing. They made me feel like I’m actually doing it, and I really, truly appreciate your words. Have a great weekend.
Photo via A Well Traveled Woman.
And because everyone should know the words…