A friend of mine wrote an essay for the Anthony Bourdain “Medium Raw” essay on the subject in an attempt to answer the question “Why cook well?” (it’s in competition, so read a few essays and vote for your favorite) and it got my thinker to thinkin’.
One of the things that’s always struck me as funny is the assumption that as someone who cares deeply about style I must be shallow by default. Funny because I view my interest in style –the “refinement of detail” as Scott Schuman says– as part and parcel of being a thorough and complex person.
I’ve always associated shallowness with a sort of intellectual laziness, the same laziness I associate with lack of attention to detail in all manners of activity, personal furnishings included.
When I think of someone with a great deal of style I always think of precision, of thought, of discipline. This item was chosen because it gives this effect. It’s similar to writing, or cooking or anything that required attention to detail. You pick a particular word or ingredient not because it’s the first one that springs to mind or the only thing in the fridge not growing an intriguing though potentially scientifically important mold, but because you want a desired effect.
It occurs to me I don’t know any truly stylish person who is also truly lazy, and maybe that’s why as a big girl I feel the stakes are higher for us. There’s already a stereotype against us for being lazy and sloppy. I mean, if we weren’t so lazy lounging around stuffing our piggy faces with Crisco sandwiches and only moving to wash our corpulent frames with rags on sticks then we wouldn’t be fat, would we?