Monday, January 9, 2012

a modern girl



I thought the dogs would chase me around Fresh Pond tonight. In e-mails, women often confess that they, too, like the smells associated with menstruation (but few say so in the comments).

On Friday, I smelled Kiki Smith's perfume at the ICA and it was enormous. It was juicy and purple and rotted--something much too sweet that had just turned but wouldn't quit with its blooming. In some ways its insistence was awful, but we all kept leaning in to smell one anothers' hands and agree it was much too much. I didn't know until I looked it up just now that she was inspired by the smells of "cat pee and plant sex."

 "Born," Kiki Smith [via]
In December, I scandalized a small cluster of people at a holiday party by admitting that I preferred not to shower every day. They shocked me in turn with their disbelief, their small shudders.

Earlier today I was reading Carrie Brownstein's piece about bearded toothlessness in indie rock, lamenting  "wit and heart [without] bite." Why should we smell nice all the time? Or at all? It's true that sometimes I wish to smell like a buttery angel, but it's also true that I should sometimes stink, smell decay, be fearless, or at least less afraid of "volume, ugliness, and bombast," whether I'm breathing it in or giving it off.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

For reasons I can't explain, or even understand, I really like this post.

Preets said...

I'm a big believer in not trying to smell nice. I hope I don't stink (except perhaps after long camping trips?), but I feel that more people in more countries should be okay with how people smell. I do like bottled smells for their own sake sometimes! But I'm also in favour of less anxiety about the natural smell of bodies.

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