As I may have mentioned once or twice, I’m rather lazy. I enjoy doing nothing, and my favourite hobby is quite possibly sleeping. That’s why in Australia, I love being able to wake up at eight, lazily check my emails/twitter/tumblr, grab some money for lunch and then chuck on my uniform as mum’s screaming at me to get out the door. There’s no thought involved; just grab the blue checkered dress/white socks/black leather shoes (Summer) or the black dress pants/white button up shirt/red and black striped tie/red jumper/black socks/black leather shoes (Winter) and you’re good to go.
I’d never really thought about it much before coming here, I mean, as a seasoned debater I’ve participated in more than my fair share of “We Should Get Rid Of School Uniforms” debates, but uniforms have always just been there. Mufti days were always the exception, not the rule, and when you had someone as evil as my Father as Principal, they didn’t exist at all. When they occured in primary school or at my new school, there was always much complaining amongst the girls, as we were all secretly paranoid that someone would either:
a) wear the same thing as us
b) what we wore would be considered ‘uncool’ and we’d be the laughing stock of the school
(Oh wait. That was just me? Carry on then).
I knew Australia was one of the only countries in the world to still have school uniforms, so I realised coming here would mean half a year of uniformless school life. At first, I was kind of excited. Getting to wear whatever I wanted every day, not having to wear chunky lace up leather shoes…It was going to be awesome! What I had forgotten, however, was just how fashionable the Frenchies are, and just how unfashionable I am. It only took a visit to the change rooms on Tuesday morning after EPS (PE) for me to discover just how differently teens took to fashion here. In Australia, change rooms are a very boring place. They involve taking off one uniform, and putting on another. This is not the case in France. At the end of the lesson, I witnessed things that I had never thought possible for school change rooms. Girls were getting out of their trackies and into strapless dresses. Exchanging their runners for stilettos. Untying their ponytails and rearranging their hair into styles more suitable for the runway, complimented with full faces of makeup expertly applied while looking into mirrors held by friends. The held their gym bags in one hand and their handbags in the other as they tottered out of the building, looking like they’d fit in better at a fashion show or a high end party than a high school. I have never felt so inferior in my life.
I have to catch the bus at seven twenty-five every morning, which means getting up at six-thirty to shower, eat breakfast (breakfast here is amazing. I never ate it back home, but I crave it here) and get my stuff ready so I get there in time. What I didn’t think to account for was outfit selection. It’s so much darn effort to stand there of a morning trying to decide what to wear. You can’t wear similar things twice in a week, you can’t wear anything overly ‘comfortable’ or ‘lazy’, you have to make sure that your shoes, bag and accessories don’t clash, and by gosh, make sure no one else in your class has worn something similar recently.
Because I am lazy, I generally stick to jeans (I brought four pairs with me) and a rotation of nice shirts and jackets. I am hastily running out of combinations and it’s beginning to get mighty cold here (darn all of you in Spring) so a shopping trip is definitely on the cards. So far my outfits haven’t gotten any bad/weird looks, so that’s a plus. Then again, they could be whispering about what I’m wearing in French and I’d be none the wiser.
One thing that I have found interesting here, is though it’s a minor fashion sin in Australia to wear anything resembling runners with jeans, those who opt not to wear heels (our school is like, five stories. That’s an awful lot of stairs to be mastering in heels) wear these lace-up runner-esque kind of shoe. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to pull the look off, as I’m so lacking in fashion confidence and all, but somehow these fashionistas even manage to make that work.
French girls are so gorgeous, it’s just not fair. I swear I haven’t seen one fat person (or even someone who’s not stick thin) at my school, and they all look like they’ve just stepped out of the fashion pages of a magazine. None of them even have pimples! Their only faults are they tend to abuse the eyeshadow and they all have a disgusting smoking habit.
Sigh, I’ll just have to sit here and pray that some of their fashionista-ness will rub off on me before I go home (note: I’m writing this dressed in trackies and an old long sleeve shirt with slippers on my feet and my hair in the same messy bun I chucked it in to shower this morning. To give me credit, it is Sunday and I haven’t left the house, but if anyone from school saw me I’d probably be blacklisted for life…)
frangipani princess xoxo