altered egos

For a coon's age, I've been wanting to join in with the wonderful women who do the FBFF posts (that's Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, a generous creation by Katy Rose of Modly Chic): this is the week I'm ready to dive in.

The question is: who is the person we'd be if circumstances allowed? We're meant to create an outfit - a self style post - but it's dark and I only have the cat at the moment to shoot me, so I'm cheating and drawing from my pre-blog, pre-marriage, NY Sex and the City days (this was pre S&tC, too: I was kind of a cross between Carrie, I guess, and Charlotte. Okay, I admit it: sometimes I was Samantha).

I've been musing for days now, back then, what did I want to be, and how does it shape up with who I am today? I wanted to be an artist: I expected I'd be an artist. I also at that time was being mentored by probably one of the greatest living art collectors, and I kind of chickened out. Many careers seemed too scary: the art world seemed more for the Big Boys. But what I did do - and there was no outlet for it - was bring my dad's old Pentax, and a tripod - in this case, onto a roof - but anywhere. On trains, cars, planes.. I was doing self style, and calling it art.

So I guess part of me wanted to be a ballerina. I still have this vintage swimsuit somewhere - yes, it is a swimsuit, with a pleated skirt - and in those days, I wore bare legs with black boots and slouchy socks, even tho no one else was.

Fascinating post, btw, from blinking against the brightness, on the subject of self style bloggers, and the idea of fame and yes - appropriate for this post - ego. While a boyfriend at the time thought I was pretty weird for always taking photos of myself - for my art - I was mainly doing it because I knew what I wanted, I was my own best Muse, and I wouldn't inflict that on anyone else. Nor expect them to have the patience.

But I've been reflecting a lot lately on the idea of women - they're mostly women, altho there are a few blokes - round the world, patiently, regularly, taking photos of themselves and putting it on the internet. There's great book I read years ago, by Susan Sontag, called ON PHOTOGRAPHY, and she talked about the different ways that we use photography. How we can go on holiday and not really be present: we're just going for the photo album. In those days, people had photo albums. She dbecame, fittingly, Annie Leibowitz's partner, and she died, tragically too young, several years ago - but I wonder what she would have made of this phenomenon.

I don't know if I had a burning desire to wear the white dress and for some man to give me a big rock: I had my share of boyfriends, really cute ones, too. And I did, just when it seemed my mom was going to give up on me, become a wife. But I never did get round to being a Mom. And I don't know why. And I don't know, yet, if I regret it, but sometimes I think, that if we did have kids, my husband and I might have been pretty good parents. I guess we'll never know. But my friend Linda sent me this shot, from before we moved to London. I have no idea whose baby it is. I guess I was just trying it on for size, but I don't seem to be paying it very much attention. Perhaps it's better that we just have a cat: he practically takes care of himself.

Big thank you to LILI of RELATABLE STYLE for hosting the post this week. If it was your concept, thank you as well!


Style At Every Age said...

You would have made a great mum for sure x

jill said...

Oh, BLESS you, Fab! ; )

Nanina said...

Hey Jill, thank you so much for taking the time to put this together and participate! Your photos tell a whole story, I love them! It is strange sometimes how we think we'd be one thing and then we turn out something different, somewhat or entirely. It's what I had as my alter ego too. I guess that's what they call life, haha ;-)

Veshoevius said...

You ARE an artist! I love the first shot - you look just like a ballerina, did you ever do any dancing? I wanted to be a ballerina when I young too and even went to the trouble of training. And the parent thing - I often wonder exactly the same thing too. Great post!

Veshoevius said...

...and I don't think you're cheating using old outfit shots - I did the same with my post! We do fill different roles in our lives, sometimes even without going out of our way to do it and sometimes they might be the ones we had always fantasised about...

i am not a celebrity said...

Love the photos, JB. So raw, youthful, vulnerable. Art, indeed. x

foto blog by stefano biasin said...


Thank you for your nice article on street style London. It will help me.


The Foolish Aesthete said...

You certainly have a strong sense of who you are and what you want out of life -- and I think that is a very wonderful thing! (Love how you styled that swimsuit so originally, especially for the time) Truly admire that first shot, where you've thrown your head back with abandon while doing your ballerina stretch. You may not think you are a dancer, but with a pose like that -- replete with artistic expression -- I think we can say that you ARE! I even think of Martha Graham, who couldn't move with the grace of a Sugar Plum Fairy having gotten to dance late in life, but, boy, was she an ARTIST on stage!

I am curious what Sontag and Annie Liebowitz might think of all these self-portraits on the web. Artists have always painted or photographed themselves. I think of Frida Kahlo who was her own best model. But this Blog world is a different phenomenon. It was very interesting to read your previous post and your unsavory experiences with other bloggers. Really sorry to hear about that.

By the way, you could have fooled me on your last photo. I thought it was your kid! Your cat must be very lucky to be in your household!

And lastly, I wanted to thank you for your kind words to me. I am also thankful for discovering Blog friends like you this year!

xxx - J

jill said...

Thank YOU, J! And each of you who commented. Really grateful, especially these days, more than ever.

And the cat is one lucky cat, and he knows it. Really cute and charming and has us wrapped around his little paw. We tell people we're staying together for the sake of the cat.


adrielleroyale said...

Really beautiful shot of you, love that last one! That's why I've always loved cats, they really do take care of themselves :) I too have no doubt that you would have made a great mother, but really, whenever you take someone like Roz or any of your other blog friends under your wing, you become a sort of second mother to them! The way you naturally stick up for people whether you know them or not shows your natural motherly instincts. But since you don't have any kids (other than the cat), that just means you are available for the rest of the world - you are able to nurture anyone who comes near you, to be that light on an otherwise gloomy day. :)

Much love and many cyber hugs :) xoxoxo

Braddie Carshaw said...

Love the first photo!


Fayoona said...

"I have no idea whose baby it is. I guess I was just trying it on for size"
My new favourite line.
x your hibernating irish friend fiona

jill said...

Ah my hibernating Irish friend Fiona! What a delight to hear from you.

Thank you, Blode, and Adrielle: really moved by what you said, thank you. I'll be visiting your blogs soon, I promise. Hope you're all well.