We can thank Bravo for creating a whole kit and kaboodle of repressed Wasps who want to be: Famous, hello!
Traditionally, Wasps haven’t aired their dirty laundry. They've sent it out for dry cleaning. So, there’s an inner struggle for these nouveaux Wasps who want to be in the spotlight. They have a hard time expressing themselves without hearing the gin slurred harping of their ancestors. When they do put themselves out there for all the world to judge, you can sense their inner turmoil: the shame and insecurity, which makes fascinating entertainment.
A friend recently sent me a web video ripe for parody where self-proclaimed “Style and Beauty Expert” Wendi Brasswell explains how to dress PUNK.
The video is a delicious character portrait of a Wasp in over her head. She’s a deer in headlights, but has the gumption to state the obvious with conviction: "No bedazzle on the rear." She can’t hide her disdain for her subject. She sums up the look by saying, "It's anything that normal people wouldn't do."
It reminds me of my parents' revulsion when I got a nose piercing my sophomore year of college. A little cubic zirconia stud glinted in my nostril for two days, long enough for my parents to call seventeen thousand times from Texas.
"What does your boyfriend think of this mutilation?" my father asked in an ice cold tone. My boyfriend was pre-med and captain of the lacrosse team, the holy grail of suitors as far as my father was concerned.
"He thinks it's cute."
"Well, when he's some big time doctor, he's going to dump your ass."
I was a sophomore at Smith College: home of Betty Freidan, land of Gloria Steinem. His threat fell on deaf ears.
My mom called for back up. "But...why now?! This weekend, we're going to the Greenwich Country Club with your grandfather. You're not even allowed to wear denim there. I can’t imagine their policy on piercings..."
So, I did take it out, but not for any of my parents' reasons. I took it out because it didn't fit me. I didn't need it. It felt more like a statement against my Waspy background than an expression of my own originality.
While I hoofed it back over to the tattoo parlor to get it removed, I realized:
Bedazzling one's nose, an iconoclast does not make.
The "punk" video has been set to private now. Wendi probably realized it was getting popular for all the wrong reasons. Here she is more in her element explaining: “How to Dress Like a Wealthy Woman.”