3/15/2008
No such thing as fair play

Playing with shadows during our thesis shoot at Yas' condo unit. Reinier Laino and Elle Velasco thankfully granted us another day of shooting, since Sir Mariano suggested we add another scene...

One of the functions that school uniforms probably served is to make sure everybody's equal, at least in the things they wore. The same look for girls and the same look for boys, with the nuances being supplied by whatever accessory you planned to complement it with. With a little training, you recognize the things that make one different from the other, because you're basically starting from scratch.

At this point, we obviously don't have that. There's virtually no dress code, which means one can do anything to make things work. Wear a top with a plunging neckline? A top that hugs your body, and all its flaws, well? A skirt that you struggle to wear because it's three inches above your knees? Things even change when the setting breaks out and you're thrust into the real world, because sometimes people pull the best surprises when they're not restrained by anything. And suddenly it dawns on you: appearances are everything.

Shallow as it may seem, for the past week, we were given a chance to start all over again. For two days, people were unified by those Sir Doy shirts that they struggled to keep as a secret. It was a weird feeling, not because it felt like we were celebrities following someone, but because it felt like PE class all over again. Same shirts, indistinguishable jeans, same intentions, but different looks, and different personalities still.

But eventually we all struggled to make a mark. Almost everybody's shirts were autographed, but one was bound, coincidentally at least, to be different than the other. Signatures gave way to hearts, then to sparkling hearts, and much later, a full-fledged message covered by a jacket. Initially people wanted to have something different, but eventually they had to live with what they had. A flat iron was enough to make it permanent.

It's been three years, though, and already you have an idea of who stands out more than another, and for what reasons. Yesterday I merely walked around the party, with a camera on one hand, and my hopes on another, wishing that I could keep something for posterity's sake, and then some. Of course nothing came up, because you didn't see the green shirts everybody wore. They were, instead, the persons who wore those shirts, and whatever concept you associated with them. It makes things so much harder.

Whoever said that we should get rid of our inhibitions has probably lived under a rock. Our mere appearances trigger thoughts that either make us or break us. You're bound to figure out what works better for you, or what you think should be yours, in one way or another. You're bound to figure out the drawbacks to everything, and the next thing you know, it's inhibition at the door. You see, everything is powered by inhibition. It neither fear nor anger, but simply a case of anticipating embarrassment, and avoiding it by not doing anything at all. And so, they left me with nothing but my camera on one hand, and my spoiling, rotten hopes on another.

Have we wished too much? Maybe, if the moment comes and you're caught unaware, with nothing to your name but yourself and the outfit you prefer to come out in. You know what you have isn't enough, and what you want isn't available to you. So, you instead prefer to have a memory, at the very least, that you were there. But you decide to just walk around in circles, around where you are and inside what you want to be, and it just doesn't happen. You just say to yourself, I don't really like that, but I like it anyway.

And your responses...

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