As I mentioned before, I love watching people in the street. I love noticing what people are wearing, how they’re acting and making up stories about strangers’ lives.
But sometimes I feel like I am giving off a major creepy vibe. Proof of this being when someone mumbled “Stare much?” on the streetcar a few years ago. It hurt more because inside I thought this person was super cool. Sure, I’ve been told I have a penetrative gaze. But a creepy stare? ICK! SORRY! I am just admiring you, beautiful stranger.
So finding Chelsea McMullan’s short film The Way We Dress on THE NOWNESS (beware, this site is a beautiful rabbit hole of culture) is very comforting. McMullen’s video expresses the same appreciative sentiment I feel for strangers. “I love your confidence!” “I love your shoes!” “I want to be you!” These are the thoughts I am having as I shoot a small smile your way. Nothing sinister, I swear.
I don’t know if this is a symptom of living in an urban setting, but despite this habit, my alarm bells usually go off if a stranger talks to me in the street. Even if a lady asks, “Excuse me,Where’d you get your dress?” I am sceptical of her intentions and hover my hand over my purse. What a sad way to be!
This video has taught me not to be as intimidated to throw out a compliment or two in the street, to admire others and to smile at a stranger. A lot of those strangers are doing the same thing.