Monday, September 28, 2009

Fur Coat, No Knickers

By Yolande Botha
On the eleventh of August 2009, Yolande Botha, received a phone call. “We're all waiting for you, you promised that you would come,” the husky, masculine voice on the other side of the line said. Yolande, having been ill all day and having almost missed her history assignment deadline due to a severe bout of procrastination, did not not feel like going to Doug's birthday party at all. She would have preferred to stay in bed with her Elle magazine and her usual sugarless, milk-free green tea, but Doug knew her too well and as soon as he mentioned the word “promised” her people-pleasing tendency kicked in and she said that she would be there in no more than half an hour.
After putting the phone down, she looked at herself in the mirror. Her long blond hair fell in soft waves around her face, usually she would have spent at an hour washing it, drying it and ultimately frying it flat with a straightener until she looked like a European Cleopatra , but neither her time or energy levels allowed for this that night. As she stood naked in front of her wardrobe, Yolande actually considered wearing her grandmother's vintage chinchilla coat. She had never worn it before in Grahamstown. Firstly because she was afraid that animal rights activists would chase her down High Street aiming mud pies at her back and also because it was such an elaborately glamorous piece that she knew that wearing it would raise a few eyebrows in this town where gypsy skirts are the uniform.
On a whim Yolande wrapped the fur coat around naked body and added a pair of 6 inch black stilettos and cherry red lipstick and walked out the door to Doug's. As she was walking down the street, Yolande felt both vulnerable and empowered. That outfit embodied who she is most vividly and concisely – sophisticated, self-indulgent, fierce, fabulous and slightly controversial but none-the-less a show stopper. It reminded her of why she had come to Grahamstown in the first place which was to pursue her goal of using journalism as a tool to let out her creative steam. She never wanted to be an idealistic, world-changing reporter; she simply wanted to meet her own seemingly selfish ends and to serve other women like herself.
The “fur coat epiphany” has created aYolande who now blogs what she likes, reads what she likes, says what she likes and feels what she likes. And what she likes is fearless glamour. It is this fearless glamour that has empowered her to say things like, “I blog for myself, I read for myself and I produce journalism for myself – it's all about me, not you.”