poverty looks good on you

It's Fashion Week in NYC and I'm missing it.

I've never actually been part of it, but I have always liked witnessing it.

The celebrities are part of it, but some of them don't look like fashion to me, they look like celebrity style.

It's probably true that rich people have more time and money to hire personal trainers, personal stylists, personal chefs, personal hair and make up artists, personal dermatologists. If you have all those people helping you, you can probably look pretty darn good.

But I also think it's the scrappy street kid/art student out in Bushwick that will always win the cool contest with nobody helping them at all. Yes some of those cool kids have rich parents bankrolling their hip poverty stance, but that's not who I'm talking about here.

I'm talking about how Patti Smith looked when she was doing her "Just Kids" era lifestyle. She says people thought she was doing drugs but she just didn't have enough money for food sometimes and she was working hard to live in Manhattan and all of that just made her really thin.

Patti Smith cut her own hair because she couldn't afford to go a salon, and then everybody wanted to cut their hair like hers when her album came out and there was that boss photo of her with her raunchy haircut on the cover.

I have been using the ten dollar box of hair bleach from the drug store for the last year or so, and I'm really liking my hair. Also I've been periodically chopping at the bottom of it with a manicure scissors in Rob's bathroom with the idea that I'd like it to be all one length and it's really getting there. I like my hair a lot right now and I've spent about thirty dollars on it in the past year. No lie. Well, okay, I buy shampoo and conditioner and a coconut oil product to keep it smooth and pretty too.

Clothing can start to look overdone when you have a lot of money to spend and you love fashion. If you have plenty of money then you have to have personal restraint and the ability to edit yourself and your fashion ideas or you can look like a "fashion victim" which is a real thing. When I'm in NYC I see people who I think would look more beautiful with less stuff on their bodies.

For myself, it seems like if I am feeling healthy and happy and beautiful in my birthday suit, then everything I wear looks fabulous and I can't go wrong. Having a lean fashion budget doesn't trip me up because I love everything I have in my little closet at Rob's house. If I didn't love it it would be long gone because there isn't room for stuff that's not useful.

So here it is Fashion Week in NYC and I'm in the Longfellow Neighborhood of Minneapolis and nobody cares about Fashion Week here but me (that's just a guess). I'm going to go play dress up in my little closet and come up with something fun and Prairie Goddess to wear. Then I'm going to ride my bicycle with the wicker side saddle baskets up to the bank on the other side of the great Mississippi River and deposit the $100 in cash I collected last week. Then I'm going to ride to the post office and mail out a "Red Letter Day" t shirt to a fan who ordered one over the weekend. Then I'm going to come back and sit on Rob's back patio and work on a song that I've been commissioned to write for a fan as well. Then I'm going to a writing consult for a client of mine who is writing his version of the great American novel. He lives near my mother so after that I'm going to go say hi to my mom.

I had a period of time here in the past few years where I eschewed wealth in all it's forms and really got down on people who had abundant lifestyles. I am over that. I want an abundant lifestyle myself. Now I am morphing my radical backlash against wealth into a vision of success that includes a lot of generosity and kindness and humility. I want abundance that is beautiful and inclusive and that spills over constantly to helping and lifting others and mother nature and the world. That's my new vision of wealth for myself.

So, maybe in two years I can go to Fashion Week and sit in the front, or maybe the second, row of some of the shows in NYC. Or maybe, even in Paris.


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