Mary Roach is the highly-acclaimed Bay Area author whose recent work “BONK: The Curious Coupling of Sex and Science” is the cornerstone literary piece for a journalism class I am taking. The class is with creator of the Foghorn’s Campus Chic, Chloe Schildhause. Roach is also the unexpected inspiration for embarking on an enlightening experiment in fashion at USF.
Before beginning the assigned “BONK” reading I studied the tidy, sexy cover depicting a faceless couple clad in business suit and secretary skirt. The man and woman intertwined, are making out on a larger than life microscope specimen stage. The phallic eye-piece of the microscope is stuffed inside the ‘O’ of the book cover title cleverly. I considered the image and prompted the question rhetorically to my classmates and professor, “Is this exclusively about heterosexual sex?”
My professor had earnestly relayed my inquisition to Mary Roach via email. Roach responded gracefully, assuring that the content of her book focused more on the physiological investigation of sexual situations rather than orientation. She also disclosed that the book did in fact delve into homosexuality to an extent. In realizing my quintessential homosexual concern that I was about to read an entire book detailing heteronormative sex behavior, I decided to experiment. Roach, scheduled to guest speak in our Monday night class, would be receiving me in drag. This way she could not detect the homosexual in question of her work. She would not be able to pick me out so easily, I thought. Being a boí I rarely sport anything other than a graphic-T and painted on-tight denim. The enigmatic fashionista on campus Chloe Schildhause was my obvious candidate for closet rummaging. Having Miss Schildhause wear my clothes would also further divert Roach’s ability to anticipate any of my homocentric quintessence and would subsequently in theory create a disorienting classroom discussion.
To my dismay Mary Roach could not come to our class discussion; however spending the day in anticipation — cloaked in Chloe’s select garb — lent itself to fascinating results. For example, I am very much in love with my girlfriend, but when she visited me in the media lab after Chloe and I had changed clothes I felt strange and that maybe if we were to hug it would be somehow more gay but also more adventurous.
As depicted, Chloe’s Repetto shoes were a cheap find (compared to their inherent value) inside a friend’s shop in New York City. Her tights felt similar to my jeans but differed in terms of breeziness. They are from H & M. “I need tights!” exclaimed Miss Schildhause plainly when expecting a negative reaction from myself. She shamelessly admitted to purchasing her tights from a non-designer retail venue — a trend in itself amongst this year’s Campus Chic candidates who justified purchasing fabrics from H&M, Forever 21 and Hanes, proclaiming these companies as cheaper and more durable as well as more pill-resistant to the expensive leading brand, American Apparel. Chloe’s inviting knit-dress as well as her jacket are by the trusty, popular Anthropologie. Chloe uses one of the better-looking bags made by Marc Jacobs. [I find that most bags I see in Marc Jacobs when I’m waiting for my girlfriend while she’s in the dressing room are grossly oversized and paunchy in form, even without items inside.]
Oddly, Chloe does not have an emotional attachment to this outfit.
Never fail to challenge your perceived personal discomfort, especially when in public and never judge a book by its cover.