This month’s topic: How are society’s tastes changing?
We all wore uniforms at my Catholic elementary school, including the nuns and priest — I think to keep us from standing out as individuals. When I had the freedom to choose my own daily wardrobe, it took me a long time to figure out what my style actually was.
Today, I have a penchant for wearing black with flowing tops. I know many people who love to wear jeans, sweatshirts and baseball caps. In my life, and in society in general, we accept these kinds of differences without argument.
In science fiction, we see style conformity often used as a structure to keep people in order, categorized. Wiping out personal choice is the equivalent of wiping out identity.
In real life, we also sometimes demand conformity; some find it safe and comforting. Others see opportunities to enrich, enliven, and learn by standing out.
Minnesota Women’s Press sees our mission as bridging that gap. How can stories help more people realize that variety in the way we express ourselves is not innately a scary concept? Embracing variety is one reason this issue is guest edited by Lydia Moran, our assistant editor and a recent graduate of Oberlin College. As with every magazine, we include a wide swath of experiences, perspectives, and styles. This time, the voices were curated by someone other than myself.
A hope in this year of 2020 Vision is that we continue to pay attention to many points of view from women around the state.
It is tricky, with a unique women’s magazine like this one, to cover the topics of food and fashion without seeming like we are taking the editorial approach of many traditional women’s magazines. But there is much more to write about than how society wants us to dress and eat.
What we put in and on our bodies has the power to ground us in our environment and express our identity. Dressing is a means of connection to a larger system. What we eat determines how we feel — but in ways that are much more complex and alive than dominant culture typically recognizes.
I saw this theme as an opportunity to invert the common and reductive approach to food and fashion. In the following pages, you will find stories on how returning to Native food systems is one way to heal ancestral trauma, how food can be medicine, how what we wear is connected to an increasingly wasteful supply chain, and how fashion has the power to celebrate our sense of self and give us drive to succeed.
Discovering our taste is one way we find who we are. What we like is not fixed, however. As a young adult, I watch my friends redefine themselves daily.
At times I find that when I stop liking something — a recipe, a song, an old sweater — it feels as if I am losing a part of myself. But this is a limited view of what identity actually is. My tastes change as I change, as my community changes, and as I inevitably gain new experiences.
I am beginning to understand that “taste” is not a set of likes and dislikes that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It is the process of identifying the source of a spark — that gut-centered leap of wonder — and learning how to nourish it.
Letter to the Editor
Tapestry : Commentaries about food and fashion
Greater Minnesota : Sara George — Improving Food Access
GoSeeDo : Herbs to Chainsaws, Caucus Workshop
Art of Living: Black Fashion Week MN
Perspective: Maya Clark
Indigenous: Dana Thompson
Ecosystem: Anupama Pasricha
Action = Change: Kristen McCoy
Identity: Amalia Moreno-Damgaard
BookShelf : Lorna Landvik: Chronicles of a Radical Hag
In the News : Tackling the Farm Crisis, #GrowFood
Food : Action = Dining Out
Pets : Hen Solo — My Life as a Chicken
Money & Business : Hayley Srur — Fair Shake
Health & Wellness : Gigi Stafne — Tending to the Garden
Thanks to an affiliate partnership with Magers & Quinn booksellers, Minnesota Women’s Press readers who want to dive deeper into our monthly themes are able to place online orders that contribute a percentage of sales to our Storytelling Fund.