The Mother of Reinvention

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For a few years now, I’ve been blogging about Other Mothers. The title of my blog — Womenisms — was a word I invented to describe the spoken wisdoms of my own Other Mother: Byrne Miller. She was a champion of reinvention, something I passed on in my TEDx talk before the book launch. So I think she’d love the fact that I’ve renamed the blog “TeresaBruceBooks” and made it simpler to find on the web. Now all you have to google is teresabruce.me.

Me — my latest reinvention. By way of Halloween and Frida Kahlo.

measFrida

 

I’m not alone in long admiring Frida — as much for her fierce spirit as her art — and I always make a pilgrimage to her house in Mexico City whenever we pass through. So when I stumbled upon a stack of vintage, velvet-and-beaded tops in an antique store in Oaxaca I couldn’t resist. It was torture waiting for Halloween, to add the faux jewels I picked up in Milwaukee Goodwill stores and Byrne’s antique poison pendant.

As Frida impersonators go, I’m a white girl without enough hair. But then reinvention isn’t about copying and it’s never permanent. My homage to Frida was a chance to open my mind, to more fully imagine her life and look at mine through her lens.

It wasn’t until I penciled in the unibrow that the transformation, however temporary, began. I, like most self-critical American women, fastidiously shave and occasionally pluck to fit the norms of our society. But flaunting the unibrow was more than liberating. It felt beautiful and defiant — unapologetically earthy.

The costume party I attended as Frida-light was a spectacle of reinvention. Watching all my friends in their creative alter-egos made me realize we all crave reinvention. Hiding behind a mask is actually a chance to parade the inner self. It took a trip to Mexico to make me want to stomp my feet and join in.

Since my new, reinvented blog allows me to insert videos — take a look at this one. Byrne would have loved these dancers — ordinary villagers who reinvent themselves every chance they get. Viva la transformacion!

 

One thought on “The Mother of Reinvention

    gwendolynstm said:
    November 4, 2014 at 4:09 AM

    Hi Teresa,

    Enjoy your work. I just sold a book. Call when you come to Bluffton/Hilton Head. We’ll lunch.

    Gwendolyn 843-815-4219

    On Mon, 3 Nov 2014 22:24:29 +0000

    Like

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