In NYC’s West Village, there are predominately two schools– not only in the educational way– of characters, neither overlapping the other. There are the young upwardly mobile and desperately acquiring fashionistas (YUMDAF) who lollygag feverishly around the slew of Marc Jacobs shops. YUMDAF’s have honed their fashionability from a steady diet of “Sex and The City” with a fresh sprinkling of “Gossip Girl.” From their spray tans to their MJ Stam bags, daddy or new hubby has the gelt to keep little missy always looking flawless, fabulous, fresh, and very much alike.
Then there is the Birkenstock and socks crowd of overage faux hippies (OAFH). The OAFH suffers from a continued saga of arrested development in terms of grooming, a deliberate schlelpiness with a frazzled crunchy-munchy granola attitude. They wear their slovenliness as a badge of courage to avoid pedestrian grown-up responsibilities and, instead, proffer wide-eyed exuberance for the otherwise mundane, blended with a certain amount passive-aggressiveness. OAFH’s made up a good part of my son’s previous school. Interestingly, like the YUMDAF’s, they too all look very much alike.
I learned to put the mommy muzzle on and tried to accept some of the OAFH’s for who they were and not what their disheveled appearance suggested. Frankly, I really didn’t give their schlepitious much thought only to be subjected to ongoing sidebar comments of what they think about the appearance of others. Looking like you didn’t leave the house in pj’s was a biggie. Weird, I know.
Last year, the film trucks pulled up outside my son’s school to film Motherhood. I saw shots of Uma Thurman frumped-down and in character. Most of those schlumpy references were accounted for. All the tokens for what become the visual sight gags for those needing a clue from the mirror:
- Unkempt hair, check.
- Appears to have not used hair conditioner in the last decade, uncheck.
- Wrinkled baggy clothes, check.
- Lack of bra since puberty, don’t think so.
- Ethnic fabric shoulderbag, check.
- Comfort shoes, check.
- In need of a Bic razor, doubtful anyone wants to see stubble.
Albeit a rather reasonable facsimile, Uma still looks sensibly glam as opposed to the real “mommy” thing. More of a “Hollywood” urban make-under like the suburban mom that Jamie Lee Curtis portrayed in Christmas with the Cranks rather than a spot-on schlepper.
After a grade school’s worth of OAFH’s and YUMDAF’s, here’s the ironic thing– they are really are alike in their effort to belong to the unique little tribe that they follow. Whether their tribe prescribes to the artifice of the latest ‘It’ something or the legion of the unkempt, it is still a gimmick to belong. Whether follower or leader, we all need to belong somewhere.
Motherhood, the film
Exclusive engagements start October 23, 2009
In charcter photos, via Motherhood, the movie
Uma Thurman at the NY screening of Motherhood, Janet Mayer / PR Photos