Friday, April 26, 2013

Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy! Femmespiration: Ms Frizzle

I was a dorky young thing with crushes on all my elementary school teachers, and hippie parents with a strong bent for educational TV programming, so the Magic School Bus and I go way back.  For those that don't know, the Magic School Bus is a series of children's books, and a TV series (the Friz is voiced by Lily Tomlin!) featuring an anthromoporphic shape-shifting  school bus, a third grade class, and their quirky science teacher, Ms Frizzle.

Ms Frizzle takes her third grade class places like the bottom of the ocean, through the lower intestine, across the universe, and what have you.  All the while, the bus is shrinking and expanding and getting fins and rockets and whatever accountrement necessary for the specific and wiley journey they're about to take. What was particularly remarkable was that wherever they were going and studying, Mrs Frizzle always had an outfit with telltale signs and well-matched accessories. In the TV show her earrings would FLASH right before the field trip.

 The older I got, the more I appreciated this epehemeral, idiosyncratic educator. She had these winks and coy references to the things her relatives would say hinted at a mysterious past, and she wore loud literal outfits. That was everything I wanted to be when I grew up - enthusiastic, eccentric, and worldly with a job in the helping professions and an esoteric wardrobe! Nowadays, I am a loudly dressed therapist.

And while I have always been into her style and appreciated how cute and practical it is,  I have innovated upon it to include shorter hems for greater ease in clambering over volcanic fields and across the asteroid belt.  My take on the Friz's style also includes more layering and more pockets, because my life lacks the climate-controlled environment that Scholastic books provides, and this femme needs to carry her keys sometimes.

In my Mrs Frizzle photoshoot, in lieu of really matchy literal accessories I went for an actual field trip, and first went to:
My neighborhood space travel supply store! (otherwise known as 826 Seattle)

dress: thrifted spring 2012
leggings: Domino Dollhouse
earrings: thrifted winter 2011
shoes: Keens
And then, I visited the flora and fauna to see the brontosauri. (Apparently brontosauri never really existed. With Pluto, they are another sad loss for the elementary school science curriculum, but they live on in our hearts!)
                                                  Looking uuuuuuup at the brontosaurus I am so small.

                                                   Look my skirt has dinosaurs on it can you see. Look, dinosaurs!
                                                            dinosaurs up close!

Skirt: Thrifted Winter 2012
tank top & leggings: Old Navy
cardigan: Land's End circa my girlfriend

Nerd bonus - I have recently been talking about Ms. Frizzle as femmespiration to my friends and the internet, and apparently out there in the densely populated genre of slash fiction, some folks have created a fictional pairing of Ms Frizzle and Mary Poppins. Because.... gay science fiction reinterpretations of children's fiction is what nerds do when they grow up.

Charming, no?

1 comment:

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