Shireen Fashion Blog
Perfectly Plastic Pumps
Posted by Shireen Sandoval 01/18/13, 5:29pm
The poster read: "Dancers wanted." It stood out from a sea of others on the theatre cork-board. It was hastily written with a Black Sharpie on a hot pink piece of paper. I think the marker was spitting out its last bit of ink too, because the words had been traced over, making a slight indentation in the paper. For some reason, the saying: "Presentation Is Everything," popped into my head. I ignored it, looked past the pizza smears on the bottom of the sign, jotted down the info and headed to class.
The audition attracted a handful of people. The choreographer told us to take the stage and warm-up. I was a pretty decent dancer. I mean, The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City wasn't exactly beating down my door. I was self taught early in life; by college I was professionally trained in ballet, jazz and tap. So shoot me, I had a lil' mojo when I moved; Elmore James called it "Shake Your Moneymaker." (Rick Ross if you happen to be reading this; I can still Drop It Like It's Hot, I'm not afraid of tigers and I did, indeed, graduate from Janet Jones' Video Vixen School here in Miami.) But I digress. When I got on stage, I noticed ten girls. They were different, yet strangely alike: same white smiles, helmet (not as in Lang) hair and they all had astonishingly good posture. I was in awe. I'd never seen such polished people. Along with light work-out wear, each woman wore a pair of Perfectly Plastic Pumps.
As a dancer, I knew see-thru shoes were traditionally thought of as, well, a world where pink ballet flats had no "point." They were more, say, linked to an exotic or erotic world, where getting into the right position had nothing to do with your feet (at least on the floor.) It wasn't always that way, though. Cinderella started the fad in the 17th century and a gazillion years later, we're still talking about her glass slippers. It was a fashion fad that was a shoe-in for a happily ever after, at least for awhile. The barely-there footwear left a big impression in the 50's, adorning the feet of Hollywood legends like Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe. The shoe loosened up into Lucite in the 60's and freely, platformed its way into the 70's. It was during the 80's the invisible shoe disappeared. I guess you could say it went Jelly up. The Jelly Sandal made a huge fashion splash. Unfortunately, the paired down plastic left millions of women with sweaty, smelly feet. It was official. Plastic just wasn't pretty anymore.
The choreographer hissed like he was Michael Douglas starring in A Chorus Line: "If you're lucky enough to make the cut today, you'll be a back-up dancer for our local pageant." Ah, there was my confirmation: no strippers or porn stars on campus, just pageant girls, although one can never be sure. I picked up the routine and performed it, all while those pretty girls in their Perfectly Plastic Pumps, pranced around me. It was tragic. "Mr. Douglas" sent me packing. "Dance Ten, Looks Three."
As I grabbed my gym bag and headed for the door, someone called out: "Excuse me, excuse me, could I have a word with you?" I turned around to find the pageant director (I didn't know he was the director at the time.) He was out of breath when he blurted out: "We thought perhaps, you would be interested IN the pageant?" I eyed him suspiciously and asked: "Didn't I just get cut?" He smiled kindly, introduced himself and explained his "board" preferred me as a contestant, not a back-up dancer. I think it was a compliment. Nonetheless, my Charlie Brown forcefield went up, wah, wah wah...through the noise however, I heard bits and pieces: "You could win a car and clothes, wah wah, money, wah wah SHOES."
As the popularity of pageants and fitness competitions heeled-up in the 90's, some smart person rediscovered that hiked up transparent tootsies totally gave off the illusion of longer legs, resulting in more gorgeous gams. There was no pussyfooting around it, the see-thru shoe was making a comeback. Clear even went couture in the Spring of 2010, with Prada and Fendi leading the way, both featuring the fashionable footwear on the catwalk.
I signed up for the pageant and got my own pair of Perfectly Plastic Pumps. I also taped my boobs together for cleavage. I used Firm Grip (baseball players use it inside their gloves to make sure their mitt sticks.) I, however, sprayed it on my bottom, as in butt, to keep my bathing suit from going into my nether regions. I bleached my hair (on my head) blonde and teased it (it kinda looked like cotton candy.) I waxed, worked-out, and whitened (my teeth.) I won the pageant. In fact, I won the next one, too, and before I knew it, I was standing in front of thousands of people on national television competing in THE most popular pageant in America (all because I loved plastic shoes.) I call it accidental fashion. It was the right shoe but the pageant was the wrong fit, for me.
My days as a crowned jewel were short-lived. I didn't love it and honestly, I wasn't good at it. I did win all the things they said I would and that's kind of cool (until I had to pay taxes.) I also realized trying to be a certain kind of pretty can make a person feel ugly. What's more, just because you like a certain shoe, doesn't mean you have to fill 'em the way others do. "Clearly" though, Perfectly Plastic Pumps will show off anyone's inner beauty (they're see-thru!) Yup, "Presentation Is Everything," just make sure that everything is something you actually wanna be.
We turned around and faced each other, holding hands. In a deep voice, the announcer said: "If for any reason your beige shoes cannot fulfill their duty, you can find a fabulous first runner-up at http://www.snaz75.com/ "