Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Grandma's Girl

If a person pursued
what their grandma wanted them to be
when they were little,
what would that look like 30-40 years down the road?

My grandma was an admirer of Hollywood sex symbols, Playboy Bunnies, the Rat Pack and glittering Vegas back in the day when the majority of Vegas tourists dressed like movie stars, stayed at the Stardust and went to see Elvis perform live on stage. As a very young girl she would claim me for the weekend from my parents home, take me shopping, "doll" me up and had me pose for her version of professional movie star photo shoots.

My father was the oldest of three boys. I was the first grandchild who happened to be the only female born into the family since her youngest sisterin the late 1920s (I believe). As long as I can remember I was catered to, given anything I wanted and praised beyond belief for beauty, style (of her design) and the high potential to find a handsome, wealthy husband.

Aside from the high potential for marrying well, her top three professions for "Dawnie" (that's me) were: 

Miss America
Playboy Bunny
Las Vegas Showgirl

Not necessarily in that order.

As glamorous as these professions may be by some peoples standards, I had zero interest in any of them. As it turns out I was not born with my grandmother's long thin legs and was approximately a half a foot shy of her height (as she reminded me later in my thirties when she still took the role as my fashion consultant...from 1800 miles away). 

My grandmother passed away in 2007 at the age of 86. Three years later I returned to college after a comfortable career as a graphic artist for almost twenty years and a coffeehouse owner for five. As an art student I discovered an interest in the relationship of the human psyche and the physical self. One of my assignments was to create a performance art video of an alter ego. 

Below is that video from 2010 where
I perform the persona of my grandmother's wishes.
My interpretation of being Grandma's Girl in my forties.