I think the most depressing thing about caricatures of suburbia circulated in pop culture such as Ghost World and Edward Scissorhands is that they represent this teenage girl wonderland of pastel buildings, perfect white-picket-fence lawns and a fantasy that doesn't technically exist. This is the best case scenario of a place which is still made to be depressing, but in an aesthetically pleasing way that usually creates some sort of angst in a protagonist, one way or another.
Now I live in suburban Melbourne and have for my entire life so I at least feel like some sort of local expert on the "wildlife" of the area. But no where in the film portrayals do I see school children with dribbly noses who carry on like they invented swearing, the dregs of society long ago banned from driving and smoking in every blessed train station and bus stop across the great wide land, women working at the desks of department of motor vehicles sporting sagging chins, the inconsiderate that insist their handbag need a seat of their own and are too precious to be put on the floor (a much to sensible conclusion to come to)... I could go on and on about the familiar characters we have all encountered in our daily lives but I could probably put a better use to my ranting energy. My entire week feels like it has been building to this verbal rebellion on the real suburbia I see and feel compelled to escape from by use of clothing and photography as a magical teleport or at least immerse myself in pretty pictures to make the pain go away.
I realise how snobby this sounds of me... my tone coming off as ungrateful and some people will have stopped reading by now. But when society depresses me and drains me on a short hour trip from the university campus to home I can't help but feel that humanity as a whole could somehow be a little more functional and that I can maybe go a week where I don't feel alienated where I actually have scraped myself off the couch and gone outside. This is all so unrealistic of me because lord knows no one has endless hours to devote to meticulously gardening front lawns while couching little league teams and working a nine to five schedule and the appearances of pastel houses and cute dwellings can harbour problems of their own (sometimes sinister on a cinematic scale). I just needed to get all these feelings out in the open, I just need to feel that this division between the suburbia of my dreams and reality truly exists. If anyone else feels this imaginary scorn of injustice that we don't live in amazing environments of housing estates and roses next to every mailbox, well, this one's for you.
1- Female Trouble (1974). 2,9,20- Ghost World (2001)
3,8,10,13,23,37,51,55,58- Prada Summer/Spring 2012
5,16,30,39,47,50- Louis Vuitton Sumer/ Spring 2012
6- don'tmixcolours. 7,11,26,36- The Simpsons. 14- Mad Men. 17- Bye Bye Birdie
18- Kate Moss by Lance Staedler for Glamour France, 1992; and photos shot by Petra and styled by Tavi for Rookie
21,38- Rookie. 22,45,46- Grease (1978). 25- Edward Scissorhands (1990)
27,32,43,53- Creatures of the Wind Spring 2012. 28- Both from Retrospace
29- Unknown via, Nina Leen, unknown. 33- Unknown via
34- Canel's candy, county fair by Jerry de Wilde, Sleigh Bells' Treats, hearts
40- Moonrise Kingdom (2012). 42- Freaks and Geeks. 48- Retrospace
56- From the set of the Virgin Suicides, probably by Corinne Day. 59- Style Rookie