What It's Like To Be Labeled 'Prissy' When You're Actually Adventurous

by Zara Barrie

I'm an insatiably girly, hyper-femme, perpetually dressed-the-f*ck-up girl creature. I was born this way. Like sexuality, it's not my choice.

When left to my own devices, I will adorn my entire body in delicate vintage lace, pastel pink patent leather Mary Jane high heels, endless strings of precious pearls, heaps of smoky black mascara, velvet textured luxury lipsticks and blood-red nails.

I like classically gorgeous fit and flair dresses, and my shoulder is perpetually draped in a massive, Italian, quilted leather tote with a large, chunky gold chain.

I'm unapologetically glamorous. I can't help it. I feel powerful and beautiful and, most importantly, like my f*cking self, when I'm dressed to the glorious nines.

I love it all. Endless beach waves. Expensive matte nail polish. A strong statement fragrance gorgeously wafting behind me. Fishnet stockings and winged eyeliner.

It never occurred to me until very recently that certain people who don't know me well rashly assume I'm a bonafide, no-holds-barred, mundane little priss before getting to know me.

Maybe because I see fashion as art and therefore don't bestow judgment on to it. After all, isn't it a sore sin to judge creative expression? Creativity, fashion, art -- it's all wildly subjective. With style there is no “right” answer. It's not a f*cking math equation.

So you can imagine my surprise when, a few weeks ago, I found myself sitting pretty at a salacious downtown dive bar on a football Sunday, and a lovely male creature decided to inform my ignorant little prissy self that my style was, by all intents and purposes, "wrong."

Caught in a teeming sea of backward baseball hats, red and blue gently worn flannels, distressed denim and city-scuffed converse sneakers, I stuck out like a sore thumb in my robin's-egg-blue leather skirt, grey leotard, black suede metal-studded mega platforms and classic rich red lipstick.

But hey, whatever, I didn't think twice. I knew where we were going and what we were doing, but I never think twice about my style being cohesive to my surroundings. I just throw on whatever the f*ck I want to throw on and get the f*ck on with it.

That being said, I was madly excited to stuff my face with graciously greasy wings and wash them down with a raucous consumption of liquor on a rainy Sunday, just like every casually dressed boy and girl in the bar.

I was feeling intoxicatingly delirious and stupendously enthusiastic about "Sunday Funday."

In typical Zara character, I got a little carried away in the thick of my electric shockwaves of excitement and ordered a round of shots for the entire contents of the table.

"Whoa, Zara, you seem WAY too prissy to take shots. I'm surprised such a prissy girl would even be in a place like this," proclaimed a f*ckboy with acute body odor and a wallet chain who was, for whatever reason, sitting with us, taking a stealth sip of his beer and loudly burping into the air.

What's a girl like me doing in place like this?” I thought to myself, irritated. “What's a PLACE like me doing in a GIRL like this?

This wasn't the first time someone had alluded to my inherent prissiness within the past several weeks, and it was starting to piss me the f*ck off.

Because I'm many things. Irrepressibly loud. Madly opinionated. Shockingly klutzy. Hyper excitable. Wildly adventurous.

But prissy, my sweet kittens, I am NOT.

After I dutifully threw back my daytime tequila shot, I accompanied my dear friend Ben outside on his cigarette break. He blew grey rings of smoke into the dismal fall New York City sky, and we both soulfully peered out into the tempestuous Manhattan traffic.

"Why did that f*ckboy call me prissy?" I earnestly inquired. Ben took a long, hard drag of his cigarette before tossing it onto the cracked cement pavement and stamping it out with his faded brown leather boot.

"Because, my dear, look what you're wearing!?" Ben replied as he opened the heavy wooden door luring me back into the bar. "Everyone is in jeans and a T-shirt, and you look like you're going to a gallery opening in SoHo. You're not prissy; you just look prissy."

I found myself suddenly sober, even though I was a healthy tequila shot and three liquor drinks deep.

Oh, that's what's going on here. My outsides don't match my insides. I must be prissy on the outside, but if only they knew I was outrageously, wildly adventurous on the inside.

My thoughts began to metamorphose into a new animal of groundbreaking conclusions and interesting feelings. Suddenly, all the confusing circumstances I've found myself in over the past several years crystalized in the clearest way possible.

I finally understood where the disconnect was coming from, why I always seemed to shock people, get bizarre looks thrown in my direction or confuse the sh*t out of new dates.

People expect one thing and get something entirely different.

Everyone thinks I have a delicate mouth until I drop six F-bombs.

For as long as I can remember, people have been shocked by my ungodly dirty mouth and hypersexual sense of humor.

I guess it's a juxtaposition for most people to hear “f*ck” coming out of the pretty lips of the perfectly coiffed girl with the diamond studs and white daisy-adorned dress.

Everyone thinks I'm materialistic, but money is meaningless to me.

It's no secret that I DO love nice things. I collect designer clothing like people collect art. But at the end of the day, I take material things for what they are: things.

I could never date someone because of his or her financial status. I could never give up my passionate career as a writer and actress for something that would make me more financially fruitful.

I inherently understand that money is just f*cking money, and when all is said and done, you can't take it with you.

But adventures, trips, friendships -- that's the sh*t you carry with you wherever you go and hold as close as possible to your heart.

People think you want to go to the posh bar, but you kill it at the dive bar.

Don't get me wrong; I adore a posh bar, however, I f*cking LOVE a down-and-dirty, disgusting dive bar with a fierce intensity.

I connect with the crazy colorful characters at the dive bar and most likely will befriend every entity in the room by buying everyone endless rounds of whiskey shots.

For the record: Don't take me anywhere chain-y and basic. That's where I draw the line. Give it to me in EXTREMES. All or f*cking nothing.

People think I’m going to judge, but I’m the one getting judged.

People associate a person who is really put together and dressed up as an uptight snob who looks down on the casual masses. That (at least in my case) is absolutely untrue.

I think everyone should go as his or herself, hence why I'm the one who looks ridiculous, over-dressed and out of place all of the time.

When I walk into a room clanking on the delicate marble floor of an office in my heavy platforms and frilly skirt, I'm met with far more shade than I've ever thrown unto any other human being.

People think everything I own is expensive, but it's all destroyed.

I'm completely, unabashedly unafraid to get dirty. In fact, I kind of like it.

Yes, I own nice clothing that I've paid a pretty penny for, but if you were to look a bit closer, you would notice that everything I own is either slightly tattered, stained or torn.

I'm a self-proclaimed fashion maven, but I'm never willing to sacrifice having a wild adventure because I'm afraid of "ruining" my clothes. Hell no.

Everyone thinks you’re fragile, but really you’ve taken hits in your life.

Everyone thinks if you dress in pretty pastel colors, you're surely a breakable, fragile, sheltered innocent pussycat who has never been through anything more harrowing than not finishing her entire bowl of milk.

This couldn't be further from the crux of the truth.

If you were to push past the well-manicured exterior, you would find a wild hurricane in full force within me. After all, don't layers and layers of beautiful clothes cover the smattering of scars scattered throughout me the most effectively?