“See-Through, Breathe-Through, Awesome-Through,” the packaging boasts, but my SecondSkin was none of these.
I’m not sure what I was trying to achieve by wearing a MorphSuit for a full ten hours, but the intoxicating voices of the social experiment sirens that live in my head told me that I would figure it out along the way. So on November 7th, 2018 I woke up, slipped into my blue second skin, and made my way down Middle Path.
First Stop: Ascension
I enter my 10:10 microeconomics class with confidence and excitement. A boy in loafers says, “That is frightening.” I nod in response and continue to my seat. Some take photos, others stare, but most refuse to even look at me. Are they afraid? Intimidated? Annoyed? Has my anonymous mask made me truly invisible? Because there are a plethora of 5’ girls with jarringly deep voices in my class, my professor recommends that I remove my mask for collaborative work so that my group members know who they’re working with. When I remove my mask no one is surprised and I realize that the wet stain of snot has given me away (I often blow my nose in class).
Second Stop: Peirce
Third Stop: Mod B
Two friends ask to take photos with me. They tell me that I am so bold and that the Collegian should interview me. What does this say about Kenyon’s fashion culture? Is my full body nylon suit truly so shocking that I deserve an interview? I pass two girls as I walk to the printer. They pretend not to look at me, but I am no fool. Once I make it past them stifled giggles burst out. They think they are cool girls laughing at me, but they are actually nothing more than lab rats in my experiment.
Fourth Stop: Horwitz
I arrive to class early to make sure I can choose the seat that positions me directly in front of the door so no one can avoid me. A few minutes after I sit down a group of three join me. They do not acknowledge me for eight full minutes. I sweat through my suit. There are visible pit stains. I do not know how to interpret this data. Another girl comes in and tells me that I am always looking fresh. I thank her and ask if she would ever consider donning a MorphSuit. She responds only with laughter. We wear leggings, skinny jeans, tight shirts, beanies, boots, tights, gloves yet we, as a Kenyon community, cannot accept the MorphSuit? I am at a loss.
I went into this experiment with hopes of enlightenment. Unfortunately, I have learned nothing but what we already knew: Kenyon is a little bit normal. Sure, many passersby stared with confusion or laughed behind my back, but most just thought it was a bit. I thought I could start a trend or at least force my peers to reevaluate their idea of fashion, but all I did was lock myself in a nylon prison for ten full hours.