Costober 2020 Day 18: Rose Dewitt Bukater

The third Wicked Girl is Rose Dewitt Bukater AKA Rose Dawson of the film Titanic as an analogue for Alice Lidell of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.

About the Look

Alice got lost, and I guess that we really can't blame her;
They say she got tangled and tied in the lies that became her.
They say she went mad, and she never complained,
For there's peace of a kind in a life unconstrained.
She gives Cheshire kisses, she's easy with white rabbit smiles,
And she'll never be free, but she's won herself safe for a while.

Titanic was a huge, Oscar-winning, hit that lost favor with film elites almost immediately. But I was never interested in the technical aspects, the sound and visual effects. Nor was I over invested in the plot— we all knew how it went. I cared about the woman in the middle of all that. I cared about Rose.

Rose Dewitt Bukater was trapped. Her entire life was laid out for her, irregardless of her desire. Irregardless of her at all. There were rules about how to look, how to dress, how to act, how to think. And of course, who to love. And who to be.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, like most children’s literature, is entirely concerned with the tension between what being a child “should be” and what being a child is. And like most children’s literature, it ends with Alice deciding that rules create a better society.

Rose chooses to live the lie. She takes Jack’s name and she reinvents herself. And the pictures tell us she does everything she and Jack planned to do. She lives a long and full and fulfilling life. She’s still stuck as a woman in the early 1900s. But she carves out a life for herself, a life that she is proud of.

About My Look

I designed this look years ago on the now defunct website Polyvore.

And I purchase the necklace on Etsy for last year’s Costober, but ended up not including the look. I am so happy to finally be presenting it!

This look is simple, and the necklace— Rose’s “jewel of the ocean” —is the entire focus.

That said, my shorts have three buttons to reflect the era and the simple shirt and shorts were chosen for very specific reasons. 1. To not steal focus from the necklace. And 2. to blend in, like Rose herself, with any young woman and every young woman. Rose’s, and Alice’s, struggles are pretty much universal for us.

The shirt, shorts, and shoes were all purchased secondhand. I’m wearing minimal make-up: mascara, eyeliner, lipstick. The Alice book is mine, a copy printed in 1924 that is dear to me. The photos in the above image are on my wall, in my home, photographs of my family. The final sequence of the film, panning past the photographs of the full life Rose lived before joining Jack in the afterlife is incredibly powerful to me and I wanted to include an homage.

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