Friday, August 24, 2007

Is It Just Me?

Or does it seem to anyone else that the "fashion" these days is to make oneself look as unappealing as possible?

Example: I saw a large (sphere-shaped) young (late teens to early twenties) woman get on the bus yesterday. She was wearing camo cargo pants with that string-thing up the leg seam whereby you can shorten the legs; and she had shortened them to about mid-calf. No socks. Plaid flats (I hear they're the newest hot item). So far, so good. The bottom half of her, save for that the pants were too tight (I could see how stressed the seams were), actually wasn't so bad. But the top half of her? Well, the top half of her was encased in a too-skimpy-for-support black lacy underthing that wrapped itself around her nipples and cut off circulation to the rest of her breasts, making it look like she was triple-endowed. That was covered (and I use that word rather loosely) with another lacy underthing (pink, this time) that in another lifetime was probably one of those tops that women used to wear under sheer blouses to disguise the fact that they were also wearing bras (I know -- go figure). The spaghetti straps of the pink thing were twisted around the spaghetti straps of the black thing, and, small as the black thing was, the pink thing failed to completely cover it. Then the pink thing shrink-wrapped itself almost to her navel. The camo pants rose up almost to her navel. The bare skin between them boasted two small tattoos and a navel pierce. I don't remember what her hair looked like. I don't even remember if she had hair, I was so rivetted by the possibility that she was about to burst out of her clothes at any moment.

I was chalking this vision up to the possibility that she had recently gained a lot of weight and maybe had no other clothing that she could wear, when yet another young woman got on the bus with the same sort of outfit. Except that this second young woman looked like she hadn't had a decent meal in her entire life. Again with the string-up-the-leg pants that were too tight. The skimpy underthing worn over but not quite covering a skimpy under-underthing of a contrasting color. And everything too tight.

So I looked around me, and for young women, this seems to be the norm -- clothing way too tight and way too skimpy, contrasting colors to make the layers stand out, and even on the Twiggy-looking ones, serious emphasis on making everything look like it's seventeen sizes too small.

Oh, yeah...protruding bellies. What's with the "pregnant" look? What's with cincking the waistband in so tight that it creates a roll over the top even when it's obvious that there is next to no body fat? Why does every young woman want to look like Bibb in a spandex girdle?

And then there are the young men. Every time I see a guy with his crotch around his knees, I check my belt to make sure it's still done up and securing my pants around my hips. The point of men's clothing these days seems to be to balance the waistband of the pants on the widest part of the ass without having them actually depend from the hips or fall down. Maybe I should be buying stock in Crazy Glue. That's the only way I can figure out that these guys are walking around with both hands free to hold other things. Like that joint and the can of beer.

Pantslegs are long enough to be bridal trains, and they get frayed and torn by being dragged on the ground behind the heels. Shoelaces are undone, trailing right along with the pantslegs. I have stopped warning guys that they're about to trip and break their necks. They just nod to everyone around them in amusement and continue scuffing right along.

But the shirts they wear are large enough to be tents. And they are worn open, usually over a sports team singlet with arm holes that dip to where the waistband would be if the pants actually came up to the waist. It's like the guys are using all the extra material that the girls have discarded.

I read a brief news item the other day which indicated that the birth rate around the world is down from previous years.

I'm not surprised.


Blogger Cait said...

That is a wonderfully witty description.

Friday, August 24, 2007 8:19:00 PM  
Anonymous stageleft said...

That's funny, you do realize of course that by saying these things you have officially entered the category of "old" don't you :-)

Saturday, August 25, 2007 8:55:00 AM  
Blogger Dez said...

Yes, a young person would recognize these things as fashion statements and remark on how "cool" they look.

I remember when jeans were cool. But, jeans were also practical (ok, there was nothing practical about bell-bottoms, but that's not the point) and we wore tie-dyed clothing because we could make them ourselves (I never did - I bought mine from Sears - but I know lots of people who did). Ah, those were days when fashion made sense.

I see the young men with the baggy clothes and I think, "you're just a red-rubber nose and a fright wig away from looking like a clown". Sometimes I point and laugh. I also laugh at the girls who dress like cheap crack-whores.

They ignore me, of course. They don't wear that stuff to impress us. We are not the target demographic for their fashions. Their peers think they are "teh bomb", and that's all they care about.

I have a daughter who is 22. She dresses like a cross between Morticia Adams and a film noir prostitute, when she goes out with her friends. I kid her about it, and she does that eye-rolling thing that kids do when their parents say something stupid.

Right. I don't get it, because I'm not supposed to get it. Her friends understand, and they like the way she looks.

Yes, that means I'm old enough to be considered antique.

But I still wear jeans.

Saturday, August 25, 2007 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

Brilliant descriptions! My daughter is currently sporting the "emo" (whatever that means) look of hair draped over the face so you can only usually see part of one eye (which reminds me of a really bad, politically incorrect joke). The best part is she wears a headband to hold the rest of her hair back.


I'm not only old, but my IQ shrinks (in her eyes) daily. Looking forward to oh, 15, 16, whatever age it is that I get my IQ back.

Sunday, August 26, 2007 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Try 19, 20 or later Candace. Until then you know nothing... you might as well change your name to Schultz and talk with a German accent...

Fashion seems to be the one thing parents/older people never quite understand... it is a perpetual thing from one generation to the next... its just meant to be...

Thursday, August 30, 2007 7:50:00 PM  
Anonymous DazzlinDino said...

"Oh, yeah...protruding bellies."

We call them "muffin tops" for obvious reasons, except I wouldn't eat them.....and my wife will go up to the young "baggy boys" and give thier pants a's funny as hell

Friday, August 31, 2007 12:14:00 AM  
Blogger JeanC said...

Working at a university has been an interesting experience in seeing what passes for fashion over the years. While we haven't had too much of the pants around the knees, we do seem to be sporting the "gansta" fashion from a couple of years ago and some fashions that haven't become fashions yet (and I hope to the Ghodz they don't actually become fashions and just die a quiet death before Idaho gets any more grief for what comes out of here :P ).

Friday, August 31, 2007 4:17:00 PM  

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