Saturday, September 24, 2005

True Confessions

It's hard to take a stance, isn't it?

I often have a hard time taking sides on what would normally be black-and-white issues, because I'm trying to look at the circumstances from every angle. I can usually find a valid argument from each of them. I believe THIS, but THAT is also true, yes.

And then there are other times when I simply don't live up to my own expectations. Is it hypocrisy or human nature?

I refer back to the "You Go, Girl" blog. I wholeheartedly believe everything I wrote in that entry.

Yet on a Walmart-run the other day, I saw an older, somewhat overweight woman wearing very short, hot pink, terry-cloth shorts that revealed a bit of cellulite-covered butt-cheek. A matching, conforming top to go with it. At first glimpse, my mind involuntarily went "OH!!! Oops!!"

And my thoughts went next to the blog entry. "Pick a stance" I'd popped off....Ok, pick it, now's the time to pick it...Do I support this woman's decision, her right to wear this outfit, to age with grace and dignity and respect, or am I full of shit?

I am no expert on fashion. I hate shopping for clothes, and care so little about designer names that I usually have no idea what the conversation is about when those names are dropped.

Also, I have left the house in "Ooops" outfits many a time--probably more than I know. I once could not decide what to wear to an opening night art gala. I wanted to wear something subdued, but not boring, and, oh...you know how it is when you have nothing to wear, even though you're facing a closetful of clothes...

I unsuredly left the house in a simple blouse, a short black skirt, and fish-net stockings. My friend Di insisted that I looked nice, but I was not confident of the skirt or the stockings. A few hours later, the several glasses of free wine they give you to lure you into shopping had only enhanced my insecurities.

It is the law, then, that you should run into the last person you'd want to, when you're uncomfortable with your appearance. I was drunkenly mingling in they foyer at the art show, when my then-husband's best female friend walked in. Doh! We went to school together, and were from very different social classes, and, I always found her intimidatingly more wealthy and worldy and sophisticated than I was. As an adult, even though she's a warm and open-minded, intelligent woman, I could never quite shake those childhood insecurities. I always left her presence second guessing myself, and wondering why I'd said this-or-that stupid thing.

She greeted me warmly that evening, and asked me how I was, and I drunkenly replied, "I have slutty fishnet stockings on."

HA! THAT is how I am! You know it, and I know you know it, so don't think I don't know it too!

Ok, that was an OOoops night on more than one account. SHE was gracious and chaperoning a girlfriend that had indulged in even more of the free wine than I had, so I was off the hook in the social faux pas department.

My point, I guess, was that I have definitely been the "O0ps Girl." The Glamour Don't. The Bad Idea, The Tsk, Tsk, Tsk..."

My turn, then, to pick a stance? Yeah, I think hotpants lady had a right to wear whatever she wants to, and not be judged by it...which is why I have to admit to being a terrible hypocrit, because I could never give her the "You GO girl" thumbs up. Hon, you're having an "Ooops day." Don't wear those shorts out of the house! Don't wear them IN the house. Give them away!

My True Confession: My bad. Sometimes I roll my eyes.

7 comments:

  1. What you are really talking about is "fashion faux pas"...
    People should feel good about themselves regardless of their bodyshape BUT (my eyes roll, too, when young or old, fat or skinny, put on something that just doesn't work!) I say to myself.."What were you thinking?"

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  2. Anonymous1:49 PM

    hypocrit? unlikely I think, human is probably more precise. I doubt that any given situation or question in life can be split into black or white as there are a myriad of shades between. When presented with the extreme absence of what might be "good taste" you have at least acknowledged that you stopped and rolled your eyes...and took a moment to evaluate your reaction. How many people saw the same woman and silently or maybe not so silently rebuked her without given it another thought. You're quite human my dear, the kind I wish more of my friends were....
    Ev

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  4. RC: I'm reminded of a song by folksinger Christine Lavin called "What Was I Thinking?":

    I made it to the theater as the lights dimmed

    The first act was brilliantly fun

    When I caught my reflection during intermission

    I thought . . . what have I done?

    What was I thinking?

    What was I, blind?

    When I bought this outfit I must have been temporarily out of my mind

    ___________

    Ev: Thanks for ya kind words--and baby, get a blog! I think we'd all benefit from your insight, and you express yourself so well in writing. C'monnnnnnn!!!!

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  5. don't be so hard on y'self, gnightgirl. You've heard anonymous, and I'm agreeing with her. Just because a person has a right to wear in public whatever she wants doesn't mean she should. Would you have left the house in hot pink terrycloth? You're not judging her by a different standard than you judge yourself. Black fishnet stockings under a simple black skirt, no buttcheek revealed, isn't quite the same category, so easy on the hypocrisy bit.

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  6. GG Darlin,

    I have been thinking a lot about this topic since your posting. I think there is a difference between good taste and supporting a womans decisions in what she wears. Reading this entry made me think of a certain pink leggin' outfit that we both tried on back in 1985. That was in bad taste and unflattering and we knew it and didn't buy it. I was watching one of those cable fashion shows last night and they had a 50-ish woman who loved platform flip flops. She was berated on the show because they were not age appropriate. Says who? I think if it's tasetful and you look good, go for it.

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  7. Wow, those pastel pink leggings...that was 20 years and 20 pounds ago, and we still ran screaming from the dressing room.

    Yah, I guess there's a fine line here; perhaps I mixed up the issues.

    My first blog was meant to reference the animosity and mean-spiritedness in which we sometimes treat each other for having different preferences than ours, and also about the generalizing, about which age or weight someone is no longer "allowed" to wear a certain item.

    Here's to platform flip-flops (as long as they don't have that hurty thing that goes between my toes)!

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