Saturday, April 12, 2008

Gentlemen Beware

If you're the type to worry that reading the wrong thing may cause your testosterone levels to shrivel up, I suggest you stop reading immediately.

What I have to say here will not help the starving children in third world countries. It will not end any wars. It probably won't even keep me from another dark night of the soul. But, this has been building up for a long time and I need to get it off my chest.

I would really like to know when flattering clothing went out of style? I think Jon Stewart was correct when he said, "This is what happens when you don't let gays marry. They start designing out of spite."

I've seen a lot of women wearing these tops, lately. If I hadn't known, I would have thought they were maternity tops. Why would you wear it if you weren't pregnant?

But, it gets worse. I wish I had a picture of this one. I'll have to just describe it. Recently, in a store window, I saw a top that was narrow at the shoulders. It gradually got wider around the stomach. Then, it cinched in at the hips. It would have been like wearing a bubble. What body type could this possible flatter?

We already know that the body type that's considered the feminine ideal varies widely by culture. It could be larger or smaller, depending on the availability of the food supply. Only one thing has been constant. That is a waist-to-hip ratio of approximately 0.7, along with a proportional or bigger bust. This is because those are proportions typical of someone who had high estrogen levels during puberty and likely to be more fertile. (It's really just nature trying to get you to perpetuate yourself.)

Throughout the ages, fashions have been created to exaggerate the curves of the hips and bust. There have been bustles, hoop skirts, and wonderbras. Then, there have been the more extreme measures, like corsets laced so tight that women would faint. (I remember a class where we looked at pictures of just how that would deform her skeleton and damage the internal an attempt to look more fertile!) But, never before have I seen anything that attempted to add the curve to the middle. I wonder what this says about our collective mind?

Further examples:

The caption described Sarah Jessica Parker as "a vision in tomato". Did someone actually write that with a straight face?

Oh yeah, and this is just wrong!

So we're clear, these are all designer clothes. The younger and hipper the crowd, the more of this you will see.

I think I'm done, now. I'm ready to go back to pondering what people did with their Hammerpants after 1990. Oh...except...the one style I hope will never come back is shoulder pads in women's clothing. Why did they think we wanted disproportionately high shoulders? I use to cut them out of my clothes. I'm glad I had the sense to do so even back then.

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