Friday, June 24, 2016

Make it Work!

Every now and then, my beloved SIL sends me links that will amuse me. This one has been sitting in my inbox for a while, and I finally poked around on the site. It’s a clothing site. My youngest SIL has a fashion sense I would call “clothing.” She wears them. That’s about the end of it. She doesn’t look unkempt or fashionable. She doesn’t care either way. She’s got two young kids, a full time job, and not enough interest or time to care about clothing other than to ensure all her parts are covered appropriately.

So, when she sends me links to clothing, I know she doesn’t just want me to see an ironic t-shirt or a cute pair of shoes. She wants me to witness greatness. For example, picture a pair of leggings. Now take a pair of scissors and carefully cut the material from the knee up to about an inch below bikini line. Remove. This leaves you with a Daisy Duke-style shorts that are connected by a suspender to thigh-high tights, but all in the same cheap material. Sexy, eh? They essentially cut every woman at the exact worst point in their bodies, emphasizing all the meaty, jiggly, cellulose-ridden bits of thigh in patterns that are eye-catching only in that one look is all you will ever need. The official product title is “garter tights suspender leggings” but they are really nothing more than leg warmers with a pair of attached granny panties.

The same purveyor of clothing has other items that are equally baffling. There are velvet leggings with the knees cut out – the perfect pants for a lyrical interpretation of that 90s tune “Semi-Charmed Life.” There are also white lace leggings for the white trash wedding of your dreams. Truly, this website is a gift that keeps on giving.

Do you want a skin tight, super short dress covered in oversized pictures of prescription medicine? For the body conscious drug addict in your life, it is the perfect gift for the bargain price of $12.29.

Do you want to look like you are molting? Melting? Shedding? They have dresses that suit all of your needs.

How about a mono-kini? Which, in other words, is just a one-piece bathing suit cut all the way down to the belly button. Those tan lines have got to be interesting the next day.

Do you need a floral romper? The description alone is terrifying. The picture of a woman who looks like she is slowly being eaten alive by plants is even more so.

Do you want to wear what looks like a perfectly normal tunic dress until you turn sideways and realize that the seams have never been closed and that you are totally nekkid from the waist down? The model in this picture is styled with thigh-high boots, but no underwear. I don’t understand clothing that feels the need to air out naughty bits but cover knees and elbows.

How about a nude, netted bathing suit with bright yellow patches covering just your nipples and vagina, that is also, inexplicably cut like granny panties? Why use so much material to cover so little? It’s a mystery.

The strangest thing about this website is not that everything on it is cheap and vulgar; no, the strange thing is that there are actual lovely items of clothing for sale. It’s almost like perusing a junk shop and coming across Aladdin’s Lamp. Totally normal track pants are pictured next to sheer lingerie. A business ready pencil skirt is next to harem pants! From the clubhouse to da’ club, this site has just about everything and it is so random. Who is the target audience? What is their key demographic? Where are they wearing these garments?

Also a mystery, the person who is in charge of photography. There is a picture of a woman with a square waist. The fact that she is wearing an American flag bandeau top is less perplexing than the fact that she seems to be made of Lego. The models are almost all cut-off right above the chin. Not the neck, which would make sense, but ¼ of the way into their faces. My only guess as to why this particular editorial choice was made would be to cut out the guns that were being pointed at their heads in order to get them to put on the clothing. There are a beguiling range of sizes on this site, sizes zero to plus are all on display, but right next to each other! Totally flat-chested, with no hips, but legs that go on for days? That model is right next to the one with triple D’s, no waist, and hasn’t had a thigh gap since she was in diapers. I’d like to think it is because the website is trying to show that all bodies are beautiful, but I honestly think it is because the web designers are smoking whatever the purchasing agents couldn’t finish.

Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself. Share your favorite fashion choices.  

Friday, June 17, 2016

Pause and Reset

Once my reading challenge was over, I took a break from blogging. I felt like I was just another voice shouting into the wind. While there were many topics I wanted to discuss, rant about, rave about, etc., I wondered if, in this new toxic world of memes and ten-second judgments, if the blog was as extinct as the magazine.

And then I realized, “Who cares?”

If you don’t want to read it, don’t click on it. It’s just that simple. Why should my voice be silenced? What do the pundits of Fox News or the reality TV personalities or the hosts of the morning shows have on me? I’m smart. I’m well read. I’m well educated. I have a healthy sense of reality, a basic knowledge of politics, and an understanding of the human condition that is as good as, or better than, the average talking head.

Over the past few years, the 24/7 news cycle has become even shorter. To steal directly from an Internet meme, last week, we were grieving the loss of a Muslim and were terrified of the LGBT community. This week, we are grieving the loss of life in the LBGT community and are terrified of Muslims. Last month, a kid survived his interaction with a gorilla, so we victimized the parents and lionized the animal. This month, a kid did not survive his interaction with an alligator, so we victimized the animal and lionized the parents. (Yes, I know an alligator is a reptile, but the symmetry wouldn’t have worked as well.) There is no thoughtful conversation, long-form debate, or reasoned discussion. There is just blame, hatred, racism, and sexism. One woman is praised for calling out her rapist, another is blamed for calling out her abusive husband. The pure joy of Hamilton is tempered by the debacle that is Trump. The line between right and wrong, between good and evil is becoming one just massive gray space and I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.

I’m tired of all the anger. I’m tired of the sadness. When my Game of Thrones discussion sub group on Facebook is more reasoned and thoughtful in its response to book vs. show plot points, then you know the rest of the world has lost the thread of how to hold a conversation.

I don’t want to be a troll. I don’t hate anyone because of their religion, politics, or sexuality. I choose to like or dislike you based entirely on how you behave as a human being and assholes come in all shapes and sizes, colors and creeds. And if you don’t like that, that’s cool with me.

My goal is to post every Friday.

Until then, let’s try not to have a reason to lower the flags to half mast, shall we?P