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Fashion victims

24 November 2003

I work on a college campus, so I see a lot of young women every day, and I have definitely become acutely aware of a particular fashion of wearing clothing that exposes the mid-drift. Low-ride jeans, high-ride shirts — I really dig this style, but for more than the obvious titilation of seeing lots of naked bellies. What I really like is that I’m seeing women of all shapes and sizes just going for it. I see all sorts of round bellies poking out from jeans and shirts, and I feel like just maybe we’re moving a little bit closer towards not caring about body shape in our culture. However, I also see a lot of women wear this look, and instead of embracing the purpose of the style, they constantly adjust themselves, pulling their shirts down or pants up as to close the gap that this style was so obviously designed to create. It’s this strange tick that really exposes their self-consciousness, and completely belies the illusion of courage that the style portrays. I want to walk up to these women and tell them to just leave it alone — let your middrift be free. But, alas, I am not the fashion police, and know we all make progress according to our own terms. I just hope that when the style switches to parkas in June, that some of that courage that was gained by women of less-than-platonic-perfect-form is retained, and that our culture learns to care less about our shape and more about our substance.

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