Monday, July 23, 2007

More On (Moron?) Youth Fashions

For those who followed the discussion of recent grotesque fashion trends some of us had awhile back, I proffer a link to a post on What's Worse, Muffin Top or Whale Tail?
The blog notes, with all-too vivid photos:
"Australia's Macquerie Dictionary recently named 'muffin top' their word of the year. As most of you know, muffin top refers to the roll of fat that overflows out of the top of low-cut or too-tight jeans. It beat out the American Dialect Society's nomination of 'whale tail,' which names the part of thong underwear that shows over the waistband of low-cut (you again?!) pants."

You get to vote which strikes you as the more egregious fashion infraction, which I have to say is a tough call but not quite impossible. I don't see the point of stuffing yourself into pants that are too small and making yourself look fat and lumpy even if you're actually slender, but the whale-tail look is just gross. And I speak as one who has worn her share of low-cut pants. They can look very sexy, but so often they just look stupid.
In my sometime role as social satirist, I do regret not having photos of various bizarre sights observed in Prague and Brno, like the woman of 60 or 70 seen wearing a see-through black skirt and top over bright red underwear at Brno's Hotel Grand bus stop, or the international student who, not content to wear exceptionally low-cut pants, spent her time standing around with her hand down the front of them (I'm not sure she advanced past the beginning Czech class), or the young Czech who stood on the tram pulling her underpants up well above her jeans in both front and back. Of course, on the male end of things, the Czech habit of gardening or working on the car clad only in speedos is well known. For some reason one only sees older, fatter Czechs working outdoors in their underwear (both male and female). While one might not always agree with Czech youth fashion choices (black underwear beneath white clothes, too much icky pale pink, obsession with camouflage fabric), it appears that younger Czechs eschew their elders' favorite form of physical display. Or maybe they just don't work outdoors much.
I will say that the Bay Area has not been all that striking in the bad fashion department this summer, although there are still far too many youths shuffling around in pants designed for the extra-obese. More humorously, there was the conversation overheard on BART in which one college student expressed her shock that her companion had (horrors) used the same soap on face as on body (an error apparently right up there with picking your nose at the dinner table or eating soup down on the floor out of the dog's chow dish). Let's just say that I had a hard time not laughing out loud at anyone that pretentious. Does she use a different kind of soap for her right and left hands, too? After all, the dominant hand clearly needs a different cleaning regimen than its less-skilled mate, as it doubtless encounters more dirt. (Yes, yes, I do realize that there are situations when one wants a special soap... I am intimately familiar with the acne soaps of the past... but this was not a chat about medicated acne soaps and their ilk.) This young woman was evidently the spiritual cousin of one I overheard a few years back discussing her 300+ shades of nail polish and her "mascara drawer." Yep, a different shade of polish for every day in the year and a whole drawer full of mascara. Well, I guess a person could use these things as art supplies. An inventive person could do quite a bit with 300 shades of nail polish. (And now all my friends can tell me that I'm a barbarian for using the same kind of soap on all my skin and for only owning five or six kinds of nail polish which for that matter have been in storage for the past two years, and that the underwear I prefer is, as one of the Czech condom makers asserts, seriously lacking in appeal.)
That's enough on fashion for now, I feel certain. I can sense the instant karma headed my way like an electrical storm.

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Blogger Kristen said...

Definitely whale tail. Grosses me out to no end. But that's perhaps because of the way I'm shaped I have a muffin top no matter what I wear. Even when I was at my most svelte, if pants fit everywhere else (and I mean fit nicely, not tightly), they didn't fit in the waist. And it isn't just the Czechs who wear black underwear under white clothing--check out your average 20 year old American female these days. Ugh.

And, um, I'm one of those people who demands a separate cleanser for my face and my body. I freaked out when I learned Brian uses his heavy duty suck-all-the-moisture-out-of-your-skin-style deoderant soap on his face. Explained some of his skin irritation! My face would freak out if I came anywhere near it with the soap that works best for the rest of me. I know I'm not the only one out there with these issues. I've always assumed peoples faces tend to have different care requirements because they are less likely to be protected by clothing, among other things. Not to mention the fact that my face produces 10x the oil of the rest of me.

July 24, 2007 8:46 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Well, I should have specified the difference between preferring to use separate soaps, and expecting the entire world to do so. I have no quarrel with choosing to use separate soaps, in itself. It's just that there are plenty of soaps that should work fine on the whole body. Whereas deodorant soap does not seem appropriate to the face, any more than acne soap is suitable to non-troubled areas of skin. (Ah, how nice it is no longer to be a major oil-producing region!)

July 24, 2007 11:11 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

I will confess to being a bit of a product junkie when it comes to lotions and potions for the skin. I've finally found something that works pretty well to keep my face under control. Either that or I'm finally getting to the age where it is going to be more or less under control.

July 24, 2007 11:50 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

It is only reasonable to go in search of the most compatible product (some of us are too lazy for that and merely gaze interestedly at the store displays without being able to come to a decision what to try).

Back to the muffin top, I think Kristen cannot be said to do the muffin top no matter what her physical shape, because muffin-topness is not about one's body so much as about wearing tight pants that shove the fat up and out when one is also wearing a shortish top. (Now and then I have unintentionally participated in the muffin-top look, to my dismay.) No matter how imperfectly Kristen's pants may fit around the waist, this is not visible to the casual observer. Ideally we dress for comfort and to look reasonably good in the bodies we've got, and the muffin top look of recent fame does not achieve these goals.

July 25, 2007 6:05 AM  

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