Look in the Mirror…Please!

There was a time when a run in your stocking or a bra strap showing was a fashion disaster.  Black bras under white blouses and ripped fishnet stockings seem commonplace today.  Mother Angelica of EWTN, my go-to-gal for all things Catholic, used to think that mirrors on street corners would alert people to how awful they look, I’m not sure anything would help at this point.

Joe Queenan, in his recent column in the WSJ, “Hey, Buddy, Keep Your Shirt On!”, describes the summer’s overexposure to bare skin in NYC where the temperature and humidity are sky high and he takes no prisoners when he assails all those overweight middle-aged joggers, sunbathers, and ordinary pedestrians who walk around with just about everything exposed.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t write about women’s fashion faux pas.

I live in the Pacific Northwest in a temperate climate so our temps never get too low or too high and we, thank God, are not experiencing the suffocating humidity much of the country is having.  So, I don’t see a lot of people around here wearing too little.  As a matter of fact, up until July 25th (when we actually hit temperatures over 80 degrees), we had only 78 minutes of such weather this summer.

But it must have gotten a bit too hot down in Oregon for Sandy McMillan when she was allegedly asked to leave Walmart because she was wearing only the top of a string bikini with shorts.  Well, I can see why the people at Walmart were a little upset by her wardrobe choice, but Walmart should acknowledge that part of this spectacle was its own fault.  After all, the bikini was bought at Walmart last year.  Actually, most of the blame should be placed on the manufacturer of this outfit.  Any clothier who makes a bikini with strings long enough to tie around a baby manatee should be shot.  Plain and simple.

I go to the gym five days a week. I’m in decent shape for an almost 60-year old gal but always wear black athletic pants and short-sleeved shirts.  I don’t think the gym is the place for anyone to show as much skin as I see sometimes.  First of all, it’s never the toned and tanned people but always the “far-too-old-for-that-outfit” crowd who are guilty of over-exposure.  Unfortunately, far too many gals my age don’t cover up their bat-wings (aka flabby arms) or their ridiculous late-in-life tattoos that only others can see.

There’s a guy, probably my age, who shows up trying to cover up his man boobs with a not very clean looking stretched out wife beater shirt, wears a bandanna over his bald head, no socks or shoes and short shorts.  Whenever I have the misfortunate to encounter this guy, I’m always sure to avoid facing him when he’s doing his clam shells because I’m sure I’ll have to be treated for PTSD.

I saw a gal one time wearing a pastel-colored two-piece skin-tight outfit from top to bottom.  She definitely did not have a mirror in her home when she left that morning.  If a spout and handle were attached to her, she could’ve easily auditioned to be the Miss Lime Kool-Aid spokesperson.

And, finally, there’s the septuagenarian who wore what could only be described as a see-through nylon sleeveless camisole who should’ve tucked her 36 longs into her waistband before getting on the stationary bicycle and flailing her arms in some sort of bizarre exercise routine which was truly was not a pretty sight.

Look, I’m really not a mean person.  A lot of Americans suffer from poor self-image and do their best to be happy in their own skin.  I get that and I don’t regularly comment on people’s weight, height, make-up or hair.  I’m not a stick woman myself, so I’m painfully aware of what I should and shouldn’t wear in addition to having a wonderfully honest husband who will actually tell me when something does or doesn’t look good on me.

In other words, I try to dress appropriately in public.  I follow Judge Judy’s attitude (I want to be Judge Judy when I grow up) and don’t wear a bathing suit because I don’t want anyone to lose their dinner.   So, it’s just horrifying for me to see people so outrageously attired and completely clueless about it.  I have to wonder whether the person owns a mirror, doesn’t care, has no one at home willing to be honest, or is just plain oblivious.

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
Author website: http://www.idontgetit.us
  • Iklwa

    While our intrepid shopper may have been “horrified” at Wal-Mart’s insistence she put a shirt on or leave the store, there is no report on the number of crying babies left in the wake of her shopping excursion.

    I, for one, was frightened by the video!

    One can only guess at the scent she travels with.

  • Ron

    Is this a generational thing? Maybe we have become our parents and are shocked by the way youth dress? On the other hand, this could be part of what Patrick Moynihan referred to as defining deviency down. We keep moving the barriers.

    • Leona Salazar

      I’ve given up trying to figure out why young people dress the way they do. I’m writing about people my age (60-ish) who should not be showing so much skin.

  • Roger Ward

    Living in L.A., we have our share of people who like to go out undressed or badly dressed (but never overdressed.) I’ve learned to just shake my head and avert my eyes.

    In a gym (which I never go to), I’d probably cut someone a break: at least they’re trying to get into shape …. but maybe not. It would depend on how much they broke the rule of taste in dress.

  • Nancye

    For one thing, for a guy to go shirtless in hot weather probably just makes him hotter. A nice cotton shirt would absorb the perspiration and actually make him feel cooler. It seems that these days a lot of people want to show off their bodies no matter how ugly they are.

    As old as I am, I wouldn’t dream of even wearing shorts, much less a bathing suit.

    I guess I’m really from the “old school” and in church I don’t like to see women in the summer without hose on. BTW, the church is freezing so why not dress accordingly – I guess I mean like people used to dress to go to church.

    Oh, I live in Alabama and you talk about heat and humidity – we have it!!!

    Maybe this is the wrong expression/analogy to use, but I’m reminded of our famous football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant, who said, when we made a touchdown – “Act like you’ve been there before”. In this case, act like you’ve been taught better before!!!

    • Stella

      Stellar work there evreoyne. I’ll keep on reading.

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