Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Slobification of America

YES!! Sing it! And it comes from Fran Lebowitz, of all people:
I have to say that one of the biggest changes in my lifetime, is the phenomenon of men wearing shorts. Men never wore shorts when I was young. There are few things I would rather see less, to tell you the truth. I'd just as soon see someone coming toward me with a hand grenade. This is one of the worst changes, by far. It's disgusting. To have to sit next to grown men on the subway in the summer, and they're wearing shorts? It's repulsive. They look ridiculous, like children, and I can't take them seriously. 
See Exhibit A above. Or just walk along in any American city these days -- 40-year-olds dressed like 10-year-olds, mothers dressed like their daughters, fathers dressed like their sons, all of them dressed like they're just about to clean out the garage, or already have. It's like one big day at the beach -- shorts and T-shirts, shorts and tank tops, shorts and flip-flops. Really, people? Really?? You're going to a museum or a train station or a nice restaurant and this is how you dress??

We're a nation of slobs.

Fran goes on, reminding me of John Waters, who famously said something along the lines of, "I don't want to see most people naked":
It's like any other sort of revealing clothing, in that the people you'd most like to see them on aren't wearing them. And if they are, it's probably their job to wear them. My fashion advice, particularly to men wearing shorts: Ask yourself, 'Could I make a living modeling these shorts?' If the answer is no, then change your clothes. Put on a pair of pants. […]
And oh, yes, the ubiquitous yoga pants: 
All these clothes that you see people wearing, the yoga clothes—even men wear them!—it's just another way of being in pajamas. You need more natural beauty to get away with things like that. What's so great thing about clothes is that they're artificial—you can lie, you can choose the way you look, which is not true of natural beauty. So if you're naturally beautiful, wear what you want, but that's .01% of people. Most people just aren't good looking enough to wear what they have on. They should change. They should get some slacks and a nice overcoat. 
And then we have the hair:
For instance: remember when the style was incredibly messy hair? That's great if you're a model. But if you're not a model, you would look better if you washed your hair, because you are not beautiful.'
Actually, I disagree with her about models looking good that way. If your hair is messy, it's messy; I don't care how beautiful you are. Why everyone was gaga over Meg Ryan I could never understand. She always looked like she couldn't afford a comb. 

I took a stab several years ago at fighting the slobification of America, here. Yes, I know it's a losing battle. Already lost.

(Photo by Christopher T. Assaf for the Baltimore Sun)