Sunday, November 1, 2009

Consider This

Dress-Up? Why? Who Cares??

Are our lives so dreary and bleak that we have to liven them up by focusing so much attention on the garb of our fellow Americans? And especially our famous fellow Americans? Honestly I think we spend way too much time, ink and air space on what they wear.

For example, this past summer the really huge news was no, not global starvation, no, not the stupid, useless wars that are robbing the precious lives of so many military and civilian people, no not the rampant diseases ravaging the helpless, and no, not the fact that our world and the animals and all living things on it is being methodically and slowly destroyed by us. Nope, none of that. The really important and huge news last summer was that Michelle Obama had the unutterable gall to wear shorts on a blastingly hot day while visiting the Grand Canyon with her kids. Oh the horror!

The Internet was exploding with this appalling news, headlines screamed, radio and TV newscasts were afire, endless debates abounded. How dare she wear shorts and show her legs? She is the First Lady for the love of all that’s holy, not a normal woman who wants to feel cool on a terribly hot day. She showed the world her legs. Oh my. Hey, I knew she had legs. Didn’t anyone else?

People were cajoled into sending in their votes as to whether it was appropriate for Mrs. Obama to be comfortable and cool in shorts while strolling with her daughters on the rim of the Grand Canyon in the middle of summer. Votes? What is that all about anyway? Today in the news we hear anchor people asking us in the coziest of ways, leaning warmly toward the camera; “Come on folks, what you think about all this? Send in your votes. Let us know how you feel! Just call the toll-free number at the bottom of your screen. We’ll tell you in tomorrow’s newscast what the results were!”

Who cares?? Do people do that? Call in votes? Why? Does it change anything? Does anyone really care who votes and why and for whom and for what on those TV stories? Is it a silly ploy to make people think their votes matter in some way? That they’ll change anything? I think it’s a media trick to make us feel as if we’re all one big warm and fuzzy global family joined together in voting on issues that just don’t matter, like Ms. Obama showing her legs, or on other issues no one cares about, that won’t change anything and most certainly aren’t counted by anyone anyway.

But back to our friend Michelle O. Jackie O. wore sleeveless dresses all the time during the JFK years and the Ari Onassis years, and no one printed banner headlines about that. However, when Michelle exercised her right to bare arms (sorry, had to do it) the media exploded. Frantic votes were taken. Now let’s get truthful here; most women would kill and kill again to have the first lady’s long, beautiful muscular arms, but no, shock swept the land and while our world slowly falls to shards, the headlines screamed about Ms. Obama’s effrontery at showing her bare arms straight up to the shoulders. Gasp. She also took a whole lot of heat because last year she had the impertinence to meet a head of state wearing a beautiful black velvet pants suit instead of a proper skirt suit. Double gasp! Hey, Laura Bush wore them all the time. Hillary surely does. Women who have to stroll across daises and stages and other up-high places do themselves and the world a favor by not wearing skirts and high heels. Queen Elizabeth, take note. Please.

Is Michelle Obama a fashion leader? Do I know? OK, I’m not all that crazy about that big studded belt she favors cinched at the top of her rib cage, but maybe she likes it! Maybe she’s high-waisted. I just wish I had a waist. Do I wonder about her bolero styled too-tight cardigans? Maybe they’re in now. Maybe she knows something about fashion I don’t and will never learn. My fashion statements are outfits which are a mixture of ’57 retro, farm worker comfy, chic-nono, wrinkles, baggy, and Amish. I can’t make it work. Never could. Never will. Don’t want to.

Yeah it’s good to look as great as one can if that’s one’s goal, but not all of us have the gift of great fashion sense. And neither do many of our most famous fellow Americans. The very young, very sexy B. Spears perhaps was maybe thinking she was making a fashion statement when she flashed her Brazilian hoo-hah at the paparazzi as she swung out of her chauffeured car. Britney honey, if you’re reading this, that was no fashion statement, but it was most certainly just plain gross.

And speaking of the very famous showbiz folks; do you ever worry the gowns and jewels they wear when appearing on the red carpet out in Cauliflower (that’s how Schwarzenegger seems to pronounce “California”) might make the rest of the world pretty much hate us? Considering that the cost of one of those gowns could feed several third world families for months? Do you feel guilty about their swishing up that red carpet to those awards’ ceremonies wearing all that money on their backs? I do. Am I jealous? No, honestly not, except I wouldn’t mind having their bods.

And then comes so much press, articles, blogs, twitters, whatevers as to whether those showbiz folk should have worn what they wore. There are whole TV shows where panels of crazy people discuss and discuss and discuss those actress’s frocks. And again, they look into the cameras and ask for our votes of approval or disapproval. I don’t get it. Who cares if an actress wears a huge plaid bow on her butt and little else, or another wears what appears to be a giant, dead swan draped over her torso? But more importantly, why have we come to accept these stupid excesses in our country, and please tell me why these issues have risen to a level of such importance in our lives?

Click on  LC Van Savage for author's  bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
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