Thursday, February 01, 2007
The Skinny Jean Phenomenon
I consider myself a fair person. Generally, I support an inclusive environment. Let people be people. Let them express themselves as they will. Tattoos are cool. Piercings are Art. But The Skinny Jean is where I draw the line.
It struck me the other day, as I was teaching science class, that my 13 year olds, who are twig-thin, were looking slightly, well, curvy. And I’m all for curvy. Let women bear their hips with pride! However, we’re talking girls with no hips, little butt and wrist-thin thighs who were suddenly looking, well, like they’d had a lot of Krispy Kremes. At first I couldn’t put my finger on what was different. Then it hit me. The wave of the 80’s hit me….and with it, the realization that the tapered pants were back. And they had a new name: The Skinny Jean.
Any master will tell you the importance of balance when composing a piece of art. And fashion is no exception. In order to the balance the womanly hips, it is humane to lead the eye with a straight-leg down toward the ground. This premise is basic and well-known. It’s right up there with friends-don’t-let-friends-wear-horizontal-stripes mantra. And yet, some daring and innocent young kid who wasn’t old enough the last time they were in to truly appreciate the fear they instilled in the rest of us thinks she cooked up a really bright idea. Let’s re-do the 80s! And while leg-warmers have some functional aspects and layering loosey-goosey shirts with big belts and tank tops hasn’t been as upsetting as I once thought it would be, I am struck dumb at the poor choices those skinny-jean marketers have made.
So, anyway, I went shopping last night with my friend whom we will call Nylorac. And she patiently waited while I dug through pile after pile of sale jeans for my size. I picked up a pair of very inexpensive ($9.99 in fact) jeans and held them up as I carried them to the fitting rooms. “I wonder,” I thought, “why these are so cheap?” I got into the little change room and pulled the curtain. I thought it was strange that I had trouble getting my calves through the bottom part of the pants. And they seemed to feel loose in some areas that I wasn’t expecting and tight in other areas. And I turned around once in the mirror and got a very sick feeling at the pit of my stomach. I’d been tricked! “OH GOD!” I exclaimed.
“Is it that bad?” Nylorac asked.
“Worse.” I groaned.
“I’m wearing….(gulp)…..Skinny Jeans.”