Remember how a couple of years ago, tight cut-off shorts became popular for a bit? Like, not Daisy Dukes or Tobias Funke type cut-offs, but faded hipster cut-offs? The ones that clung to your thigh and ended not too far before your knee took over your leg like an angry flesh-boulder?
I was so jealous of the people who could rock that look. By all accounts I should have been able to rock it; I look awesome in shorty-shorts. I should have looked like the baddest bitch since Madonna tried baseball, but uh-uh. Those shorts became denim leg-monsters, eating my thighs in the most unappealing way imaginable. I just praise whoever is watching down over me that I tried the hell-beasts out in the store instead of destroying some perfectly good pants to get the look.
You know, I don’t give two figs about what convention suggests I should wear or what constitutes a “do,” because what do they know? My sallow skin looks awesome in yellow, and a life without deep vees is a life half-lived. What Not to Wear? More like “What to do to tear down someone’s soul on public television in front of millions in the name of making them less embarrassing to their family members.” There is nothing I hate more than policing the way others choose to clothe themselves. Again, my exception is for clothing that creates a hateful atmosphere. (I’m looking at you Prince Harry, don’t dress up like a Nazi again. It’s not cute or funny or clever, so shove it.)
Personally? For me? There are lots of looks I can work with. Suave business woman? I can dig it. Teenage boy with no imagination? Sure, we’ve all been there. Lady of the night? Yes, OK. But I draw the line at things that make me look like an anachronistic street urchin-cum-grizzled prospector. Unless it’s Halloween, I suppose, but the people who patronize Target at 9:45 in the morning (generally truant teenagers, stay-at-home moms, and me) do not need to have the image of my knees, fringed in flaccid fabric, moving slowly, inevitably, towards the cookie aisle.
To be honest, I don’t really care about them or their precious corneas. I care more about how I see myself and making sure that I stay true to me, even if what I’m staying true to is my laziness and inability to see a loud print without purchasing it outright. I see myself in a lot of ways, as if through segmented eyes or a disco ball, but none of those involve pretending to be a grizzled prospector (except for the bit that I’ve got in my new romance novel, Panning for Gold”¦ and Men: A Shirley “Long Johns” Johnson Adventure). I’m not going to tell you where you should draw that line, but that’s where it lies for me.
It’s finally summer again, and I went to Forever21 because it is close by and I am grad-student-broke, so fast fashion with more miniskirts than morals is what I’m going to clothe my temple/body with. Turns out they’re selling this totally sheer lace tube that they suggest is a “knit top.” They make excellent under-things, and the more I prance around in them, feeling the freedom of summer in their tight spandex grasp, the more the memory of those unfortunate cut-offs fades. I’m probably knee-deep in another “don’t,” but to me, it feels a whole lot like a “do.”