Unacceptable Items of the Last Three Weeks

So, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, but I haven’t forgotten R&RC. In fact, some of the absurd things I’ve seen these past few weeks require some attention.

1. Flesh colored leggings. NO. NONONONONONO UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, NO! Why? Why would you possibly think this is a good idea? I thought the Wal-Mart meme lady would have convinced the world, but apparently not.

2. Tiger stripe leggings. I’m not sure what happened to the students on my campus (there must be something in the water), but apparently standard black leggings weren’t bad enough and we needed flesh colored and tiger stripe varieties. Really?

3. Peek-a-boo shapewear. Shapewear is awesome. It keeps you tucked and set where you should be to look awesome. But looking at it? Not so awesome. So, when I was walking behind a girl in a short pencil skirt and suddenly realized, oh, it doesn’t have a lace border, those are her SPANX, I had to shake my head and wonder whether she could feel a draft. You would think, right?

4. iPod in your butt. Yes. Yes, I said iPod. In. Your. Butt. I was at the gym last week on an elliptical behind a woman on a treadmill. She kept adjusting her sweatpants as she was running, and I was pretty much ignoring it when suddenly she started digging around in her pants. Slightly aghast (my mother taught me not to stick my hands down my pants in public; I don’t know about the rest of you), I watched her pull an iPod out of her sweatpants and adjust the song and shove the thing back in her pants and keep running. W. T. F. Let me count the ways this is unacceptable: one, gross. Two, unsanitary. Three, YOU’RE KEEPING YOUR iPOD IN YOUR ASS. Four, IN YOUR ASS. Five, there’s a reason clothing companies don’t put pockets in the center of the back of our pants; items stored there make you look like you’ve shit yourself. Six, IN. YOUR. BUTT?!?!??!

Stop Comparing Me to Fruit

I’m sure by now, most women have heard of different classifications for body shapes. There’s the “hourglass” (think Marilyn Monroe and every pin up girl ever) and the “rectangle” (as in you don’t have a natural waist) and sometimes even varieties of triangle (standard and inverse, apparently). But all of this is weird. No one actually looks like a triangle or a rectangle. Hourglass, sure, I can see that. Then there’s the stupid food comparisons: apple, pear, and (this one was new to me) banana. I’m sorry but I definitely don’t look like a piece of fruit. This comparison is just weird and nonsensical.

In this case, the fruit doesn't even fit. And that does NOT look like a banana, damnit.

I’m sorry, but none of these shapes make any sense to my brain. I just don’t get it. Supposedly, because I’m small-chested and big-bootied (is that even a term?) I’m a “pear” shape. But I’m also supposed to have tiny, wimpy shoulders (which I don’t) and thick ankles (also don’t). I get the impetus for classifying body shapes–supposedly helping women dress to flatter their most “alluring” features–but it really needs to be rethought. On top of only being able to represent these so-called universal shapes that are supposed to fit all women on the planet in odd drawings without faces or  with creepy identical faces, when someone does try to represent these shapes in the real world, you wind up with ridiculously inaccurate representations. See, for example, figure three. All of these women, despite the fact that they’ve been classified as “different” shapes, all look the same to me. They all have chests of roughly the same size, they’re all fairly lean (though red bathing suit and black bathing suit have weirdly thin thighs that don’t touch), and they all have pretty defined waists. I’m also increasingly convinced that “inv” triangle and triangle are the same woman with a bit of photoshopping on the booty/thighs area. Alternative to the “models come in all shapes and varieties of anorexic!!!” photo above is the “all women look like worn out slobs and stand with their arms awkwardly lifted and suffering from an inexplicable case of bowleggedness” picture below. Kudos to the creator for using real women, but at the same time, it seems somewhat unfair to try to accurately represent body types when you’re using women whose ages vary from the fairly young (maybe 24, “lollipop”) to the fairly old (65? “column”), and whose relative body weight fluctuates from the very skinny to the verging on obese. And forgive me for asking, but what idiot came up with these horrible names. There’s the classic food items, but wtf is a cello body shape? Lollipop? Goblet? And can we all agree that “brick” is a terrible term for a woman’s body shape? As if you could be any less interested in making a woman feel beautiful–“Yes, dear, I believe you’d be classified as a ‘brick.'” C’mon!

This is not to say that using women of a variety of ages and weights is a bad thing, but it’s hard to get a sense of your body shape if you’re at the right weight but don’t look like Ms. Lollipop, Pear, or Cornet. What about women of average weight who are hourglass-shaped? Or heavy women who are column or goblet shaped? This system just sucks, to be honest.

Additionally, in my evening internet cruising, I keep seeing advice for pear and apple shaped women that encourages them to “hide” their big hips or busts, respectively, while telling hourglass ladies to just let it all hang out cause they have nothing to hide. What kind of message does that send? The only worthwhile, sexy shape is an hourglass one, I assume. Everyone else better try to wear dark colors or use ruffles to give the impression they actually have the hourglass shape instead of just embracing the great assets they do have, regardless of whether their top and bottom halves match.

I say, eff that. Whether you look like Barbie or you don’t, stop dressing to cover up what some people like to call “problem areas” (i.e. anything that’s not an hourglass), and just start wearing what you think looks good and gives you confidence.

Rompers romping everywhere

The “Romper,” also known as the “Romper Suit,” is a bizarre piece of clothing. According to the Wikipedia entry, it is “a one-piece garment worn by children and sometimes women.” Originally made for small children, women began wearing them in the 1950’s as “leisure and beach wear.”

More recently, however, I’ve begun to see them on teens and twenty somethings everywhere.

Is it just me or are rompers strangely childish? Something about them reminds me of onesie footie pajamas, but for summertime. Also, their inherent femininity seems to sprout from their nature as an all-or-nothing garment, which really bothers me. It seems as if this is a weird modern version of the chastity belt (forget quickie sex in one of these–ever), except with the alternative of total nakedness. There is no in between!

On the practical side, I also have my doubts–how do you go to the bathroom in one of these things? Do you have to strip down butt naked? Who would want to do that in an American public bathroom where you can pretty much peek through the cracks of the stalls anyway? Not me, thanks. Additionally, what if you’re a woman with a long torso? Or a short one, for that matter? It seems that it would be impossible to buy one of these things and have it fit correctly without major tailoring.

I just don’t understand why it is necessary to have pants on these. At some point, it seems to make more sense to buy a cute white dress–which I am suspicious is lurking at the far right of the above photo–that is more versatile (and when wearing, makes it easier to pee without getting completely naked).

A Friendly Guide To Leggings… Because It’s Obvious You Need One

When I was about four or five, there were leggings. It was 1992 and they had the strap that hooked under your foot to keep them stretched. I hated them because I had overly sensitive feet and didn’t like the strap. We called them “stirrup pants.”

Eighteen years later, we apparently needed to go back to the awful stirrup pants we wore as children when we were cute, small, and it didn’t matter if our underwear and/or diaper showed through our pants. But, let’s face it. We’re adults now and this is no longer acceptable. It’s really not okay for you to be showing off your panties. I don’t care if they have the word “PINK” plastered across your ass. I just don’t want to see it.

There are right and wrong ways to wear leggings. Going to work at the office? Yeah, choose something else to wear. Skin tight cotton “pants” don’t really work here. Work at a dance studio? Perfect! Throw on those leggings. Leggings can also be okay if you’re pairing them with a long sweater or something that doesn’t showcase your rear. The image below, for example, demonstrates an appropriate way of wearing everybody’s favorite un-pants.

As you can see, the long sweater prevents any unnecessary ass-showcasing and saves me from having to read your underwear.

So, let’s get this straight: Good Leggings don’t showcase your butt in weird ways, aren’t translucent, politely conceal your underwear, and don’t look trashy/lazy/frumpy. Got it? Great.

Problem is, I don’t trust you. I know you’re going to go out there and buy an awful pair of leggings, and I’m going to hold myself partially responsible. So, I’m providing you with a simple, easy-to-use guide of What Leggings Not To Wear. Observe:

Pleather/leather leggings are a resounding NO.

Whatever these are… also a no. And put a freakin’ shirt on, lady.

Ripped leggings… Are you homeless? Do you pull your clothes out of the dumpster behind Goodwill? Then stop dressing like you do.

When pleather wasn’t bad enough, they gave us metallic leggings. Unless you’re the bastard leprechaun from Notre Dame, don’t wear these.

AKJSHDKLAJSHFKJASD?!/??!??!?!?! IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, YOU DON’T NEED TO WEAR LEGGINGS. NO!

Hopefully by now you have the tools and know-how to determine for yourself which styles of leggings are appropriate and which are not. So do us all a favor and lay off the bad un-pants.