Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
I have always been interested in the way society changes its values and habits over time. I’m talking just about America here. I’ve never lived anywhere else, so I can’t speak with any authority about other places.
I’ve lived in America for nearly 70 years, and I’ve seen a huge change since I was a little girl. Some would seem to be small things, not worth noticing. For example, it was always impressed upon us, growing up, that the impression one makes on people is lasting; therefore, you need to always be presentable. For parents of the 1950’s, that meant clean clothes, polished shoes, socks pulled up and neatly folded at the ankle, and clean fingernails.
Cute kids, right? Notice: The boy is wearing hard-soled shoes. Sneakers were for gym class. The girl is wearing a dress. No girls ever wore pants to school unless it was very cold, and then you put them on under your skirt and took them off when you got to school. Hair is conservative and neatly combed. The kids are as neat as a pin. Now let’s see how different a girl looks in 2017:
Ripped jeans, skin tight; long and often messy hair, sneakers, belly shirt. I couldn’t find a picture of a boy, but they often look about the same as this girl. Or, they wear baggy shorts and tees, great big sneakers with laces left undone, and a backwards ball cap.
No one in my generation would have been caught dead looking like this in public. I’m still amazed that kids WANT to look like their parents can’t afford to buy them new jeans 🙂
So what happened? Well, to begin with, the Hippie generation back in the 60’s and 70’s, when everyone wanted to be different, but all in the same way. Long, messy hair, lots of facial hair for the guys, sunglasses, beadsbeadsbeads, tatty old hip-hugging jeans (bell bottoms, remember?) and either sandals or bare feet. It was the uniform of those who were rebelling against the Establishment.
Then, comfort became the mantra for what people wore. It still is, but I don’t see as much prejudice against suits for men, office apparel for women that doesn’t look like something out of the dumpster behind the Good Will store. Making a good impression has become important again, and our outward appearance reflects that. Major changes still exist, though. It is now appropriate for women to wear pants to work, for instance, although I understand some offices frown on it. There doesn’t seem to be nearly as much emphasis on dress codes as there used to be.
I think we’ve kind of come back to center. The 50’s were neat and tidy, the 60’s and 70’s ushered in the grunge look. The 80’s were all about BIG hair, HUGE glasses, shoulder pads for women. The 90’s tamed that down, and this century, so far, has been pretty conservative for the most part but gentler around the edges than the 50’s were.
Unless you’re a Hollywood entertainer, where the look for women seems to be as bare and/or revealing as possible while the men still wear tuxedos to walk the red carpet to awards events.
The fact is, we’re always making some kind of impression on someone. I don’t really worry about that too much. I dress to please myself, to be appropriate, and not to call attention to myself when I’m working. I wouldn’t be able to help people if they were so bedazzled by my outfit that they couldn’t think straight.
And heavy women–please, if you’re going to wear the ubiquitous yoga pants, do us all a favor and wear a long top that covers your backside. You apparently don’t know how bad you look.