Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Want to look like a fool? Dress your ageism!

...or "Leave the Fashion to the Young Ladies."

Right off the bat, this article rubbed me the wrong way. The title: "Want to Look Younger? Dress Your Age." Dressing your age can be useful for many things, like working in a professional environment, for example. But the title suggests that the only reason any (woman) would want to dress her age is to look younger. Because being young is the only way to be beautiful, you know*. Then, once I finally got past the title, I found even more goodies. For example, a no-no according to this read was "Chunky platform shoes." Here's why:

The description of what you want to look for in a shoe sounds a lot like what you’d want your body to look like too—sleek, slim and sexy. So while you can still wear moderate platforms, reasonable wedges and slightly chunky shoes, you want to avoid any exaggerated versions. “After a certain age, a too-chunky shoe just starts to look orthopedic,” says Krupp. Not to mention that some of those sky-high platforms and wedges can be downright dangerous. Twist an ankle in a chunky shoe and you might find yourself in a decidedly unstylish cast or brace!

Yep, old ladies, watch out for those shoes! Not only will the really make you look your age with their "orthopedic" style (since you're probably over 30, you must be getting ready for the nursing home, right?), they'll probably even cause damage to your much-less-than-supple body!
Another example of this author really trying to keep those oldies in place can be found in the reasoning behind banning older women from wearing "Sheer over sheer":

Clothes always have a tendency to get lighter, airier and less substantialwhen summer weather hits. And this season, with a trend toward transparent tops, tunics and dresses, is no exception. Instead of wearing sexy underpinnings with a gauzy top, Krupp suggests trying the trend in a more minor way. “You don’t want to expose too much, so consider a top that reveals just your upper chest beneath a sheer chiffon, but wear an opaque camisole underneath it that completely covers your breasts,” she says. “You can still look sexy, but you can do it without revealing too much.” (emphasis mine)

The problem I have with this is not that it suggests covering up, but that it does not give a specific time/reason to cover up, like attending a child's sporting event, for example. The line “You don’t want to expose too much” is directed at the target reader of this article: Older women. It is basically saying, "If you're old, there's not reason for you NOT to be covered up!"

I don’t really agree with the idea of “fashion” in the first place, because it dictates too much, giving people (especially women) a very narrow sense of what is “beautiful.” But when you add into this mix the idea that beauty also has some sort of age limit, and if you’re over that limit you better not do x, y, or z if you want to show your face in public, it makes me even more cynical.

*According to subtle messages from the diet, plastic surgery, and fashion industries, it sure is.

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