Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Diary of a Gluteal Fold: My Day in Super Short Shorts
I don't really believe in fashion trends but I do believe that if a trend is going to exist, everyone should be able to participate. Women are brought up being told "dress for your body!" and "not everyone can pull off____." However, norms are shifting in terms of what one can expect to see out on the streets (of New York City at least) and I think this actually has a lot to do with the anti-slut shaming and universal beauty movement. I'm not sure these are really movements but for the sake of this essay lets assume that they are.
One particular trend that I've been seeing woman of all shapes and sizes getting down with are super short, high-waisted shorts. Now, as we all know, not everyone has the slim, smooth thighs that whatever bitchy fashion designer concocted these articles had in mind. I occasionally see a butt/thigh combo pass and my first reactions is "oh, honey, NO." Recently, though, I've been trying to adopt more of a "you GO girl" attitude- because who is it that gets to tell us which gluteal folds are worth beholding, and which ones should be scorned and hidden away under culottes? It has always been my theory that if the worlds power structure is a conspiracy of rich white men, then fashion trends and who is allowed to wear them are a conspiracy of their thin, cunty wives and girlfriends, and the assholes who design their clothes. I know that sounds VERY sexist against those woman, but let's not pretend that women of privilege are any less to blame for the worlds injustices against women than their male counterparts. Fashion, which should be a means of self-expression, contains an ugly world of elitism, body shaming, and culturally chauvinistic attitudes.
Super short shorts are not something I feel comfortable in, and to be frank I'm not sure why anyone would WANT to walk around with their ass hanging out. I'm 5'2 which means I'm not exactly leggy, and I have the solid physique of a former athlete who kind of tries to work out still so my butt is on the large size and my thighs show the signs of having expanded and contracted to hold muscles of varying bulgitude. Furthermore I am very VERY white and my legs, especially my upper thighs, are roughly the color of one of those lizards that lives in a cave ecosystem and never evolved pigment. One might say, why not go tanning, or use fake tanner? Because fake tanner smells terrible and looks awful and I can't think of a bigger fucking waste of time and energy. If my legs can't handle getting tan on their own during the course of my normal life than I am just not meant to have tan legs.
My cultural conditioning tells me that people do not need or want to see the full force of my glorious quads and hammies, but then I see women out in the world proudly flaunting their non-traditionally beautiful thigh meat and I think "well isn't this how we change things? By those of us who have been told "no" to just do it anyway until everyone gets used to it? So I went to Target (in the juniors section) and bought some off-white, denim, high -waisted short-shorts with a flowery embellishment on the front (pictured above). I chose them because they looked like they were specifically designed for a tan person with no thigh muscles and I figured as long as I'm doing this, I might as well fucking DO this.
Here, for you now is the diary of my day out and about in my daisy dukes:
Stage 1: Prep
When you are very white leg hair is a problem because it is visible the very instant it pokes through the skin. So, in anticipation of my day in short shorts I had to assume some very awkward positions in the shower to make sure I was able to shave anything that might become visible, which is pretty much everything. If I were very brave I suppose I would have forgone this step but smooth legs are something I enjoy having so I don't really consider them a feminist issue. In fact, I feel bad for men because most of them will never know the pleasure of rubbing their freshly smooth legs together or of being able to easily apply and remove bandaids to all parts of their bodies.
Once out of the shower I did my best to inspect the back of my thighs for bumps and cuts. There were many, but I had come too far to turn back now.
Stage 2: Creating the outfit
Highwaisted shorts are tricky because they are cut to enhance your physique in theory, so technically you're supposed to have the waistband exposed otherwise your shorts will just look lumpy under whatever shirt you're wearing. The top options are limited. You can do a very breezy blouse that flows away from your body or a shirt cut sort enough to rest above the waistband. I figured if I was going to do this, I might as well go full force country yokel so I selected a daisy themed crop top. I don't have a problematic midsection, but it's a little on the squishy side, so crop tops aren't something that I own a lot of. I actually bought this top along with the shorts in anticipation of this moment.
Stage 3: In public
When I exited my apartment I immediately caught a stiff breeze straight up the caboose and became stingingly aware that although my ass was not "hanging out", it certainly was in a position to get some fresh air, which is not the usual state of affairs. It was profoundly uncomfortable and I spent most of my walk to the subway tugging at my ass like a constipated toddler.
I walked from my apartment to the subway stop a few blocks away and definitely caught a few glances on the way, both male and female. However, in my part of Queens it isn't unusual for men to openly stare so I'm not sure if this was because of the outfit or just because I had girl parts generally. The women looked fairly churchy so it didn't necessarily have anything to do with the fact that I specifically was wearing the shorts. Even a skinny 12 year old might have gotten a scornful eye dagger.
Stage 4: Transit
Sitting on the subway was difficult. Part of my ass cheek was definitely making contact with the seat and that is NOT an acceptable thing for my ass cheek to be doing. Furthermore, the structure of the shorts caused the limited fabric surrounding the crotch to jut into my vagina while the back of the shorts when straight up my asscrack. This could have been because I bought them at Target, but even a higher quality garment cut this way would have to do the same thing.
I walked through Central Park and there were so many people in so many degrees of ill-advised articles of clothing that I don't think anyone was paying attention to my slightly over-textured thighs, but when I was waiting for the train (I grew weary of said thighs rubbing together as I walked) a man next to me was looking at me like I might be a prostitute and he might have a $100 bill in his pocket so I casually moved down to another area. Then two separate people asked me if I knew whether the B train stopped at 81st street. Apparently tiny shorts make you more approachable? I don't know what the fuck that was about.
I think this trend is now so pervasive among more voluptuous women that no one noticed or cared that part of my ass looked like it was about to flump out at any moment. Maybe that's a good sign. Or maybe I'm actually so short that my ass just isn't even in most people's line of vision. I'll probably wear these again when I can pair them with opaque tights, or on a day so hot that I just don't give a shit so long as I'm wearing as little as possible. Either way, although I fully champion a woman's right to wear whatever the fuck she wants, I really don't know why one would regularly subject themselves to the Chinese Vagina Trap that is the super short, high-waisted short.