Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jeans Shopping Angst Makes Me Philosophical

No matter how much women may differ in terms of belief structure, background, etc., the one thing that I think almost everyone of us can agree on is we all hating shopping for jeans. Yes, I am bridging the gap of prejudice using a shared hatred of jeans shopping. It works. Anyway, I realized that I have not had a good, flattering pair of jeans since I lived with a roommate my size and height who has better shopping instincts than me. My Achilles heel with jeans and boots is that, slender and willowy though I be, I am thick of limb. Like, seriously stocky. I wish I was my height with long, slender gams, because I'd be stalking around in dresses and skirts that are as they say "fierce", but no, I have the sturdy, muscular stems of peasant stock. If I lived in a 19th century novel, some handsome, pretentious baron would make a sneering comment about me being built for hard labor, and then after several months of acquaintanceship my saucy wit and mildly Bohemian Pre-Raphaelite beauty would bewitch him into falling hopelessly in love with me. Then it would go in one of two ways depending on the type of novel: if written by say, Thomas Hardy, then the baron’s love grows too late, and only narrowly misses the opportunity to marry me and live happier lives than anyone in existence. As it stands, he missed his chance by mere days because of his character flaw of pride, because life sucks, and due to some cataclysmic combination of tragedies, I have been reduced to a wretched life of prostitution, forever barred from a decent life in the rigid societal confines of Victorian England, and I don’t know, something about murder or whatever. If it be written by Jane Austen, then a few hijinks and misunderstandings would ensue before the baron and I finally settled into a marriage of mutual respect and passion, after I showed him the importance of valuing people for their own worth. Basically, no one should ever be stuck in a Hardy novel. Jane Austen is way more fun. That’s what British Victorianism does to you.

What was I even talking about? Jeans! Yes, so it’s tough for me to find jeans that I like, because my limbs are just too damn muscular (yeah, we'll say "muscular"...I'm lying shamelessly, btw). But then I start to ponder this: American women have this pathologically stupid idea that if you do not fit into off-the-rack clothes, that means that you fall short of the correct womanly shape. (I limit myself to my own culture since I’m not really equipped to talk about any others, but when I lived in Europe six years ago, most of the women definitely had a better grip on playing up their natural beauty rather than chasing fads. Input on other country stereotypes welcome.) I have had so many of these conversations with girlfriends and if you sit back and listen we sound completely neurotic and/or insane: “you see, my femurs are disproportionately longer than the rest of me”, “my arms are too skinny”, “my fingernails are so unattractive” etc., ad nauseum, and I have an unusually good looking bunch of friends. A few of my friends are genuine stunners, and even these girls have their own litany, “my shoulders are rounded”, “I have no curves”, “my nose is too big” and they are objectively gorgeous. It is amazing to me that American women have no idea how to appreciate feminine beauty and instead make themselves miserable over a vague ideal they couldn't even really define. Sure, there does exist a tiny percentage of goddess-like women, like Heidi Klum, and it's nice that she became a model so we can all look at her, but why should women fall into the insanity of thinking they should possessed the beauty of Helen of Troy or they are an epic fail? Why do we do that? I’m really asking; I don’t have an adequate answer. In the blog Single Dad Laughing, Dan writes in “Worthless Women and the Men Who Make Them” about the responsibility men have which I agree is a significant factor, but I don’t think that’s everything. The source is not Hollywood, it’s not the runway, it’s not misogyny, it’s not peer pressure. All those things may play a small part but they are more symptomatic rather than causal.

There is a supposed “movement” to curvy, but the people in this curvy movement sometimes end up shrilly berating the thin body type as ugly/anorexic or criticizing a heavier model if she loses weight (one example is covered nicely by Kristy in "Crystal Renn Admits to Losing Weight, World Forgets to Mind Its Own Business", so they end up being part of the disease themselves, topped off with an obnoxious amount of self-righteousness.  They are doing the same thing by still insisting on only one shape being attractive, to hell with everyone else.  Excuse me, but wtf? Why the rigidity? Feminine beauty is amazingly diverse. The unfortunate thing is, you often have beautiful girls looking significantly less lovely because they keep trying to conform to a type that is simply not their own, which only creates awkwardness stylistically. A lot of girls outright spoil their looks by tanning themselves into oblivion, doing horrible things to their hair, and plastering on pounds of makeup, not to mention wearing ridiculous trends that work against their body type. People look so much more lovely when they accentuate their natural looks. And everyone looks better when they stop harping on about the imagined imperfections of themselves or others.


Louise said...

Completely love and agree with everything you said. (WTH happened to Crystal Renn? She's a size 4 now!)

Also, Gap redid their jeans last year, and they are seriously amazing. Make sure to size down because they stretch, but looking at your body type, I suggest the Straight leg, the Forever Skinny, or the Curvy or Long&Lean if you want a boot cut or flare. Seriously, try them. And always go for a dark wash!

Meghan McNally said...

Thanks, Weezy! When I was ranting in my head writing this, I particuarly wished you were around to shrill with me. :)

I'm willing to give Gap another shot with jeans but right now I'm thinking hell to the no on skinny or straight for reasons discussed above.