Apparently Daisy Dukes, the shorts that hug a gal's bottom in a love embrace and occasionally let some cheek spill out, are all the rage this summer.They may not be hurting anybody, but they're driving me positively bonkers.They're bringing up a lot of issues for me.I am from the school of "dress for the body you have, not the body you want." Not everyone can wear everything. Not every style looks good on every body.To me, it is an art form to discover and honor the meeting point of what flatters you, and what makes you feel good. When I see large, untoned bottoms and thighs in Daisy Dukes I get very WTF-y. And even shorty-short rockin' thin girls should abide by the the saying, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."I was recently in New York, and I live in Chicago. I cannot for the life of me, understand why anyone with legs of any size would want to wear shorty-shorts, in cities like these. Your bare legs, not to mention the skin centimeters away from your lady bits, on the seat of a public bus, train or even taxi? Euw, eeeuuww, and eeeeuuuuwww!!!!!!Then, there's the attention factor. You come into contact with a lot of folks on city streets. Men and women of all sexual orientations can't help but give you a once over when you wear Daisy Dukes. Being the object of a straight man's leering has always made me uncomfortable. That "Hey, baby, can I get yo digits?" kind of skeevy attention sends me in search of a Hazmat shower.
I like being on the receiving end of a thoughtful and/or subtle comment because I look elegant -- because I have left something to the imagination, or because I have almost dared him to think there's anything sexy going on (like when I am in my just-shy-of-disintegrating yoga pants).Of course, a woman can wear anything she wants, WITHOUT ASKING FOR IT. I, personally, however, have always shied away from showing too much skin in public. Shied away from too much of that overtly sexual brand of attention.I am not overweight, far from it. Yet my legs have always been muscular, not lean and long. Even when I was dancing every day, and was ripped, I never would have worn Daisy Dukes. NEVER. In my mind, those were best left to my leggy peers. If I were to rock shorty shorts, I'd leave them for the beach -- a more appropriate place to experiment with casting body issues aside and showing more skin than normal.At the beach everyone is showing skin, so booty shorts are no biggie.At the beach my carefully selected suit hides my flaws and emphasizes my gifts. My arms and my waist. I know exactly what I'm putting out there.Sometimes, when it comes to what my body looks like, I might know and think too much.Which is why wearing Daisy Dukes, especially when you have thick legs seems blissfully unaware, defiant even. It's like giving the finger to the cannots and should-nots of fashion. To body issues. To the opinions of others.There is something fabulous about a woman who is comfortable in her own skin. Who wears what makes her feel happy and free and sexy in the summer sun.It must be awesome not to care. Because when does it end? There is always someone who will find fault in something about you.
And there is always someone, in addition to yourself, who will love your body exactly the way it is.But still I wonder, is that woman really comfortable or is she hoping to use her bared skin as currency for validation or love? Is she still comparing herself to some perceived ideal and wearing short-shorts out of bravado? Or is she just doing it because she can?Or am I projecting my host of body issues onto that woman, while she is perfectly content with herself?I would love to know.When I see young women dressed this way, I can't help but think of my daughter. I hope I can save her from the extreme body issues I've battled within myself and still do.
As a female in America, however, I'm not sure how she can escape.I hope she always has fun with her clothes. I hope she can dress in a way that reflects her spirit and makes her feel happy and pretty. And even sexy, yet elegant. I hope her body is something for her to enjoy, and not something to agonize about.But she's gotta know, if I catch her in something overly revealing, Mama will be swinging her purse at undesirable suitors.That and wrapping her up in an emergency muumuu to take her little behind home.