Friday, October 14, 2005

Audrey Hepburn Would Roll Over: Bling-Bling Fashion

What would the lovely Miss Audrey Hepburn think of the modern bling-bling fashion? I'm not just wrinkling my nose at the trampy girls who wear the gear, I mean the fashions of the dolls young girls like.

I have no worry about Barbie dolls... in general. Since James Lileks' recent column (the newly launched Quirk! in the otherwise no-credibility paper of Minneapolis), I've began to cringe.

...Barbie isn't stupid. As a role model, you could do worse. You could do the Bratz, which are grotesque pumpkin-headed creatures with Kate Moss coke-hag bods and bedroom eyes. And the "bedroom" in this case is a motel room on the outskirts of Vegas littered with crack vials and crumpled cigarette packs.

I know, I know: Kids grow up faster today, which is why it's important to provide 10-year-olds with slutterific dolls so they'll know how to dress for their photo in the escort section of the free weekly. But why Barbie gets people riled up and the Bratz get a pass -- go figure.

Due to some of the people the Beautiful and Dutiful Mrs. Badda-Blogger associates with, I hear plenty about the evils of Barbie. (When you hear it from Lisa on "The Simpsons" it's funny, when you hear it from living, breathing agenda-warriors it's annoying and embarassing.) Admittedly, I don't really have a dog in this fight, but I cannot see the damage a simple Barbie doll (or even a collection) could possibly do.

However, when she looks like this I enter into curmudgeon mode:
...For the holiday season Mattel is bringing out the "My Scene Bling Bling Barbie," an attempt to out-skank the Bratz market by tarting up America's sweetheart. Her lips now contain so much collagen she looks like she'd make a sloshing sound if she puckered up; her eyes are bigger, the mascara looks like she was attacked by a rabid Sharpie, and her lids have that come-hither half-mast appearance that make her look as though she smoked half a pound of hash on the way over from China.

Her accessories are blinged out, as you might expect -- a silver cell phone for calling her dealer, a tiny silver purse whose contents you can imagine dumped out on a police car hood (sold separately), gauche synthetic fur that suggests they lifted the ban on trapping pimps and selling the pelts, a halter top, short shorts, pink leg warmers and high-heeled boots. Just ghastly. "Flashdance" meets "Foxy Brown" meets "Pretty Woman." On Cinemax.


Now, I love walking around in public and seeing young, attractive women dressed somewhat sparsely, if you know what I mean. (The Beautiful and Dutiful Mrs. Badda-Blogger isn't nearly as enthusiastic, if you know what I mean.) Of course, that's merely as eye candy. I have a counter-instinct that says to me, "How can these girls dress like this?" Not that long ago I saw a very hot looking girl walk by wearing and extremely short skirt... and it wasn't merely short because it only came down to her upper thigh (if you know what I mean). To be quite explicit, you could tell that she was keen on managing her bikini line. Now, she was attractive, but far too young to dress like that! (Not to mention, you usually need a website membership to see someone dressed like that.)

Lileks continues:
It fits the target market, though. Let's be honest: Most kids have no sense of style. Most little boys would wear a Spiderman costume to Great Aunt Agnes' funeral if they could. But adults are the ones pushing bling on kids, even though bling can only be worn ironically as a comment on the awfulness of bling. Adults are supposed to teach kids about style. In a way, it's apt; Barbie's clean-cut California classic look is out, replaced by the ugly incoherence of modern fashion, most of which looks like something Audrey Hepburn would slit her wrists rather than wear.
I'll tell you something about Audrey Hepburn. She was so classy that even my subconscious dreams wouldn't dare to get too explicit when she was the featured item. Seriously.

One of the most fondly remembered dreams was of a younger Audrey Hepburn cuddling with me on a couch. We were fully clothed. There was no groping, let alone any sex (regular or otherwise, for you Clinton voters). There was nothing untoward at all... I merely woke up smiling like a school boy.

It was all very innocent and it was one of the sexiest dreams I ever had. ;)

(Uh, I kind of jumped topics... but that's the power of a real woman who knows how to dress.)


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