MERCIFULLY, ACCORDING TO KIMBERLY KUROWSKI, a buyer of women’s clothing for Macy’s (currently doubling as my wife), “the Parisian runways have declared that the low-rise craze is over.” But I’m not sure her eyes are open to the ubiquity of American belly balloons bloating across this great nation. The inanimate sultry low-rise jean itself, to my way of thinking, is not at fault and should be allowed to exist in perpetuity. Just as no good carpenter blames the tools, no 22-year old hardbody with a lower back octopus tattoo and a pierced navel should face governmental intervention because of genetics and a penchant for sit-ups. It’s the others – a.k.a. the “vast majority” – that concern me.
“C’mon,” you chortle. Do I really believe low-rise jeans topped by guts carved of Silly Putty are a national health crisis? All I know is that every time I venture out in public and see some fleshy poundcake spilling over the pan, I feel ill.
Now, before I get letters from angrily pudgy feminists, let me say to the plus-sized girls out there: I am down with the cause. I am of your ilk. I’ve got a fine set of 5-lb. saddlebags painted with stretch marks making it look as though I’ve been mauled by a Bengal. But I keep my flub covered up like a Taliban prom queen. (Mental note: Burkas symbolizing religious intolerance and gender oppression, bad deal. Burkas as a means of covering up skin-colored Play-Doh, As-salaam Alaikum my sisters).
I imagine it’s tough being a portly young lass in our Jessica Simpson world. Trying to fit in these days is a struggle, especially when it involves trying to fit into a pair of jeans designed for your teenage daughter—the one with the eating disorder. The irony of drawing attention to an unpleasantly exposed meaty midriff, bared solely to be with the in-shape crowd who will instantaneously pass cruel judgment makes me very sad ...
And yet, not as sad as having to wage the visual battle against the bulge while waiting in line at Six Flags. Unfortunately, unless there is massive, mandated, full-bodied fashionista quarantining, it appears the epidemic will metastasize and spread with no cure in sight.
“For the last few years everyone says low-rise jeans are out, but it’s what sells,” says Kate Brubaker, PR/marketing specialist for Blue Cult Jeans. “It’s still a trend with younger women, no matter if some people want it to be gone.”
Deep down inside I hope every woman is free and comfortable in her own skin. I just wish she didn’t let it hang all over her jeans to prove it.
(Photograph by Chelsea L. Linnertz)
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