dressing to “wow”

Ynez Sines is an overnight celebrity. Others have traveled similar paths to sensational success, like Kim Kardashian, a darling of reality TV. Her body hugging fashions with plunging necklines accentuate her natural assets, which include a gorgeous face. These days, such apparel seems the style of choice for reality TV divas. Picture the women of the “Housewives of…” shows, “Jerseylicious,” “Bethenny Gettin’ Married?,” “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” the “Batchelor,” and  “Batchelorette.” So why the uproar over Sines?

Women dressing to attract men probably began with our prehistoric ancestors. Like their contemporary counterparts, cave women needed an edge over the competition. Capturing the strongest cave man was essential to keeping  food on the table. But we’ve come a long way in dressing for survival, to dressing for the WOW factor. Where a woman might have narrowed her audience to a handful of men, she now wants to impress every man who sees her. And that can range from a roomful to a worldful, of men. Grabbing the attention of the competition is an added bonus. Maybe the media’s coverage of “red carpet” events has contributed to our narcissism.

We have increasingly turned our focus toward better health, including a better body image. Efforts to eliminate anorexia and bulimia are ongoing, as is obesity. On one hand we are attempting to regain control over our bodies so we can live our best lives; on the other hand, we continue to worship celebrities and models for their rocking, good looks and hip, hot fashions. It seems like an oxymoron to be striving for self-acceptance, while remaining shackled to our desire to look like someone on a magazine cover or a TV show. It’s as convoluted as trying to save in this economy, while trying to spend our way out of a recession. It’s a struggle, but it can be done. I guess.

Sines is neither a reality TV diva, nor a red carpet regular; she works in an all male environment which, for the most part, revels in grunge and sweat. So why the need for body hugging styles and plunging necklines as a 9-year-veteran, professional sportscaster? Her response? That’s how she’s always dressed, and she’s not making any changes to her wardrobe. So why twitter that she was “embarrassed and uncomfortable?” It’s like “wanting her cake and eating it too.” So what’s wrong with that? Don’t we buy a cake to eat it?

I’m guilty of having worn hot pants in the day, even in Guadalajara in the early 70’s when I was a summer program student at a local college. I dressed provocatively to captivate my husband when we were dating. Obviously my tactics worked, 40 years later we’re still celebrating marriage. But I’m almost certain I wouldn’t have dressed to provoke unwanted cat calls from football players, of any ethnicity. I think it would be similar to walking past construction workers in tight jeans and blouse. 

I’m not averse to athletes, having dated the captain of the football and basketball teams in high school. It just seems that their attention would naturally be drawn to the human body, since playing sports involves their bodies. Being in a locker room is probably like being in a frat house, with behavior bordering on bawdy. I wouldn’t want to witness what goes on, but that’s my choice. According to journalist Cokie Roberts on GMA this morning, Sines presence in locker rooms is part of her job as a sports reporter.

The stand-off between Sines and athletes in locker rooms is being addressed by the NFL, and in the court of public opinion. I don’t think we’re looking for a winner; I think we’re looking for both sides to be accommodating, going forward. The best scenario would be if Sines modified her professional dress, and the players were more respectful in the presence of female reporters. Whether that happens or not, is for both sides to decide. Of course the resolution will impact the female-male professional relationship, beyond the locker room. Miniscule, small, medium or large, change is already underway. Eyebrows have been raised, so there’s no going back.

accommodating change, for the better…hugmamma.

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trivia, but not trivial

Life is about the minutiae in our lives. Details that make each of us unique. Oh, we may all have similar routines: awake, brush teeth, down a cup of coffee, get to where we’re going, try to beat the homebound traffic, feed our tummies, put our feet up in front of the TV… where we doze off. (Well, at least half the population does this, while the rest of us find our way to bed. You women know of whom I speak.)

It’s what we use to carry on, how we prioritize things, and how our personalities affect what we do that separates us one from the other. Therein lies the substance of our individuality. All this to say…let’s focus on the “small,” for it’s the “new big.”

A reader’s comment on another blog site prompted me to coin the phrase. He asked if we ageed that Oprah was losing her humility. He felt her behavior strange in that upon leaving her residence she bid farewell to the doorman, nearby flowers, and so on. My reply to his query was that I felt Oprah realized that the “small” things in her life were more important to her, than all the material wealth she had garnered. The big stuff comes and goes; the small remains…right to the end.

So here’s my small stuff.

  • Sitka, one of my Maine Coone/mixed-breed cats, behaves more like a dog, than even my dog does. Reaching for my hands as they flutter over the keyboard, Sitka’s huge paw interrupts my typing while he peers at me from under my elbow, with huge, pleading eyes. He nudges me so that it’s difficult to continue what I’m doing. So you’re mistaken if you think I just sit here merrily cranking out blog, after blog, after blog. There are interruptions.
  • Just returned from my monthly hair appointment. Without my hairdresser, my BFF, Best Friends Forever (as defined for me by my daughter), I couldn’t “hold back the hand of time.” Is that from an “oldies, but goodies” tune? Anyway, it seems my stylist is allergic to dark hair coloring. First thought? Oh, oh. The hunt is on for a new BFF. But she put me at ease in explaining that she’d just use gloves. Problem solved. Love my hairdresser, my BFF.
  • Speaking of where I’ve just been. I schedule my hair appointment on a weekday because the salon is less busy than on Saturdays; but  of equal importance is the receptionist on hand. Her smiling face and warm demeanor welcomes me like family. In the moment, I like to feel I belong. I think we all do. It’s more fun than hanging around the periphery feeling left out. The more I feel I’m part of my community, the more I feel I belong…I’m home. And we all have to do it in our own way, and in our own time. (My husband’s favorite refrain when I ask him to do something.)
  • Driving home today, I noticed taxpayer money at work. Construction has picked up in and around our town, even in our own neighborhood. One common aspect that I noticed are the workers holding the signs, SLOW and STOP. I often think how boring their job must be. Hours of standing, dust flying in their faces, dirty looks from drivers, in the path of traffic as they stand alongside the busy roads. Who’d want to spend mindless hours, days, and months in a seemingless thankless job? So I’ll take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all those who serve us in the “line of duty.”
  • By now you know my husband has compelled me to read the Wall Street Journal regularly. So if I have to deal with it, you dear reader, must too. But there really are articles for you and me, the normal folk. I cite 2 articles in today’s copy. “Tired of Nit-Picking? Lice Are Peskier Than Ever” and “Fighting Happily Ever After.” Both are relevant to me, as I’m sure they are for many of you. Kids are away at summer camps. Who knows what they’ll bring home amidst their belongings or on their scalps? I’ve personally experienced trying to get the little buggers to give up residence on my youngster’s pretty, little head. But here’s what caught my eye in the article “Another possible treatment: applying Cetaphil and letting it dry on the hair overnight to suffocate the head lice.” It goes on to say that there’s no guarantee it’ll work. Cetaphil! I use it as a daily face cleanser with great success. My skin feels ageless. How it looks is “in the eye of the beholder.” I think “I look maaahvalous, dahling!” But maybe I’m biased? As for the Journal’s other article? I think it’s self-explanatory. Even a newspaper that is daily reading for Wall Street types, can have advice for the lovelorn among us local gazette readers.
  • Just untied a tiny, rolled up piece of paper that was placed into the bag holding a stretchy, silver bracelet I’d bought at a small gift shop on Saturday. Had toyed with the idea of simply tossing it in the garbage, unread. But I didn’t. My curiosity got the better of me. It is true that “good things come in small packages.” Unrolling the paper whose edges had been carefully cut, forming scallops all around, was a gift of words “May You Receive His Amazing Grace.” I pass this along to you as you go about your day.
  • Did you know that ENTERPRISE, that bastion of rental cars, is rolling out the latest addition to their fleet, Nissan’s Leaf, an electric car. The partnership allows the auto maker a platform from which to familiarize the car-buying public with its newest “toy.” Enterprise is our agency of choice, but I’d hate to run out of electricity with nowhere to recharge on the open road…in unfamiliar surroundings. Something to ponder. Hmmm…
  • WIKILEAKS, the whistle-blowing website that leaked 76,000 documents on the Afghan war, may be guilty of doing so to raise its public profile. Reader beware. Don’t believe what you hear, until you look at the “fine print,” the facts behind the facts. Remember it’s “in the details, dummy.” Fitting, but not my words. I know I’ve heard it somewhere…but where?
  • Reality shows make me chuckle. Sometimes I even laugh out loud. I don’t follow them religiously, but if I happen upon one that interests me I may settle into a comfy chair. My husband despises the “Housewives of…” saga. He’ll stomach a lot, but not tales of bitchy women. I’m beginning to wonder if that show is giving us real housewives a bad rep. I mean are we getting a bad rap? Of the many, and there are now quite a few, Bethenny Frankel-Hopy wins my vote for “most real.” This is totally apparent on her spin-off, “Bethenny gettin’ married?”   “What you see is what you get!”, a New Yorker who doesn’t give a “…” what people think. Bethenny lives her life her way, takes her lumps, and gets back in the fray. What I especially like about her own show is that it exposes an endearing side. Proof? Jason, her new husband, and his parents are the most loveable, normal people. And they love Bethenny to pieces! They “get” who she is under all the sarcasm, a woman scarred by selfish parents, who made it to the big league with her talent for cooking. Having lived and worked in New York, and having friends who are natives, I know they are people with big hearts willing to embrace you with oversized hugs…if you let them. So let them.

The bewitching hour has arrived, prepping for dinner. So adios, muchachas y muchachos…

until we meet again…hugmamma