Monday, September 10, 2007

Rising to the occasion

I read an article in the latest issue of TCW called The Rise of Raunch. In it, author Suzie Eller talks about a recent trip to a lingerie store where she encountered a 15-ish aged girl accompanied by three teen boys. When the boys tossed skimpy outfits into the girl's arms and then nudged her toward the dressing room, Suzie was appalled. She appealed to a sales clerk, who looked away. She then appealed to a manager, who also looked away. In the end, Suzie stood toe-to-toe with the boys and made them leave the store.

And that inspired me.

So last Saturday, I shopped with my girls and our pre-teen friend. When Teen Daughter went to try on shorts in the coed dressing room--and what's up with that, by the way?--I followed along. No way was she trying on clothes so close to guys without mama in tow. So anyway, in the lobby of the dressing area, highlighted in all its raw glory as if it had attained the stature of a work created by Michelangelo himself, we see a nearly naked male mannequin with his pants slouched down to there. Yes, 'there.' The display left little to the imagination, and trust me, this was no work of art.

So out loud I say, that's inappropriate!, and set out to make a change. The younger girls blushed and giggled as I wrestled with the mannequins slouchy jeans, pulling them up to a more appropriate level. Unfortunately, they slipped right back down and we were back to seeing this anatomically correct mannequin's almost-privates.

By now, Teen Girl's out of the dressing room, and gaping at me. "Mom, what are you doing?"

"His pants are ridiculous," I'm saying while tugging up his jeans. Sigh. Undeterred by the scene I'm making, I decide to unbuckle its belt and then I yank, yank, YANK until I can get it tight enough to KEEP THOSE PANTS UP!

And it worked. Yay for me. Yay for mothers and daughters everywhere. But geez, must it come to this?

As the four of us walked away from the dressing room, the teenaged boy manning the area leans toward me and says--and I'm so not making this up--"Thanks. That was bugging me too."

To which I shot back, "You're welcome."

As Suzanne said,
"Together we can stand up for our girls and ourselves." And that includes insisting that dummies everywhere pull up their pants.


Chaos-Jamie said...

Yey for YOU! The world is getting ridiculous. May I be so brave!

Deena said...

**Bravo**Wild Applause**Clapping so hard my hands are red**

Thank you!!

That scene belongs in a book, BTW!!

Becky said...

Julie, I agree with Deena--this story should end up in one of your books.

What's with the no-initiative work force?

What's with our culture's view of decency?

I remember when the feminist movement introduced an equality Constitutional amendment and voices of opposition said, No, it will mean we have to do away with separate bathrooms. What a silly argument ... and yet ... What's with coed changing areas??

Love your sense of humor which comes out in the midst of your point!


Vader's Mom said...

Love it! Thanks a lot. :)

Julie Carobini said...

Hm, okay, let's brainstorm our heroine. Maybe she's a mousey woman who's walked over on a regular basis and she suddenly snaps. Or maybe she's a tough as iron businesswoman who's never been inside a changing room--she has a personal shopper--but when she gets stuck taking her niece shopping, "Watch out!" Or, or... oh ladies, the possibilities are endless!

HolyMama! said...

ha! good for you Julie!

Damselfly said...

"And that includes insisting that dummies everywhere pull up their pants." LOL!!!

Like chaos-jamie, I need to be that brave!

VAIL said...

ROFL! I can just picture you facing that manequin messing with his pants!

RefreshMom said...

Boy can I relate!! I still haven't been back to the CHILDREN's store where I *used to* buy clothes for my little guys (under 5). The last two times I went in, all the little boys jeans were intentionally hung on the hangers with the waist unsnapped and folded down (Abercrombie style). I spent a few minutes zipping the fly and hanging them "properly." I thought maybe some immature staffer thought it would be "cute" (btw--all the toddler girl denim skirts were hung the same way). I was horrified beyond words when I found it was a new corporate directive on displays. Why on earth does any clothing aimed at babies (if they aren't in school, I can still call them babies, right) need to have the fly open and the waist folded down?! Both times I saw it, I walked out without buying anything--not easy for me considering that I hear summer stuff is as low as .99! Which reminds me...I need to send that email to corporate....