I saw a TV segment on one of the morning shows about what constitutes appropriate dress for the office, a subject I believe is overdue for discussion. Somehow over the past dozen years or so, boobs have ruled, and necklines have been dropping. Cleavage is everywhere (and those who don't have it are getting it, courtesy of plastic surgeons). I would expect to see a little skin at the beach, but I don't expect to see it at the bowling alley, at the mall, or in church.

I always thought that cleavage was something seen either strictly at evening events (many years ago a picture of actor Zero Mostel looking down the dress of a 40-ish pre-mastectomy Shirley Temple Black was widely publicized, and it's doubtful that either Mrs. Mostel and Mr. Black was amused) or one of those unreal TV things (you know, like designer wardrobes on characters who are supposed to be working class, or convenient coat hooks instead of the standard coat closet). Only on TV, I said to myself, would a female attorney waltz into court with a blouse that (pardon the pun) crossed the line. I think it's ridiculous to give impressionable teenage girls the idea that professional women show their tits.

Then along came Hillary Clinton, addressing the Senate with a blouse under her suit cut down to . . . well, Washington, DC. This is a woman who wants to be President. Is she trying to win over potential voters by making what she feels is an impressive physical appearance (she sure as hell won't do it with those piano legs). But why does she feel this is even necessary? She can emphasize her femininity for those who suspect she's a barracuda in more subtle ways. (You don't see Condoleeza Rice spilling out of her blouse.)

Just as we cover our mouths when we cough, I think we should keep our chests covered. Save the cleavage for the beach or for the Oscars.


PatriciaW said...

I'm with you!

I can't recall the TV show now but there was an African-American female attorney character. She wore such ridiculously short skirts and low-cut blouses that I couldn't watch. It made the whole show unrealistic for me. I think it was a short arc within a TV show but it was nauseating, and I couldn't tell whether it was because she was AA or they really thought it was okay for female attorneys of any color to dress in this manner.

DonnaD said...

I attend a "come as you are" church so the "old school" dictates about dress are out the window. But I've seen some things people wear to make you cringe. I have to remind myself that they're there not to be judged. The fact that they showed up is the main thing.

But you're right. Standards are so low in dress. It's a shame that parents have to be told what their kids can't wear to school. There used to be a time when parents bought your clothes, told you what you could and could not wear and you had better shut up about it! I'm all for kids having some choices, but parents have to have standards too.

bettye griffin said...

The TV version of Soul Food comes to my mind. I always thought that the oldest sister, who wanted to make partner, used to look kind of slutty going into court.

I agree. For all our progress (medical treatments, etc.), we are losing some of the standards from the old days, and I don't think that's a good thing.

Thanks for posting, ladies!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you. Unfortunately those of us with big ones can't hide them and I've tried wearing sweaters in the summer to do it, not realizing it was drawing more attention...I was so self-concious of them and sometimes I still am. I don't wear low cut blouses because I don't want to draw even more attention to them. It's hard enough to get men to look you in the face. I'm like..."Excuse me but I'm up here."

I don't see why folks have surgery to enhance them. If I wasn't so afraid of having surgery, I would try the reduction surgery.

bettye griffin said...

I know what you mean, Shelia. I've found that nothing works better than a T-shirt. I wish I could donate my excess to someone looking to expand . . . .

Anonymous said...

lol Bettye, me too.