New Year’s Eve night out: Why what women wear actually matters

posted at 7:00 pm on December 31, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Jazz already made a compelling case to avoid a night out altogether — and, to this day, my best New Year’s Eve memories involve watching M*A*S*H reruns with my parents until midnight and then skipping down the hall to go to sleep. But a chic party is fun, too, especially if it compels frequently-pajama-clad bloggers to dress festively. So, I’ll be the chipper to Jazz’s chill — and celebrate with those of you who do plan to go out on the town tonight. I hope y’all have a ball!

At the same time, though, I can’t help but implore my fellow females to aim for “pretty” and not “hot” tonight. Let me explain. Truthfully, I didn’t plan to write about this. We’re not a fashion blog — and, by and large, I don’t think what folks wear does matter. But, this morning, I read a brief blog post headlined “The Death of Pretty” — and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. This is a rather long excerpt, but it’s too good to not be shared (the whole piece is worth your time, too!):

Pretty, pretty is dying.

People will define pretty differently.  For the purposes of this piece, I define pretty as a mutually enriching balanced combination of beauty and projected innocence.

Once upon a time, women wanted to project an innocence.  I am not idealizing another age and I have no illusions about the virtues of our grandparents, concupiscence being what it is.  But some things were different in the back then.  First and foremost, many beautiful women, whatever the state of their souls, still wished to project a public innocence and virtue.  And that combination of beauty and innocence is what I define as pretty.

By nature, generally when men see this combination in women it brings out their better qualities, their best in fact.  That special combination of beauty and innocence, the pretty inspires men to protect and defend it.

Young women today do not seem to aspire to pretty, they prefer to be regarded as hot. Hotness is something altogether different.  When women want to be hot instead of pretty, they must view themselves in a certain way and consequently men view them differently as well.

As I said, pretty inspires men’s nobler instincts to protect and defend.  Pretty is cherished. Hotness, on the other hand, is a commodity.  Its value is temporary and must be used.  It is a consumable.

Nowhere is this pretty deficit more obvious than in our “stars,” the people we elevate as the “ideal.”  The stars of the fifties surely suffered from the same sin as do stars of today.  Stars of the fifties weren’t ideal but they pursued a public ideal different from today.

It’s so true — and it’s so sad. Every so often, a feminist will attempt to prove that femininity is a social construct. She’ll give her daughter a fire truck to play with and her son a Barbie doll — and, lo and behold, the little girl will wrap the truck in a baby blanket and rock it back and forth, while the little boy will force his Barbie dolls to fight. Femininity isn’t a social construct; it’s the natural complement to masculinity, written into our very bodies — and the two in combination civilize the wide world to lay the resources of the earth at the feet of even children.

Little girls gravitate to pretty. The success of the Disney princess franchise proves that. Even Sophia Grace Brownlee, the eight-year-old YouTube sensation who raps singer Nikki Minaj’s “Super Bass” word for word, appears in a tutu and tiara. But, somewhere between childhood and adulthood — or, sadly, sometimes in the midst of childhood — girls begin to think it’s an embarrassment to be innocent, to be naive.

It’s not an insult to be called naive, though — not really. The first definition of the word is “having or showing unaffected simplicity of nature or absence of artificiality.” What’s wrong with that? To encounter the natural and artless — to escape cynicism and ugliness — is to be refreshed. Yes, it’s foolish to ignore ugliness — for it’s real and revealing. But we have such a limited amount of time in a day: Why not look to the beautiful, the good, the true at least as often as we look to anything else?

Nothing reveals the time constraint on our lives quite like the passage of a year and the commencement of a new one — and even something as simple as what we wear reflects what we intend to do with our time. In 2012, will we build up or tear down? Will we strive for what is lastingly meaningful or temporarily gratifying? Will we be pretty or just hot?

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aryeung on January 1, 2012 at 2:08 AM
Yes. They are. In that very modern “exploit-your-family-on-a-reality-show” way.
Happy New Year!
:)
Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on January 1, 2012 at 2:21 AM

I don’t know about that.

aryeung on January 1, 2012 at 2:49 AM

But we have such a limited amount of time in a day: Why not look to the beautiful, the good, the true at least as often as we look to anything else?

Tina, you’re on to something…and not just for women!

People’s dress should reflect their aspirations. And, even if they don’t consciously realize it, it usually does.

Check out the many, many self-help and “how to get ahead” books: a huge majority of them have a section on “dress for success”: this is NOT an accident or a coincidence.

The real question is, “what are your aspirations”? Male or female, the way you dress is an important clue.

landlines on January 1, 2012 at 2:56 AM

Our party tonight included my parents, my sister and her family, friends, and our young adult children and their friends. A number of kids came with their parents (Yes, some teens are NOT embarrassed to be seen with and hang out with their parents!). All were dressed appropriately and modestly. It was a great deal of fun.

Dressing modestly is a lesson learned from parents. Far too many young girls dress like street walkers and their parents enable them by purchasing the clothes for them and allowing them to wear them. Retail picks up on this and provides a style of clothing you used to see on older teens or young adults. Have you seen little girl bras lately? They are ALL padded. Since when do little girls need to be enhanced?

It’s the same with the movies they see and the music they listen to, a general degradation of our culture.

My youngest son’s girlfriend always dresses appropriately, she is very pretty and cute, which he finds hot. That should be a lesson to young girls.

Common Sense on January 1, 2012 at 3:40 AM

I couldn’t agree more with this. I’ve been karaokeing and the current MTVness of the lyrics of modern songs is jaw-dropping. All about sex as a commodity, no “relationship” aspirations at all. Just gyrating in your face bottoms. I have a “dance” karaoke disc and the “party” clothes the models are wearing are depressing too. I would consider nearly all of them to be in bad taste.

Having also just spent quite some time discovering 40s songs, I have to say the differences are startling. 40s songs are for grown ups, in fact the range of subjects they cover, and relationship dilemmata they treat, is truly interesting! In fact I have only recently (age 50!), begun to fully understand some of the situations they depict.
Yep, I hope “hotness” cools down.

Hope on January 1, 2012 at 4:41 AM

Thanks, Tina. For those of us who remember when pretty was the norm, like you we miss it.

Christian Conservative on January 1, 2012 at 7:24 AM

Pretty is harder to do than hot.

(Is “Jaw-dropping” is the new “awesome”?)

albill on January 1, 2012 at 7:32 AM

From “pretty” to “hot.” “Virtuous” to an animalistic display of fertility. “Whatcha got? Let’s see.” Oh, but we’re “progressive.” Oh, but we’re “feminist.” Liberal rot, on display, working its “magic” on society, dragging us back to the swamp. Isn’t it great? Time to bring back school uniforms and dress codes. No more unlaced hightops and T-shirts in the classroom or restaurants. You want to look like an animal? Stay home in your cave. There’s way too much ugly in this world. Let’s clean it up.

RobertMN on January 1, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Little girls gravitate to pretty. The success of the Disney princess franchise proves that.

Are you telling us that the bodies of Disney princesses, which most girls could only acheive through severe eating disorders is a better role model than someone who enjoys their sexuality and dresses a little vampy for New Years Eve? Social conservatism is a trip.

And I’m just going to say it, the majority of women i know who dress for pretty or style over trashy are progressive feminist types who are uninterested in securing a husband during or right after college. By contrast the college students I see on a regular basis who are in the more conservative leaning sororities dress the most provocatively. Why? Because their myopic focus on marriage forces them to try and secure a husband at an age where most of their male peers want nothing more than to bang every chick in sight. For some, this will work. Though even those who get themselves a man in undergrad are probably accepting some level of infidelity that will be ingrained into their relationship for the rest of their lives (have you people seen the divorce stats for people who marry young, they are staggeringly high).

Instead of forcing women to conform to the style standards of a by-gone era, why not instead encourage them to seek our a style and a personality, and individuality all their own. Maybe we should discourage group-think organisations like sororities and fraternities which perpetuate these things. Maybe we should encourage them to masturbate, gain control of their own sexuality before sending them into the lions den. And maybe we should stop acting like forging a career and an individual life path is somehow anti-thetical to western civilization.

libfreeordie on January 1, 2012 at 8:01 AM

As I sip my first cup of coffee from a cup that states ” I LOVE THE SMELL OF JET FUEL IN THE MORNING” I am remind of something that no one will care about. I’m pretty ruthless about getting rid of stuff I no longer wear, for whatever reason. In my closet is pink flowered dress, high waist, scoop neck that hits me mid calf, it is perfect in it’s simplicity and one day I will get my fat azz back into it. Because it’s pretty and I feel pretty in it.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 8:17 AM

May I please switch tables here…..how about how guys dress? I am so sick of cargo shorts…who in God’s name EVER thought of those as a bold fashion statement?…baseball caps worn backward, in the house, in a restaurant, sneakers for all occasions, pants below the backside–held up by one hand, underwear showing, hoodies….I could go on. My eyes are bored with that “uniform”. I love to see a man well dressed…it speaks of someone who thinks about how he presents himself. I am happy to see The Big Scot in good jeans, nice sweater, and Cole Haans, but put the guy in a good suit, I’m all over him like white on rice. I love when he dresses like that for me! I love that he cares how he looks instead of just thoughtlessly throwing on the first thing that comes out of the closet. After 25 years, we both still care how we look to each other….how lucky is that?

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 8:28 AM

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Who in the world thought that britches with saggy butts worn around the thighs would last for 15 years? Seriously, this has to some kind of world’s record for a “fad”. My oldest is a manager of Nordstrom, he looks great going to the gym.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 8:35 AM

By contrast the college students I see on a regular basis who are in the more conservative leaning sororities dress the most provocatively. Why? Because their myopic focus on marriage forces them to try and secure a husband at an age where most of their male peers want nothing more than to bang every chick in sight.

Riiiiight … “hey, let me advertise that I’ve probably banged half the school! That’s a great way to snag a husband!”

Maybe we should encourage them to masturbate, gain control of their own sexuality before sending them into the lions den. And maybe we should stop acting like forging a career and an individual life path is somehow anti-thetical to western civilization.

libfreeordie on January 1, 2012 at 8:01 AM

Right again! Let’s teach young people that self-gratification comes first!

No wonder “liberals” are last to give and first to take.

darwin on January 1, 2012 at 8:42 AM

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Who in the world thought that britches with saggy butts worn around the thighs would last for 15 years? Seriously, this has to some kind of world’s record for a “fad”. My oldest is a manager of Nordstrom, he looks great going to the gym.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 8:35 AM

Hope he shares the discount–hee hee!

Our Nordstrom, in Chicago, lets its employees wear jeans. The first time I encountered this, I was so startled! Does he allow jeans in his store?

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 8:57 AM

libfreeordie on January 1, 2012 at 8:01 AM

Have you ever been around a baby? I think you have a skewed perspective of what is learned and what is natural in human behavior.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 8:57 AM

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 8:57 AM

He’s the customer service manager. It seems to me that they were allowed to wear jeans for a specific day but I can’t remember why. He still had to wear a jacket and tie. It may have been they day before Thanksgiving, they decorate the store for Christmas after closing.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Have you ever been around a baby? I think you have a skewed perspective of what is learned and what is natural in human behavior.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 8:57 AM

libfreeordie wants to teach babies to masturbate so they’ll be ready to face the world or something.

darwin on January 1, 2012 at 9:02 AM

In my closet is pink flowered dress, high waist, scoop neck that hits me mid calf, it is perfect in it’s simplicity and one day I will get my fat azz back into it. Because it’s pretty and I feel pretty in it.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 8:17 AM

Don’t you like to feel pretty? It just colors the whole day so beautifully! I can get up, work out, and get dressed. The same amount of effort is expended putting on sweats and a tee vs. corduroys (Chicago is cold and damp–I need my cords!) and a pretty sweater. When you look pretty, you feel pretty, stand taller, and smile more. Simplistic, yes, but sometimes there just is nothing wrong with simplicity–it costs us nothing.

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Good Morning and Happy New Year’s Everyone! Here’s to hoping 2012 is a better year than last year!!

txmomof6 on January 1, 2012 at 9:12 AM

darwin on January 1, 2012 at 9:02 AM

If he/she had to be taught than we might might have our first clue as to what is wrong with him/her.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 9:16 AM

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 9:04 AM

I do but as I get longer in the tooth, those times are fewer and further apart.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 9:17 AM

It is ironic that 40 years of women’s liberation has succeeded only in turning women into a commodity.

This part of the article pretty much says it all.

bigbeas on January 1, 2012 at 9:25 AM

This part of the article pretty much says it all.

bigbeas on January 1, 2012 at 9:25 AM

But hey, at least they’re liberated commodities right? I mean to liberals that’s all that matters.

Oh … and teaching masturbation. They’re obsessed with masturbation.

darwin on January 1, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Happy New Year Everyone! Amen to this story ,I have always told my daughters and their friends that less is more. Its a crying shame to see these girls with boobs hanging out and the dresses so short if they lean over its x-rated. Its what you don`t see that entices.But I have to say its a challenge to find clothes with more material than a bikini. Not to mention the materials are getting thinner every year .

LSUMama on January 1, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Whether the virtue of our grandparents was sincere or merely veneer it was the ideal of the time and people aspired to it and in the projection of feminism and self fulfillment we have lost social constraints that steered a nation to become the greatest nation in the modern world.
There is no need to go back or idealize the past but, rather, forward while encompassing the worth of the past.
If each of us chooses to uphold moral values while not legislating them we will be successful in changing our society for the better.
Sweep your own porch and inspire rather than dictate.
Teach your children before the department of education(indoctrination) gets a chance.

rebekahhuang on January 1, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Tina has this absolutely correct. Attractive femininity should be the norm. There’s a time and a place for “hot”, but waaaay too many girls/women think “hot” should be all the time and everywhere. Maybe someday our gender will wise up.

lynncgb on January 1, 2012 at 9:59 AM

I initially judge a person by the way they dress, speak, hold themselves, and greet me.
I am not impressed by a young person with multiple piercings, baggy pants, a slovenly look, hunched shoulders, and a lazy demeanor.
I am not impressed with a dullard who cannot bother to look me in the eye & shake my hand firmly.
I am not impressed with a person who has horrible hygiene.
I am not impressed by women who show their cleavage, thighs, etc.
I am not impressed by woman who wear heavy makeup.
I judge these people by their first impression upon me.
Everyone in the world does it.
And while impressions can change as you get to know a person, the 1st impression may be very important.
Lesson: conduct yourself the best way everyday.

Badger40 on January 1, 2012 at 10:11 AM

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 9:04 AM

I do but as I get longer in the tooth, those times are fewer and further apart.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 9:17 AM

I’ll say that my forties was my lost decade. Raising the children, homeschooling, a lot of renovation on our 100+ year old house, things just kind of went to he77 in a handbasket. Now, in my early fifties (eek! I’ve become my mother!), I’m rediscovering Heather. The clothes are pretty and functional, not just functional, I’ve lost 25 pounds, almost pre-pregnancies weight, the children are well on their way….I get to focus a wee bit more on the care and keeping of me. My husband loves it, he has never said no to a new wardrobe, I did–money seemed better spent on our family, not me. This year was the year of the personal shopper at Nordstrom, who put everything together in a Garanimal (remember those?) sort of way for me. Now, no matter what comes out of the closet, I look put together, and I FEEL put together. : ). As someone who grew up wearing uniforms, any idea how good that feels? : ))))). So, yes, a little longer in the tooth, as well–but it’s a prettier tooth I feel these days!

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 10:22 AM

I am not impressed with a dullard who cannot bother to look me in the eye & shake my hand firmly.

Badger40 on January 1, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Amen to that!

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Now, in my early fifties (eek! I’ve become my mother!), I’m rediscovering Heather. The clothes are pretty and functional, not just functional, I’ve lost 25 pounds, almost pre-pregnancies weight, the children are well on their way….I get to focus a wee bit more on the care and keeping of me. My husband loves it, he has never said no to a new wardrobe, I did–money seemed better spent on our family, not me.

[snip]

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Lucky husband! It’s always nice to see when a woman feels good enough about herself to take pride in dressing nicely. Makes everyone around her feel better, just as does a pretty flower :-)

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 10:30 AM

For me, hot is what happens after pretty strips off.

martin.hale on January 1, 2012 at 10:31 AM

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Even the part where your look took second place to family and home sounds fun. I’m hurling towards 60 but I am experiencing the slimming down and looking like I’ve been somewhere before also. I haven’t done the personal shopper but Garanimals are certainly a part of my lexicon.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Once MTV’s Real World started airing about 20 years ago, parents lost the battle to influence their daughters to act with decorum. Each successive season, the girls chosen for that show have gotten sluttier and sluttier. The guys have always been hound dogs, so now they just have more convenient girls for their encounters.

Our grandmothers were right with that cow and milk theory. I am not sure how we can rewind the clock and teach the young to act more appropriately.

The baby boomers were so busy trying to throw out the double standard between men and women that they lowered women down to the behavior level of the men. Then when they had kids, they weren’t hypocritical enough to try to put the genie back in the bottle, so to speak, and try to teach their daughters about virtue.

If you are not familiar with MTV’s shows, you need to watch them so you know what you are up against in trying to influence the behavior of your kids. If I had kids, I would have MTV and VH1 blocked in my home.

karenhasfreedom on January 1, 2012 at 10:33 AM

If you are not familiar with MTV’s shows, you need to watch them so you know what you are up against in trying to influence the behavior of your kids. If I had kids, I would have MTV and VH1 blocked in my home.

karenhasfreedom on January 1, 2012 at 10:33 AM

I don’t need to watch the shows; I can overhear young waitresses gossiping back by the kitchen, and what I hear sounds so vacuous that I don’t know they manage to get the food from kitchen to table without getting lost.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 10:36 AM

MY clothes. My husband weighs 240-I weigh…117.
Can’t wear his clothes except as nigh shirts.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 1, 2012 at 12:20 AM

My wife uses my XXL T-shirts as night shirts somewhat regularly.
She just loves ‘em.

Also, it appears ‘next year’ got here pretty fast, since my last post.

listens2glenn on January 1, 2012 at 10:37 AM

I can tell you, as a mid-40s man, that there is no greater turn-off to me in women, than hearing a constant stream of “OMG! I’m like..OMG! I’m like….OMG!” It’s like listening to someone with a brain injury.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 10:38 AM

martin.hale on January 1, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Words to live by.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 10:40 AM

For me, hot is what happens after pretty strips off.

martin.hale on January 1, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Dang. That just might be the “Thread winner.”

Either way, I like it. : )

listens2glenn on January 1, 2012 at 10:40 AM

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 10:38 AM

How about “you know”. I’m going to stop because I am sure I have some stupid phrase I use far too often.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 10:41 AM

LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE

that word drives me nuts when inappropriately inserted into sentences in all the wrong places, several times, per sentence.

AUGH

karenhasfreedom on January 1, 2012 at 10:49 AM

I couldn’t agree more with this. I’ve been karaokeing and the current MTVness of the lyrics of modern songs is jaw-dropping… Having also just spent quite some time discovering 40s songs, I have to say the differences are startling. 40s songs are for grown ups, in fact the range of subjects they cover, and relationship dilemmata they treat, is truly interesting!

Hope on January 1, 2012 at 4:41 AM

I do karaoke when I can, but I generally avoid the younger karaoke shows. It’s not that I got anything against youth; it’s more like a lot of them are too insecure to party beyond themselves.

There’s a bar not far from where I work that attracts an older crowd. They’re good singers and very attentive, courteous, and congenial to the other patrons. It’s the kind of supportive warmth you get in small town church. I ran into these people about five years ago and started learning older stuff like the GASB and less old rock.

It was with these people I celebrated New Year’s. The hostess (a former Playboy bunny, BTW) announced in her blog she wanted people to “dress to impress.” There was a whole lot of pretty & classy, not much slutty.

apostic on January 1, 2012 at 10:49 AM

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 10:38 AM

1. Let’s start with “OMG”, because I agree with you on that.
And then I’ll add:
2. The “F” word.
3. Cigarettes.
4. Drunkeness.
5. Looking “Hot” out in the general public.
6. Screaming at their kids (usually with the “F” word)

Anyone else?

listens2glenn on January 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM

How about “you know”. I’m going to stop because I am sure I have some stupid phrase I use far too often.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 10:41 AM

You know isn’t too bad, in my book – but the “OMG” thing just makes women sound so shallow and uninteresting. It’s as bad as Woody Woodpecker with some women.

And, it isn’t just young women! My ex-girlfriend is 55, and she “OMG’s” incessantly. It was actually the biggest turn-off – that and her constant texting – even in bed – (TMI, maybe), because other than that, she was a drop-dead, 1-in-1000, stone-cold, deadly-dangerous love bomb. No one could ever ignore her when she walked into a room – men or women, from 9 to 95.

I got to experience something like what DiMaggio did after he married Marilyn.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 10:51 AM

listens2glenn on January 1, 2012 at 10:37 AM

So it did. In a few hours we leave to go back to Tx. Loooong ride.
Btw:I’m a mutt. I know I’m a mutt-but my husband thinks that I’m beautiful. Personally,I think he needs stronger glasses-but if he thinks I’m beautiful….that’s the one opinion that matters.LoL

annoyinglittletwerp on January 1, 2012 at 10:53 AM

I do karaoke when I can, but I generally avoid the younger karaoke shows. It’s not that I got anything against youth; it’s more like a lot of them are too insecure to party beyond themselves.

There’s a bar not far from where I work that attracts an older crowd. They’re good singers and very attentive, courteous, and congenial to the other patrons. It’s the kind of supportive warmth you get in small town church. I ran into these people about five years ago and started learning older stuff like the GASB and less old rock.

It was with these people I celebrated New Year’s. The hostess (a former Playboy bunny, BTW) announced in her blog she wanted people to “dress to impress.” There was a whole lot of pretty & classy, not much slutty.

apostic on January 1, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Yes, I had the same experience. Isn’t Karaoke fun when the singers engage one another, do duets, clap for each other, etc.? I wish I were in your town to join. We had a group like that, but it fell apart after the KJ (Karaoke jockey) opened a nightclub with some partners, and had no more time for Karaoke :-(

Good Karaoke is like having a great party and concert all in one place. So much better than standing around a bar, listening to rap, throwing stale pickup lines….

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 10:55 AM

LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE

that word drives me nuts when inappropriately inserted into sentences in all the wrong places, several times, per sentence.

AUGH

karenhasfreedom on January 1, 2012 at 10:49 AM

That’s why I vote the most vacuous, grating, damning phrase in all of the history of Western Civ is:

“Like, OMG!.”

Lesser civilizations have crumbled under assault from threats like these.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 10:57 AM

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 10:51 AM

I guess you need to be thankful for what you shared, there’s someone out there that maybe a bit less Marilyn but with other areas more in line.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 10:57 AM

annoyinglittletwerp on January 1, 2012 at 10:53 AM

While I’m not crazy about you calling yourself a mutt, I am sure you got the best of every part of the mixture and that your husband looks at you with his heart but his eyes are not deceived.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM

And to think that it all became enshrined in eternity with a fascination with a certain odd, upturned speech inflection of a subset of L.A.-County teens centered on the Sherman Oaks Galleria (off the 101 freeway in L.A.), a 45-r.p.m. record by Moon-Unit Zappa, a trashy Nick-Cage movie (“Valley Girl”), and a totally awesome Cameron-Crowe movie called “Fast Times at Ridgement High.”

This little witches brew caught fire and spread world wide.

Thirty years later, all the women in the whole wide world are “‘Valley’ Girls.”

Somehow, the “gag-me-with-a-spoon” part got lost along the way.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:02 AM

1. Let’s start with “OMG”, because I agree with you on that.
And then I’ll add:
2. The “F” word.
3. Cigarettes.
4. Drunkeness.
5. Looking “Hot” out in the general public.
6. Screaming at their kids (usually with the “F” word)

Anyone else?

listens2glenn on January 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Texting in bed or at the table.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:04 AM

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 10:51 AM

I guess you need to be thankful for what you shared, there’s someone out there that maybe a bit less Marilyn but with other areas more in line.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Surviving her is like surviving a plane crash.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:05 AM

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:02 AM

I’ve noticed that young liberals and people like Meghan McCain (but I repeat myself) have hung on to that Valley Girl cadence. It’s odd.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Surviving her is like surviving a plane crash.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Painful but lucky? I hope she says the same thing about you!!!!

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 11:08 AM

There’s a bit of comfort and pride – not much – but just a bit – in knowing that for awhile I “had” the heart of probably one of the top 100 “hottest,” magnetic, and irresistable women in America, and probably among the Top 5 for her age group. An eye-opening experience. Her effect on people was like an atom bomb. it was interesting to try to live with the radiation.

This is why I’m alone this New Year’s. By choice – but I do miss her.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Some women are beautiful. Some are charismatic.

Put them together, and all bets are off. Think Helen of Troy.

Chaos.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Painful but lucky? I hope she says the same thing about you!!!!

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 11:08 AM

lol, interesting way to put it.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Going back to page 1 and the strapless wedding dresses–

I got married back in 2008. I’m Mormon so strapless is a no-go, as is sleeveless. Just having the one requiremnt of SLEEVES narrowed down my choices to about 3 options in David’s Bridal. Even the dress I got had detachable cap sleeves–barely appropriate. As for the bridesmaids, while I am Mormon, neither of them are, so I let them choose their dresses, and both ended up strapless. There are just not many good choices with sleeves these days. It’s really a shame, too–because sleevelessness is NOT flattering on a lot of women. I’d say 9 out of 10 modern brides go strapless and it doesn’t look good on them.

Polynath on January 1, 2012 at 11:11 AM

’ve noticed that young liberals and people like Meghan McCain (but I repeat myself) have hung on to that Valley Girl cadence. It’s odd.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 11:07 AM

When young men put that insecure, upturned question mark at the end of their sentences? I want to start measuring them for a bra.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Polynath on January 1, 2012 at 11:11 AM

I understand trends but really these designers don’t think. At least make a long sleeve bolero jacket out of lace that could at least help add some modesty. I know that won’t always be the fix but they could cover their bases with a minimum of cost.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Listening to women talk about dresses is like listening to men talk about fixing stuff – not everyone in earshot knows what’s going on, but it’s comforting to hear that someone knows what the he-double-hockey-sticks-LL is going on, and that society will survive :-)

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:20 AM

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:20 AM

It’s like former military men and Dept. of Defense civilians works, they talk in acronyms, I just keep quiet and most the time I’ll figure out what they are saying eventually.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM

My, my, my, look at the modest Hot Gas commenters. ;)

For what it’s worth, some people in eastern Asia pity poor American girls for only being able to afford clothes with less fabric. :D

aryeung on January 1, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Lucky husband! It’s always nice to see when a woman feels good enough about herself to take pride in dressing nicely. Makes everyone around her feel better, just as does a pretty flower :-)

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Well, gosh, what a lovely thing to read! Thank you, you made my heart smile

: )))

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Even the part where your look took second place to family and home sounds fun. I’m hurling towards 60 but I am experiencing the slimming down and looking like I’ve been somewhere before also. I haven’t done the personal shopper but Garanimals are certainly a part of my lexicon.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Nothing like Garaniamals! Hee hee

Re:lexicon …”you guys” to a group of women. Nails to a chalkboard to me. it took me three years to break myself of the habit of “you guys”.
…”I’m like, yeah, I know, and then he goes..”. Really, what did you just say? Does anyone use the words say, says, said, relate, share, retort, etc. anymore?

I love the nuances of the English language!

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 11:44 AM

I am not impressed with a dullard who cannot bother to look me in the eye & shake my hand firmly.

Badger40 on January 1, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Even though I have made it past the seventh decade some things never have changed for me. Yes, being a man I would be lying if I said I didn’t notice the curves and attributes that make a female a female.

But, to me, the part of a woman that always attracted me the most and said the most, and I always noticed and looked for the most were, and still are, the eyes. A women’s eyes tell you all you need to know, and can say “pretty” when nothing else can. Just call me “odd”. ;-)

As far as “hot”: nothing beats a woman standing, hipshot, in a corral, in the dusty morning sun, in jeans and a flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a beat up Stetson and a big old belt buckle. Again, just me and “odd”. ;-)

Yoop on January 1, 2012 at 11:45 AM

aryeung on January 1, 2012 at 11:41 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgVOR28iG_o

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 11:46 AM

When I got remarried I wore a champagne-colored sleeveless evening gown with a bolero jacket. I picked the dress because it was one that I could wear for concerts.(I sing). The jacket stayed on the entire evening .

annoyinglittletwerp on January 1, 2012 at 11:53 AM

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 11:44 AM

As a former Chicagoan I call everyone ‘guys’-regardless of gender.
It is what it is. LoL

annoyinglittletwerp on January 1, 2012 at 11:55 AM

And what is it about the young women these days getting full sleeve tattoos and tramp stamps? And then to top it off a piercing or ten. At least the piercings should heal, the tats, well honey, wait till you’re 60 and see how you like ‘em.

Our generation worked so hard to get equal pay, equal rights, blah blah blah. Now many of the young women act/dress like whores and shack up with their guy with no commitment. There’s nothing “equal” about that. Our young men are as much to blame, btw. Until our young women wake up and make our young men accountable, our society is in a world of hurt.

Alibali on January 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM

As a former Chicagoan I call everyone ‘guys’-regardless of gender.
It is what it is. LoL

annoyinglittletwerp on January 1, 2012 at 11:55 AM

But it will never be as sexxxy as “hey, y’all.”

Just sayin’….

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 11:58 AM

And what is it about the young women these days getting full sleeve tattoos and tramp stamps? And then to top it off a piercing or ten. At least the piercings should heal, the tats, well honey, wait till you’re 60 and see how you like ‘em.

Our generation worked so hard to get equal pay, equal rights, blah blah blah. Now many of the young women act/dress like whores and shack up with their guy with no commitment. There’s nothing “equal” about that. Our young men are as much to blame, btw. Until our young women wake up and make our young men accountable, our society is in a world of hurt.

Alibali on January 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM

It hurts me to see some of the self-mutilations of some of our young women.

The ones that get me the most are the nose- and lip-rings and -studs. It’s gross, it’s mutilation, and forever marks those who do it – even nose studs that only pierce the cartilage – as damaged, second-class goods.

cane_loader on January 1, 2012 at 12:01 PM

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 11:44 AM

As a former Chicagoan I call everyone ‘guys’-regardless of gender.
It is what it is. LoL

annoyinglittletwerp on January 1, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I know! Everyone says it, but it bugs me when I’m with a group of women. Stupid, I know! Hee hee. Probably because I never had a shape until I had kids, so the “guy” part was a little too close to home!

Completely off topic: The Big Scot just made the most delightful breakfast, for the first time in three and a half weeks, I was able to sit at the table and not on my back on the davenport. ‘Tis going to be a lovely New Year indeed! Hot diggity!

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I was able to sit at the table and not on my back on the davenport. ‘Tis going to be a lovely New Year indeed! Hot diggity!

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Sounds like you are recovering from something, may it be sooner and total.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 12:06 PM

By nature, generally when men see this combination in women it brings out their better qualities, their best in fact. That special combination of beauty and innocence, the pretty inspires men to protect and defend it.

I just think that is so short sighted and ignorant of the total spectrum of human history.

Women aspired to be pretty … when? In the 50′s?

I would not say that Roman women aspired to be “pretty”.

I would not say that one would describe Cleopatra as “pretty”.

One would not describe Boudica as “pretty”.

Yet – all of these women inspired men toward their better qualities.

It has nothing to do with “pretty”. The root problem these days is that women (a) don’t hold men to a higher standard of conduct and (b) women have devalued their own currency (sex).

I don’t know why most women haven’t figured this out – ladies, here’s a lesson. YOU hold all of the sexual power. You decide when, where, and who it’s going to be with. YOU decide the compensation required for it – whether it’s going to be money (and there’s nothing wrong with that); or commitment; or … whatever.

Right now – you’re not demanding very much in terms of compensation. “Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am” seems to be an acceptable rate of payment for most of you.

I mean seriously – if any of you spent five minutes in a man’s mind – you’d run away in horror. Then, after digesting the experience – you’d realize how powerful you (women) are and how much you can influence men. You’d realize that, although men have the physical power you lack – you counterbalance that perfectly with the sexual power that we lack.

Sadly – the only women who seem to realize the realities of men are hookers who spend a lot of time in the minds and fantasies of men.

LOL – and they are the most REVILED among you – yet the most enlightened about the true realities of human sexuality.

At least they have put a PRICE on their sexuality and just don’t give it to men for nothing.

HondaV65 on January 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

It’s really a shame, too–because sleevelessness is NOT flattering on a lot of women. I’d say 9 out of 10 modern brides go strapless and it doesn’t look good on them.

Polynath on January 1, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Funny, I have always thought I look terrible in dresses with sleeves. My shoulders are a bit bigger then average so if I wear a dress with sleeves I end up looking like a frumpy linebacker.

Generally speaking I’ve always assumed that less is more when getting dressed up. You have to leave a little to the imagination. People are jealous of my dress-up clothes, and none of them are particularly revealing.

Though the jealousy may also have something to do with the fact that the bulk of them are from really high-end designers.** It’s not because I am not a brand snob. (Most of my non-dress-up clothes come from discount outlets and thrift stores.) It’s just that I figures out a long time ago if I wanted to look the way I thought I should look then there weren’t many options for me at the regular department stores, which all tend to follow the sequinned-polyester-load-bearing-cleavage-trend-of-the-minute instead of simple, classic styles that I prefer. And because the patterns are cut with more attention to detail, they tend to fit me better. The high-end dresses also tend to have the advantage of being made of natural materials like silk and cotton instead of polyester, which always looks nicer. (My favorite dress ever is actually made out of WOOL, of all things.)

**Want a $3000 silk runway dress for $200? They are out there, you just have to look. Only rich idiots pay full price for this stuff.

DangerHighVoltage on January 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM

When an individual allows for the time it takes to find out if their psyche is attracted to the psyche of another, the “hot” will come from that. Too many people try to do it backwards and look for the physical attraction first.

lynncgb on January 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM

HondaV65 on January 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Maybe that is the real essence of the pretty to hot argument.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 12:17 PM

DangerHighVoltage on January 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM

If I don’t get a deal, I don’t play.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 12:18 PM

It’s not because I am not a brand snob.

DangerHighVoltage on January 1, 2012 at 12:16 PM

double negative fail, lol

DangerHighVoltage on January 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Polynath, I actually had to buy a vintage wedding dress and rebuild the bodice in order to have a dress with lace sleeves. My dress was beautiful, but I literally could not find a similar style without spending thousands of dollars.

Vera on January 1, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I understand trends but really these designers don’t think. At least make a long sleeve bolero jacket out of lace that could at least help add some modesty. I know that won’t always be the fix but they could cover their bases with a minimum of cost.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 11:18 AM

I know a lot of bridal boutiques and I think even David’s will add sleeves to a dress if you pester the seamstress. They overprice it, but usually the results end up looking pretty nice and you basically end up getting a custom dress. I wish I had known my friend who is an expert at sewing before I got married.

LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE

that word drives me nuts when inappropriately inserted into sentences in all the wrong places, several times, per sentence.

AUGH

karenhasfreedom on January 1, 2012 at 10:49 AM

This is one of my resolutions this year. I’ve gotten better at it but the “likes” tend to come tumbling out if I get nervous.

BakerAllie on January 1, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I was able to sit at the table and not on my back on the davenport. ‘Tis going to be a lovely New Year indeed! Hot diggity!

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Sounds like you are recovering from something, may it be sooner and total.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 12:06 PM

After two MRIs, which showed nothing but good bones (wahoooo!), it was determined that the problem is either a healing hip flexor or inflamed bursa and not a herniated disc. It has been slooooooow going, but I’m keeping the faith! Thank you for the “sooner”! : )))

herm2416 on January 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

All this talk about dresses and I’m trying to remember the last time I saw one. It’s probably the climate’s fault. Women around here have to wear three layers of clothes, a parka, a Stormy Kromer and swampers; part of the time to stay warm, and the rest of the year to keep the bugs off.

That also explains the low density of population around here, By the time you get all those clothes off and jump into bed together you forget what for…

Yoop on January 1, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Polynath, I actually had to buy a vintage wedding dress and rebuild the bodice in order to have a dress with lace sleeves. My dress was beautiful, but I literally could not find a similar style without spending thousands of dollars.

Vera on January 1, 2012 at 12:21 PM

For the people who love sleeves (and/or are required to have them for religious reasons) Have you all considered taking a regular sleeveless dress and just adding a bolero top? It was popular in the 60′s… (I actually HAVE a bolero top from the 60′s and it looks nice.)

DangerHighVoltage on January 1, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Thanks for highlighting this post. One of the worst effects of all this is that young women who are conservative about their sexual behavior are frequently ignored by men their age because of all the girls trying to be “hot” who throw themselves at men.

I watch (casually) fashion trends and awards ceremonies to see what women are wearing. How many women dress to look elegant and beautiful? Few.

tarheelkate on January 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Huge pretty props, Tina. I admit I am naive; I’m often sickened by what young women wear, look like, and do to their bodies these days. I’m as concerned for my 12 year old daughter as I am my 14 year old son, as I don’t want his mind filled with the “hotness” of young women.

Great article and great post.

Grace_is_sufficient on January 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Thanks for highlighting this post. One of the worst effects of all this is that young women who are conservative about their sexual behavior are frequently ignored by men their age because of all the girls trying to be “hot” who throw themselves at men.

I watch (casually) fashion trends and awards ceremonies to see what women are wearing. How many women dress to look elegant and beautiful? Few.

tarheelkate on January 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I don’t have a problem attracting people even though I don’t look like a skank. My problem is that they all run away screaming once I start talking to them. (Who knew that “female scientist” was such a turnoff? eh…)

DangerHighVoltage on January 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

As I said, pretty inspires men’s nobler instincts to protect and defend. Pretty is cherished. Hotness, on the other hand, is a commodity. Its value is temporary and must be used. It is a consumable.

That’s incredibly stupid and shows a lack of understanding of English more than anything. “Hot” is just prettier than “pretty” … even than “very pretty”. It doesn’t imply “slut” or anything of the sort, just as “pretty” doesn’t imply any extra innocence. Only in the author’s version of English is this the case.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

A bolero top works for modesty, but wasn’t the exact look that I wanted. It’s not just the strapless part of the modern wedding gown that I disliked. I also wanted a gown with a softer line and a lace overlay. High end designers do make that style of dress, but for some reason it hasn’t trickled down to the average bridal shop. I’m hoping that Kate Middleton’s dress will spur more designers to go back to a more classic look.

Vera on January 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Yoop on January 1, 2012 at 12:26 PM

LOL!! Or to tired. Very funny!

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Vera on January 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Sounds like mine in 1975 but I won’t bore the gentlemen. Designers do seem to be stuck in a rut and I agree about Kate Middleton’s dress. Unlike her mother-in-law’s gown that still inspires dreams of me running after her with an iron or a steamer.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Vera on January 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Funny is I actually HAVE an antique wedding dress hanging in my closet right now. I think it’s an early 20th century interpretation of a vaguely ‘tudor peasant’ style. I intend to resell it, the vintage wedding dresses are doing well online probably because of the reasons you are mentioning.

Also, I thought the whole royal wedding thing already sparked a flurry of less expensive knockoffs of that dress.

DangerHighVoltage on January 1, 2012 at 12:45 PM

There are just not many good choices with sleeves these days. It’s really a shame, too–because sleevelessness is NOT flattering on a lot of women. I’d say 9 out of 10 modern brides go strapless and it doesn’t look good on them.

Polynath on January 1, 2012 at 11:11 AM

For those of us with no life, on Friday nights, TLC has the show “Say Yes to the Dress” which shows a few women try on various bridal dresses for their big day. It is set at Kleinfield’s, a really high end bridal shop in NYC.

Most of the dresses there are strapless, even for the big girls (they actually have dresses for the really plus sized brides). Their alterations department do some amazing things to those dresses.

I agree, I think Kate Middleton’s dress is going to inspire an elegant, simple look with modesty.

Yoop, your comment was hilarious.

Honda – what would scare us the most if we gals could get inside a guy’s brain for a while?

karenhasfreedom on January 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM

If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to
why don’t you go where fashion sits,
Puttin’ on the ritz.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on January 1, 2012 at 1:58 AM

Heh.

unclesmrgol on January 1, 2012 at 12:47 PM

So are we gals going to talk fashion here while the guys talk football in that thread today?

I am on pet kitty death watch today. My 18.5 years old cat has taken a dramatic turn for the worse late Friday night. She is barely drinking water now, can’t walk. Of course this has to happen on a holiday weekend when my vet is not open again until Tuesday. I don’t want to take her to a place I don’t know for a final solution. This is a sad day today. I am just trying to keep her comfortable and let her know I am nearby.

karenhasfreedom on January 1, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I don’t have a problem attracting people even though I don’t look like a skank. My problem is that they all run away screaming once I start talking to them. (Who knew that “female scientist” was such a turnoff? eh…)

DangerHighVoltage on January 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

From the male perspective, I had to tone down the “scientist” aspect and quit talking like “a monthly report” or a “field report”. I was accused of intimidating people.

So I let my yooper accent come through and now I sound like the hick that I be. :-)

Yoop on January 1, 2012 at 12:55 PM

That’s incredibly stupid and shows a lack of understanding of English more than anything. “Hot” is just prettier than “pretty” … even than “very pretty”. It doesn’t imply “slut” or anything of the sort, just as “pretty” doesn’t imply any extra innocence. Only in the author’s version of English is this the case.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

The rest of us know exactly what Tina was writing about, and it has obviously hit the mark with a lot of Hot Air posters. Does that make all of us “incredibly stupid”?

Yoop on January 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

karenhasfreedom on January 1, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Oh, that’s a heart breaker. I’m going to ask a stupid question but does your vet board pets? I found out quite by accident that mine was “on call” for that reason.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Does that make all of us “incredibly stupid”?

Yoop on January 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

I think if we discuss statistical probabilities “ThePrimordialOrderedPair ” is not going to come out on the winning end of the stick.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 1:01 PM

The rest of us know exactly what Tina was writing about, and it has obviously hit the mark with a lot of Hot Air posters. Does that make all of us “incredibly stupid”?

Yoop on January 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

That quote I pasted was NOT from Tina. It was from the article she pasted. And the writer of that article was incorrect in his English. Wildly incorrect.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 1, 2012 at 1:01 PM

From the male perspective, I had to tone down the “scientist” aspect and quit talking like “a monthly report” or a “field report”. I was accused of intimidating people.

Yoop on January 1, 2012 at 12:55 PM

It doesn’t even get that far. All I have to do is mention it…

Some Guy (SG): So what do you do for a living?
Danger High Voltage(DHV): Oh I’m in science.
SG: *blank stare*
SG: So you must be really SMART, huh? (Said in a tone of voice as if I’ve just told him I’m infected with the ebola virus.)

And it all goes downhill from there.

DangerHighVoltage on January 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM

DangerHighVoltage on January 1, 2012 at 1:03 PM

While not helpful when you just want to be socialable, in the long run you need someone who is your intellectual equal.

Cindy Munford on January 1, 2012 at 1:06 PM

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