Summer is officially in high gear, making it a perfect time for an open memo to all those women addicted to showing off their cracks and assets in public. Do the rest of us a favor—don't!
It's OK to show a little décolletage, as long as you keep your headlights a little dim. I'm not hating on those of you whom God has blessed in that way, but I do believe women should handle certain body parts like a hidden treasure—to be unearthed and shared only in intimate circumstances with one's boyfriend or spouse.
We mostly have radical '60s feminists to blame for this let-it-all-hang-out mentality, which too many women have taken to the extreme. As I see it, the only explanation for a woman's need to let it all hang out, is that it represents a desperate cry for attention. The ubiquitous tattoos on the lower back or breast (a la Eve) reek of trying too hard.
Attempting to squeeze into a size 6, when you are really a 16, is just uncouth. There's no shame in being big, bold and bodacious. Embrace your body by wearing size-appropriate fashions. It's the reflection of a confident, mature and wise woman who wears clothes that play up her attributes, rather than expose her assets.
And, there's a difference between sexy and saggy—particularly in public. What's worse is when your friends, family, spouses and co-workers all look you in the eye and tell you how great you look in your low-ride jeans; when in reality you should be brought up on charges of indecent exposure.
So unless you have worked your body into tip-top shape, like Vanessa Williams or Eva Longoria Parker, your cracks and assets are better left in a semi-veiled state.
Ladies, I implore you, in the interest of good taste and decorum, before you leave the house, be sure to conduct a crudeness test. Stand with your back to a wall-length mirror, squat or bend over and then turn around to see if you spot a half-moon smiling back from beneath your low riders. If you do, you need to choose a different pair of trousers.
While you're at it, conduct a full-frontal check, too. Ask yourself: If you were sitting
across from yourself at dinner, how much would you want to enjoy your chicken Parmesan while being fully assaulted, at eye-level, with all that flesh?
Think of others and cover up. Friends and strangers alike will be thankful.
Jennifer E. Mabry is a writer living in Colorado. She holds a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Maryland, College Park and is a cultural anthropologist of race, gender and popular culture.