Monday, February 22, 2010
Grey, gray or payne’s, no matter how you describe it, the color outside our windows is anything but on the rainbow. I just got back from a few days in FL where the sky is still blue, plants are green, sand is yellow and skin is red in case anybody has forgotten how things are supposed to look now and then. The one color I saw way too much of however, was black. I saw it in Chicago too. Black legs and black behinds encased in skin tight garments now called leggings or tights, which in my day, were called leotards and one was supposed to wear them under something. I guess wearing pants or a skirt or anything over one’s glorified panty hose is no longer a requirement. Before anyone gets all racist on me, I mean the color of choice is black, not the color of the people, I don’t notice that part. One can be blue for all I care (seen my artwork?). I guess the choice of black makes them look more like a real garment and not just a pair of tights. Tucked into black boots, topped with a black leather jacket, or extending out from a sweater that hits just at the waistline…..something is definitely missing. That would be bottoms ladies. I know that a current crop of pop princesses are going without lower level coverage, and some cities hold a “no pants” day to ride the subway, but women my age (Late ….very late…like almost no longer in….their 40’s) should not be a part of this movement. Why? Well….movement is part of the problem.
My husband and I found it quite amusing to sit on the street and count the “tights” going by, gauging whose were really “tight” and who looked more like a “panty ‘ho”, in between the occasional sports car that would dispense a legging clad lady. Maybe it is an alternative to the young men with their droopy drawers, sort of a female version of flashing one’s designer undies. Call me old fashioned, but I think the package in the store which shows the lady in the garment contained therein, sort of assumes one will put some pants or skirt on over them. Some of the sights on the street were only a step away from actually wearing just pantyhose. Understandably, some are marketed as “leggings” which don’t have feet in them, ending at the ankle so they sort of look like really tight pants whereas “tights” have feet but either way, 30 years ago, they were leotards, with or without feet. Don’t even get me started on the dreaded “drop crotch” issue for us taller gals who had to wear them before the manufacturer figured out that not all humans have the same length of leg. D-C led to the oompha-loompha walk and made stretching out in dance class a bit difficult.
So why does this have anything at all to do with art? Ummm…because artists are supposed to wear black? I don’t know, I just had to comment on this recent observation because I found it so weird. Maybe the Chicago women could get away with it because coats like sleeping bags covered them up most of the time and sweaters tended to be a bit longer in the north. The Florida ladies may get away with it because the average age where we stayed would lead one to believe that good eyesight is a thing of the past as well as remembering to put on one’s bottoms. Either way, those of us here in the miserable Midwest (thanks Forbes Mag Rag) may wear black tights too but I bet they are lined with fleece, tucked into some big old boots and covered by a waterproof parka!