by Elizabeth T. Andrews
American Reporter Correspondent
March 14, 2007
FASHION FADS GET NAILED
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- I refuse to do it. I absolutely refuse to do it. I don't care if they come with a padded wagon and a white jacket, I am not going to do it. I will never, never cut the tips of my fingernails straight across so they can be in style with today's fingernail fetish.
I recently noticed that Robin McGraw (wife of the
notorious Dr. Phil McGraw) had her fingernails cut
straight across at the tips. Wondering if she had
gotten caught in the family lawnmower or if, once
again, I was running far behind the style wagon of
women's fads and fashions, I asked my stylish daughter
about Robin's fingernails.
Not to my surprise, she replied softly "It's the style, Mother. Nobody wears their nails like you do anymore."
Well, color me fingernail incorrect and count me out of the fashion parade, but don't hold your breath until I clip my fingernails straight across.
Yes, I know. This is a frivolous subject, but it does have far-reaching, serious economical consequences.
I have long been convinced that it is the pitiful pursuit of fashion fads, of too much preening, primping and praying you don't have a run in your panty hose, that accounts for most of the lock-out of women in every business enterprise in America.
Let's pretend that Jack and Jill are competing for the position of assistant to the vice-president of a large corporation. All involved parties are assembled in the conference room. Jack, impeccably dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and a no-nonsense tie, gives his speech and sits down.
Jill rises and is immediately the center of attention of every male in the room, and it is not because of her possible brainpower. Her clothing is not risqué, but falls far short of the word "conservative." Her blouse is pink and reveals a hint of cleavage, her jacket is white and her white skirt is fashionably high above her knees; her expensive necklace ... dazzling and dangling. Her hair is the latest fashion, her makeup is flawless, and her artificial fingernails are brightly painted and cut straight across the tips.
Jill's speech is delivered with finesse, her expertise and track record exceeds Jack's, yet Jack leaves the room with the promotion.
It's the packaging, ladies. How we flaunt ourselves speaks so loudly nobody hears what we have to say. It's the acceptance of fashion correctness as a determiner of who we are - and it is a sure-fire insurance policy that the Jack's will walk off with the promotions about 85 percent of the time.
Like the marketing of look-alike mannequins, most women try to market themselves by the way they look. Into this outer cesspool of insanity goes the flesh. If anything slides south they have it pulled further north and stapled. Their chins look like they could drive a ten-penny nail through a two-by-four; no skin on their face moves except the lips and the lips have been so puffed up and out they look like the south end of a north-bound chicken. Facelifts are making it harder and harder to recognize public figures and they leave us looking into the face of a stranger where a wrinkled, treasured friend used to be.
Men market themselves on their abilities, their talents, their work track records, their ideas, their dreams ... and the successful ones never do it dressed in a white suit with a pink ruffled shirt and a gaudy gold necklace with two matching gaudy gold earrings.
Switch the above conference room scenario and imagine that Jack stood up to speak wearing a white suit and a pink - or blue, or red - shirt and a white tie - and was sporting a spiked hairdo and long fingernails cut straight across the tips. Then imagine Jill stood up in a dark blazer, a matching dark to-the-knees skirt and a white blouse. No jewelry, very little makeup, and a conservative hair style.
Mind-stretching, isn't it?
Why, then all the female preening and primping and trying to market oneself based on the faddish fashions of the moment?
Because we haven't learned we are not a package of neatly wrapped chicken, properly propped on a conveyor belt, waiting to be plucked by a "boss" who has a craving for chicken breasts.
Because we believe the way we look is more important than brains, talents, ideas, creativity, and even education.
Because women have been brainwashed to believe most men respond to them based on the way they look. Many men do, but a wise president of a successful corporation knows an ample, well-advertised bustline and a short skirt don't insure sales success in China.
Because we have never realized that Mother Nature embedded the preening and primping, the hunting and the chasing, the catch and the mating, to insure her survival of the species, and because we haven't learned the difference in unwritten dress codes for work as opposed to social and/or domestic clothing. That pink blouse and short skirt will work wonders at a singles bar, or if your significant other is taking you out to dinner, but it is ridiculous at work where all employees are paid to promote goods and services and not to win The Most Fashionably Correct Clothes of the Day award.
Imagine you are fighting for your life in court. You are herded into the courtroom by a guard in a frilly white shirt with a light blue pair of stretch pants. The judge is wearing a low-cut sleeveless tee shirt that shows his chest hairs, and your male lawyer has a large gold hoop earring in one ear and is dressed in a many-colored floral short-sleeved shirt with matching pants. The prosecutor is a female dressed in a dark suit with a white blouse, sensible shoes, no dangling jewelry, neat coiffeur. The jurors are all conservatively dressed.
Better say your prayers. Your fate is sealed.
Do you really want a fashion-horse fanatic for a lawyer ... or at your child's school where so very much of teaching is by example?
When the president of the United States of America is, for the first time, a woman, how would you like her to represent you? In a dark suit with a white blouse or competing with a Christmas tree?
My closet contains comfortable clothes suitable for most occasions. I don't wear a bikini to the supermarket nor do I rake leaves in my black negligee. Some of my clothes are about as old as the oak tree that grows in my front yard. None will ever win a fashion award. And you will find no false fingernails or false eyelashes on my dresser. I will never dress to impress you or to please you or to sell myself on the conveyor belt of fashion asininities. If my not-stylish appearance does not please you that is your problem, not mine.
For nowhere in the great halls of everyday dignity and simplicity is it written that we have to adhere to the ridiculous, preen for the parade, or fawn over the fools who dictate the fads, the fetishes and the mannequin look of this year's fashionably correct fruitcake.
AR Correspondent Elizabeth T. Andrews is living in Cartersville, Ga., where she writes poetry. Contact her at email@example.com or P.O. Box 816, Cartersville, GA 30120.