Navel Maneuvers

Throughout the history of man, parents have always been troubled by the fashion trends of their teenage children. Adam, for instance, complained to Eve about Cain’s militant-looking loincloths. I know my parents hated my turned up collars, pegged pants and DA haircut. The current craze however, is disliked by a far broader segment of the population than merely the parents of these misguided kids.

Today’s popular fashion trend began with the exposure of the abdomen, but it expanded rapidly as tops became skimpier and bottoms dropped lower. Unfortunately this style combined with a second trend, obesity, which resulted in something that was really hard to look at. Very quickly, butt cleavage exceeded bust cleavage, love handles replaced waistlines and saddlebags were shown in all their bulging glory. As if this wasn’t enough, body art accessorized the look. In order to call further attention to the flaws in their anatomy, these fashion aficionados added rings to their navels and breasts, and strategically placed tattoos. This rapidly snowballed into a stampede where kids were getting tattoos all over their bodies, and facial piercings on their ears, nose, eyelids and tongue. Some of them had so much hardware drilled into their skin, that they couldn’t get through airport security. And of course, what’s the point of having a tattoo on some obscure body part, if no one can see it. So even more bulging flesh began to be revealed.

And then the fashion trend took a really ugly turn. The parents of these kids decided that they needed to appear younger and trendier than their teenagers, so they began to copy these styles with disastrous results. I’m not sure exactly when cellulite, stretch marks and sagging skin came into fashion, but they’re out there in a big way right now.

Fortunately, hope is on the horizon. A couple of new fashion looks are on the way. One is called “Lollipop Head.” This is where women wear a big hairdo and oversized sunglasses while sporting a pencil-thin body. It’s doubtful that this look will survive, as it will take years for the obesity thing to reverse itself. “BoHo Chic” however, is beginning to catch on. This style copies earlier bohemian and gypsy attire, combines it with more glitter, and hopefully an occasional bath.

The other style that’s emerging is “Emo,” where guys are wearing tight pants and ladies blouses just to make an outrageous fashion statement. One of these enthusiastic trendsetters actually burned his forehead trying to iron his hair flat.  This look is vaguely similar to the “Metrosexual” style that fizzed when the men realized that in order to qualify they had to eat quiche. The other nail in that coffin came when men found out just how uncomfortable it is wearing ladies’ thongs, bras and control-top pantyhose.

I’m told that fashion exists so that we, as individuals can express ourselves creatively and look different from each other. Yet, as soon as a new fashion trend begins, we all immediately rush out to copy each other so that we end up looking the same as everyone else. And we spend a fortune doing it. Am I missing something here?