By Marla Boone
The tiny convolute in my brain that tries to control irony is very unhappy with me right now. Even though on some higher level I know what I’m about to write is wrong on several levels, I don’t seem to be able to help myself. The tiny convolute thinks not being able to help myself is a terrible precedent to set. Luckily, it’s not the boss of me.
For the second time in my life, I am going to reference something I saw in the Wall Street Journal. Today I am citing the WSJ magazine, not the WSJ newspaper and by citing I mean making fun of the clothes the magazine features. It’s a stretch here, but I’m guess the WSJ magazine runs page after page of ads for extremely expensive clothing because the editors sense a target audience out there in its readership. Let us hope that target audience is somewhat sight impaired because these clothes, and I don’t mean this bad, are hideous. I was going to use a word more descriptive than hideous but my neighbor Maddie doesn’t like it when people are judgy. This is where the irony comes in. My commenting on how someone else dresses easily makes the leap from kind of silly to outright ridiculous.
I wouldn’t even have looked at the magazine but I was waiting for someone and the boredom overtook my better judgment. The cover featured a photograph of a beautiful/not beautiful woman draped in jewelry. She was beautiful in the way very wealthy people seem to be, with pouty lips and chiseled cheekbones and a polo field at her house. She was not beautiful in the way people with really awful, out-of-proportion, gravity-defying chest-centric plastic surgery (if you get my meaning) are not beautiful. It took me a minute to figure out the sharply defined ridge on her chest wasn’t a rib, it was the leading-edge ledge her surgeon has endowed her with. I’d sue.
But back to the clothes ads. The first thing I noticed was that models are no longer traditionally good looking, in the sense that their hair is not combed. Many of the models are lounging about, frequently on the floor. This, I decided, is because they are shod in shoes no human being could stand in, much less ambulate. The second thing was that the models, who not even on their worst days come close to ballooning up to size minus three, were wearing, shall we say, extremely commodious clothing. Or maybe they were tents. One person was holding a purse with a papaya on it, which works only if you are inordinately fond of alliteration. Another was pressing a spaghetti squash under her arm. The model was probably not conversant with spaghetti (or any other carbohydrate) and didn’t know what else to do with it. In a photo that made me hope a lifeguard was standing by, a woman in a long sleeved, ankle-length dress accessorized by an enormous gold watch was standing in the water, holding size twelve diver’s fins. She is looking wistfully out to sea and all I can think of is, “Don’t do it, honey. Do not go out into that ocean.” Although her hair was already messed up.
There were male models, too. My favorite was a man in a black suit, wearing tennis shoes with no socks. He had an avid-looking dog on a leash, the requisite neckerchief of which matched his shirt. The man and the dog had the same haircut which may be the exhaustive last word on togetherness.
And apparently the 2023 version of bell bottom pants are back in style. These aren’t bell bottom so much as they are bell everything from the hip down, assuming models admit to having hips. Huge, huge pantlegs on tiny tiny legs. For sheer gutsy realism, though, was the photo of a model in four inch platform shoes walking on a tight rope. Her hair was messed up, too, although whose wouldn’t be?
Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today