Gawking like a tourist

I don’t usually feel like I live in the boonies. Muscatine isn’t even a medium-sized city, but compared to the small town we visited last weekend (1 traffic light, and a population of 3000), it’s a bustling metropolis.

Yet when we were at the mall yesterday, I found myself staring at the people and stores we passed. It’s not a particularly large mall, but it has three different stores specializing in vitamins and nutritional supplements. And I lost count of the number of stores and kiosks selling cellular service and/or cell phones and accessories. I know that these days just about everyone has a cell phone, and that people keep upgrading to newer models – but how many new phones can each store sell?

Then there was clothing. I read people’s complaints on worldmagblog about sloppy and immodest styles, but I don’t see much of it on a daily basis. My company has a dress code, of course (even so, I don’t understand the style of having the bottom of a shirt hanging out below a vest or sweater). Even the sixth grade students in the Junior Achievement class I taught last month seemed dressed acceptably. And of course Boy Scouts have their own dress code to follow.

But many people in the mall obviously had no such standards. I saw one man who was taking steps that seemed rather short and awkward considering his height. It could have been the fact that he had a small boy by the hand. But there was also the fact that his baggy jeans hung so low that the crotch must have been about mid-thigh.

I also saw a poster at a clothing store showing girls in jeans so short that if they hadn’t been made of denim one might have thought they were underwear. Two girls were walking by who weren’t dressed quite like those in the poster, but nearly as scantily. I’m not offended by such things – just baffled. Why do people want to dress that way?

The sight that puzzled me the most, however, was a kiosk that advertised eyebrow and chin threading. There was a woman sitting in the chair having her eyebrows threaded as we walked past, but I couldn’t tell what in the world the purpose of the procedure was. Was it a kind of body piercing I hadn’t heard of before?

I googled it today and found out that eyebrow threading is simply a technique for hair removal. An ancient practice from the Near/Mid/Far East, it has only recently become popular in the U.S. I’ve seen mixed reviews as to whether it really is better than plucking or waxing. As I don’t either pluck or wax, I’m not particularly interested in threading either.

But at least next time I see someone getting her eyebrows threaded, I won’t stare like I’m an alien from outer space.

One Response to Gawking like a tourist

  1. modestypress says:

    “Fashion” and “acceptable dress” are incredibly subjective topics. For example, in our culture it is considered absolutely reprehensible and shocking for a woman to have any hair on her body except on her head and her private (pubic) parts, and even a lot of men are beginning to get into the hair removal fad.

    My wife would kill me if she knew I was saying this, but she has not removed the hair on her legs or under her arms for most of the time we have been married (with my approval and appreciation). She of course dresses very modestly, so no one but me and our daughter knows this.

    It’s purely a subjective and personal decision, and I don’t care what anyone else does, but it is (when one thinks about it) quite amazing how horrified our society has become about body hair as if it were a moral law. As you know, I don’t believe Jesus was the “Son of God,” but even if he was, I say with great assurance He does not care if a woman shaves her underarms and legs.

    And the same people who would be shocked and horrified by a woman not shaving are so appalled by Muslim women with veils, scarves and the rest of the Muslim female covering mumbo jumbo and oblivious that our culture’s “rules” are just as arbitrary and silly.

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