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What NOT to Wear - Seriously!

Updated on April 1, 2013

Southern Food, Walmart, and Mirror Nazis: A BAD Combination

I'm convinced that there are more fat folks in the South - I mean, I really love southern food, but it's not exactly low calorie. Rut-roh - I said "fat." To be PC I guess I need to change that to slim-challenged. I don't mind people being f-, oops - slim-challenged. I fit that category myself. Heck, I'm always surrounded by great southern food like fried chicken, pork barbecue, buttermilk biscuits, rice and gravy, cracklin' get the picture. Fat is fine, but it shouldn't be on display. If you're in love with southern food, and your bod shows it, that should be between you, God, and your fried chicken - don't share the results with the innocent and unprepared public. Same goes for the protruding bones of those at the other end of the scale. What I'd like to know is: When were mirrors outlawed in the South? And how come nobody told me about it? That’s the only explanation I have for some of the clothing choices I’ve been seeing lately. I’ve always tried to follow the sage advice of the gifted philosopher, Drew Carey, who said, “If it don’t look good naked, cover it the hell up!”

I’m fat. I know I’m fat – and I have a mirror. I dress accordingly. The only revealing thing I ever wear is a low-cut blouse occasionally, when we go to a party. This is the one part of the female anatomy where most men seem to prefer “fat.” Somehow the looking-glass Nazis overlooked the mirrors in my house and did not confiscate them. Unfortunately, many citizens in the South were not so lucky. Somewhere there’s a huge warehouse filled to the brim with mirrors of every sort, probably ironically stacked next to cases of the 6,425 varieties of babecue sauces we southerners consume regularly. The former mirror owners are in a state of total denial without the constant reminders of their own reflected images.

For some strange reason, the mirror-challenged in the South seem to frequent Walmart…a lot. They're probably loading up on pork ribs, hams, Boston butts, and hog lard. You can see a few of them in there most any time of day, but to witness the really hardened image criminals in large numbers, you’ll need to go to the retail giant at around two or three in the morning. That’s when the truly delusional come out. I suppose they think the cover of darkness will hide them, but unfortunately, inside the store are glaring bright lights that hide nothing.

On any of my typical wee-hours shopping adventures to Wally World, there’s no telling what I might see in the way of bad apparel. I usually see several huge middle-aged women who have crammed their size 12 extra-extra-wide feet into size 8 narrow high heels. The results resemble dough rising up and over the shoes in the flesh’s effort to escape its bonds. Sometimes these ladies can barely hobble around in these “cruel shoes,” but hey, they think they look good, and beauty knows no pain.

And speaking of pain, what’s up with all these really fat women and spandex? Do they think hot pink skin-tight spandex is slimming?? That kind of outfit just has to be painful. I mean really, I don’t see how some of them breathe. It seems that circulation to important parts of their body would be severely restricted.

And then there's the pajama crowd. They show up to shop in their jammies and bedroom slippers. It's as if they woke up suddenly from a sound sleep and thought, "I must go to Walmart! Now! I don't have time to throw on some clothes!" What could be so important that would prevent one from getting dressed to appear in public??

Evidently, The Dukes of Hazzard must have a cult following here in the Deep South. You know how Trekkies go to those nerdy conventions and dress up like their favorite Star Trek characters? Walmart must be the gathering site for Hazzard aficionados, and they’re all fans of the same character – Daisy Duke. How have I come to this conclusion? Because they’re all wearing a pair of Daisy Dukes. For non-U.S. readers who aren’t familiar with this particular article of clothing, let me explain. Daisy Dukes are cut-off bluejean shorts – “shorts” being the key word. These things are so short that the lower half of the wearer’s ass cheeks hang out the bottom. Yeah, these might look sexy on Daisy, but the women I’m referring to would make at least three of Ms. Hazzard.

A close relative of the Daisy Duke short shorts is the Southern garment known as the "Bermuda-all." Bermuda-alls are overalls that have been cut off to make shorts. For the perfect fashion statement, apparently ill-fitting tank tops are the only tops that can be worn underneath a pair of Bermuda-alls.

And one more thing about the Walmart mirrorless crowd: Why the midriff tops? Weren’t they designed to show off a flat, taut belly? Perhaps one with six-pack abs? I don’t think the original designer meant for them to serve as a showcase for displaying gunts and twattermelons. I’ve seen plenty of women wearing these short tops who had more rolls than Parkerhouse.

And I can't leave the guys out. Here in the South, we have what's commonly referred to as the MMM - the manly male midriff. It's a tee shirt that is much too small to cover a ginormous beer gut, so it stops somewhere above the navel. Since men are notrious for buying jeans to fit under their bellies, there's always a big gap of exposed flesh between the top of the jeans and the bottom of the shirt. Ironically, many of these tees say "No fat chicks." If only they had a mirror...

Okay, enough about Walmart. Let’s examine another venue where clothing miscalculations are rampant: the beach. Ironically (and thankfully so), the slim-challenged around here seem to get suddenly modest and conservative when going to the beach. Go figure. It’s usually the opposite end of the spectrum who decide to eschew the advice of the venerable Mr. Carey. Here, it’s the old bony folks who want to show off their svelte bods. You see, in the South, some older folks don't have teeth, so they can't eat the southern food favorites any longer. As a result, they often get skinny. Gerbers doesn't make a "southern barbecue" flavor.

My husband and I once witnessed a perfect male body contest in Nassau, where plenty of gorgeous male hunks were competing. They all had bulging muscles, broad shoulders, and glistening sun-kissed skin, and I must admit, I was enjoying all the eye candy. Then from the back of the crowd the last contestant appears. He had to be at least 85 years old – seriously - and much to my embarrassment, we later discovered that he was a southerner. He paraded out onto the stage in a muscle shirt and a pair of long swim trunks, and I thought it was kinda cute. But then he began stripping off his clothes in time to the music. I was horrified and tried not to look, but my eyes were glued to him. It’s like passing a bad wreck on the highway – you don’t really want to see all the blood and gore, but something compels you to gawk. The old guy ended up with just a tiny Speedo. He closely resembled a little white sheet in bad need of ironing.

And then there are the old ladies at the beach who are so skinny that they have absolutely no butt or boobs, yet they insist on wearing the smallest g-string they can find. When your hip bones stick out farther than your boobs, you’re too skinny. When you can store change and other small items in the wrinkles on your body, you don’t need to be in a thong. When you can count every rib on a body and even the breast bone, you’re too skinny to be showing off your body! I don’t want to see old Grim Reaper-types in bikinis or Speedos any more than I want to see Jabba the Hut-types in revealing clothing. Heck, I just want to buy the bony ones a hotdog or some fried fatback or something else equally calorie laden.

A public high school is another venue rampant in clothing crimes. When I was teaching, I got soooo tired of seeing the underwear of "cool, hip" male students. The waist of their jeans would somehow hug the lower section of their buttocks, defying gravity. Thank God their boxers were snug enough to spare me the view of their bare asses. Frankly, I'm rather surprised I never got charged with sexual harassment - as they entered my classroom, and I was standing by my doorway, I'd always reach over, grab a belt loop, and pull up their pants. And the girls were just as bad - maybe worse. As I would stroll around the room with my students seated, 99% of the females were showing off their "coin slots" and thongs above their oh-so-low-hung jeans. Wonder what I would have received if I had dropped in a quarter? Fired, probably!

Hmmm…can’t get those ribs out of my mind. Think I’ll go get some good ole southern barbecue!

Wanna read more about us quirky Southerners? Click the links below the Amazon books!

The "coin slot" crowd.
The "coin slot" crowd.
A defective mirror??
A defective mirror??

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