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Butting in on fashion: Gen-X sinks to new lows
Houston Chronicle ^ | August 3, 2003 | MICHELLE MALKIN

Posted on 08/03/2003 9:42:49 AM PDT by Dog Gone

How low can we go? I am talking, of course, about today's waistbands.

If you thought the belly-baring thing was bad enough, take a good look at the sartorial depths to which fashion has now sunk. The Los Angeles Times last week declared it "the summer of the pelvic bone." Last year's already obscene low-riders have gone the way of high-water polyester pants.

Today's hip-huggers have almost nothing but hope to hang onto anymore. The "normal" inseam-to-waist rise of 8 to 9 inches is shrinking faster than Britney Spears' record sales. To wit, Levi's has introduced a new line of jeans called "Too Superlow" for women. Upping the ante, or should I say lowering it, the teenage-girl brand Gasoline markets "Down2There" -- adjustable low-rise jeans with a built-in bungee cord designed to help the wearer drop her pants to even nastier nadirs.

Canadian teen singer Avril Lavigne's perilously sagging pants are a global youth phenomenon. "My butt crack showing is like my trademark," she gracefully explained to a music reporter. writer Janelle Brown approves: "(T)he butt crack is the new cleavage, reclaimed to peek seductively from the pants of supermodels and commoners alike."

The late Sen. and social critic Daniel Patrick Moynihan's famous phrase "Defining deviancy down" has taken on a whole new meaning.

Grown-ups, be forewarned: Avril's fashion nonsense is seeping into other markets. Levi's recently launched a "Dangerously Low" line for men. Another of its low-rise men's lines is dubbed, appropriately enough, "Offender." Actor Brad Pitt has popularized the Diesel brand low-risers. Toronto-based writer Jim Oldfield says the trend has overwhelmed mainstream men's stores and orders are already piling up for the fall. One Canadian merchant helpfully advised Oldfield that hip men are wearing the jeans commando-style.

In other words: "Underwear is, like, not required."

Even expectant women can't escape these drooping duds. Popular young actress and mom-to-be Kate Hudson has been photographed parading around in low-rise cargo pants and toddler-sized crop tops to show off her growing belly. At a recent trip to my neighborhood mall's maternity store, the only jeans in my size were ridiculous low-risers with flared bottoms that needed hiking every time I exhaled.

Trust me: This nouveau plumber's crack chic does not look any better on the overweight guy crouching under your kitchen sink than it does on a six-months-pregnant lady trying to bend over to pick up her toddler without mooning the world.

What will it take to convince the current cohort of exhibitionistas that sleaze is not sexy -- that less is not always more, that low is low-class? If Generation X-rated can't be persuaded to cover up out of moral necessity, perhaps they will listen to medical authority. A warning about the health hazards of low-rise pants was published in the Canadian Medical Association six months ago. According to Dr. Malvinder Parmar, a painful condition called "meralgia paresthetica" is causing wearers of hip-huggers to experience "tingling or a burning sensation" in the thighs.

Dr. Parmar's treatment: four to six weeks in -- the horror! -- loose-fitting dresses. Must have been worse than swallowing cod liver oil.

Avril and Britney and Brad need to show their fans that a little extra fabric is not a death sentence. The late Kate Hepburn melted hearts while fully clothed in turtlenecks and roomy, belted trousers. She was a "hottie" who showed us her cheekbones, and left the rest where it should be left: to the imagination.

Alas, modesty has been long out of vogue. But it's a fashion rule of thumb that what's out eventually becomes in. The day when "clothed is the new naked" can't come soon enough.

Malkin is a nationally syndicated columnist based in North Bethesda, Md.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: fashion; genx; michellemalkin
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To: WI Fire
Also, the waist of the jeans being on the hips creates an illusion of the hips and butt being bigger.
41 posted on 08/03/2003 3:56:10 PM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Dog Gone
What will it take to convince the current cohort of exhibitionistas that sleaze is not sexy -- that less is not always more, that low is low-class?

A large part of the market for these jeans is teenage girls and boys whose PARENTS spend the money on their kids' clothes. How about these parents get some common sense and just NOT BUY THEM. Let their little darlings whine and moan about how their parents are ruining their lives and their little psyches by not letting them be like everybody else. Could be a good lesson in NOT going along with the crowd.

Call me an old fuddy duddy all you want, but I frankly don't want to see excessive cleavage in front OR in back!

42 posted on 08/03/2003 4:34:02 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Paul Atreides
Okay, as for the guys in baggy pants: my 17 YO son has a 28" waist if I measure him right after he's downed half a pizza, and a 34" inseam barely skims the top of his shoes. Luckily, Hot Topic sells baggies that are meant to drag the floor on 'normal' (vertically challeged) guys in XS waist or he would go bare-assed, 'cause he'd rather that than not wear his black baggies. As for the girls: my 19 YO is a model (we've been teasing her recently, cause she has moved up to a size 1). And before anyone says anything she can and often does out-eat either of her brothers, she is also and NCAA athlete in two sports. She wears whatever they tell her to while "on the job" but would rather go around in bell bottoms, baggies, or sweats. My 15 YO (size 5) has the same taste as her brother: black baggies and a tee-shirt.

They were all repulsed by the girls at a concert they recently attended in Dallas who in my kids words were "fat chicks in low risers or short-short skirts." No one can accuse my kids of being prudes, but I must have gone right somewhere.

One word of advice to parents of teens/pre-teens who do wear the cleavage pants: SIT-UPS. We have to look at your kids flabby guts as well as their asses and it ain't pretty coming or going!

43 posted on 08/03/2003 4:35:31 PM PDT by YankeeinOkieville
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To: Drew68
She's driving at least one asymmetrical mode there.
44 posted on 08/03/2003 5:41:51 PM PDT by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: avg_freeper
She's driving at least one asymmetrical mode there.

I think perhaps she's walking and they're bouncing to and fro.

45 posted on 08/03/2003 7:22:12 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Chi-townChief

Alrighty then, but you're going to be sorry. ;-)

46 posted on 08/03/2003 7:47:26 PM PDT by Spyder (Just another day in Paradise)
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To: Spyder
Oh Good Lord!
47 posted on 08/03/2003 7:49:28 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Chi-townChief; Spyder

Here's a couple to hopefully counteract that very disturbing photo in post #46.

48 posted on 08/03/2003 7:54:56 PM PDT by Drew68
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To: Spyder
Those shoes do not go with those shorts.
49 posted on 08/03/2003 8:03:41 PM PDT by Hillary's Lovely Legs (Oh sure, like you didn't know that Idi Amin drank his own urine.)
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To: Dog Gone
GENERATION X IS MISUSED HERE. She obviously wanted to go for that "x-rated" theme. However, the "X" Gen, or 13th Gen, is generally defined by social scientists to refer to those born between 1965 and 1980. Their "chic" was preppie, punk, metal, Americana (propelling the growth of country music), or Anglo (U2, Stones, Police, etc.). Their political awakening was Afghanistan, Poland, Andropov, and INF, and the vulgar incompetence of Carter, Mondale, and Dukakis. The good news is that a larger majority of youth 18-30 in that "X" group identified (back in the 1980s) with "conservative" values than any other youth group in American history (and we had some of the highest Republican vote % for that group in history as well - a radical change from the strong socialist bent of the late-stage baby boomers and the "greatest generation," both of which saw exceptionally large minorities voting for socialist/progressive movements/candidates in the 1930s and 1970s).

This is swinging back to the Left for the so-called GENERATION Y (as in why not? or why try?). This is best defined by the general unwilligness by a majority in this group to assert an identity of "normalcy" or traditional American values -- that is, a social and political identity distinct or exceptional to that of minority and socialist fringe elements. My opinion is that they are frankly TERRORIZED into not doing so by an unrelenting barrage of socialist brain-washing in nearly all institutions, combined with Bolshevik-style show trials for nouveau "Hobbs Act" (targeting the anti-abortion movement), "bias" or "hate crime" incidents. Never mind Ruby Ridge, Waco, etc. Between the media bombardment, abortion genocide (exterminating 32 million peers since 1972), immigration ("white" kids are minorities or rapidly shrinking majorities in many communities), many of these kids are COERCED into betraying their nation and culture.

This low rise culture, like so many fads these days, is imported from Latin America rather than Britain (as they were in the 1960s-1980s). Or, the fads come from socialist wastelands, where "culture" is nothing more than the obscene residue of a dead society (like Eminem's Detroit or New York's rap scene).

However, sooner or later even GenYers will wake up from the brain washing exercises of the subversive Left. The good news is that the minority conservative base of the GenYers is getting more radicalized in terms of attitudes towards government, abortion, readiness to support conservative candidates and issue campaigns, etc.
50 posted on 08/03/2003 8:22:46 PM PDT by CaptIsaacDavis
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To: Timesink; risk
What's the latest thinking on the birthday boundaries between boomer, Xer, and Y? Boomer/X cutoff, sometime in the early 60s, though personally I'd make it more of the mid-60s. X/Y cutoffs, mid- to late-70s. And I've seen some people argue that someone who is 15 years old today is actually in "Generation Z" (or whatever other new name they wish to apply to the kid).

Strauss and Howe, in their work 13th Gen, pretty much the seminal work on Gen X and an interesting intro to their other books, Generations and The Fourth Turning, call it a little differently. They feel the Gen X generation was born from 1960 to 1979, on the basis of the shared experiences that most held.

Which just goes to show that all the terms are pretty much made up out of whole cloth. Notice how comparatively gigantic the "Baby Boomer" generation supposedly is; the "oldest" of them are only a few years away from retirement age, which means Boomerdom seems to apply to anyone born from around 1945 to 1965, while the X-Y-Z zones only appear to encompass a 10-15 year period each.

Strauss and Howe place the Boomers, as most do, as a somewhat pre- and post- war generation that was born from 1940 to 1959, on the basis of the shared experiences that most held. That they also cohort by about 20 years is also appropriate given the fertility cycle means that typically women actually had kids and started a new generation every 20 years or so.

It's all BS in the end really, in terms of dates; the terms only have relevance in terms of how the members of each group think and act, the overall Zeitgeist of the given group. And IMHO, the only real differences between Gen-X and Gen-Y are that Gen-Y is growing up to be far more conservative and less whiny than Gen-Xers, who all thought they were going to change the world (gee, wonder where they got that idea from) through their big dotcom fraud, and are all pissed off that they didn't get to retire at 30 after all. Gen-Y, by comparison, have far more level heads.

Funny. I'm much less likely to think that Gen-Y is conservative than you are. They are certainly more regimented and seem more led, but I think that of the two, Gen X is more conservative in deed, while perhaps not word. There are more Gen Xers that started businesses than any other generation before, and not just because there are more people now, but on a percentage basis. Might be that the Gen Y kids are more sullen instead of mouthy, and that is interpreted as more respectful of their elders. But I think that it's just that generationally, every other one 'sucks.' Think about it. Everyone wrote (and writes) about the baby boomers like they are the most important group EVER. Everyone hates Gen X. Everyone LOVES Gen Y--can't get enough of Britney and Avril! I've seen more outpouring of 'ain't they the greatest' in the last months than I remember during the Gulf War--what's so different?!?!

And it's way too early to say anything about the Gen-Z zeitgeist, or even to declare Gen-Z to legitimately exist, if you ask me

I'm pretty sure you could go back to Strauss and Howe on this one, and they'll tell you that the Millenial/Gen Y kids (1980-2000) haven't really made an impact culturally yet. And Gen Z is just being born.

There's a fundamental issue with me in the notion of calling a group of people born fifteen years apart three different 'generations.' It shows a lack of knowledge regarding the meaning of the word generation! It certainly seems odd that there would be a dividing line on the decade marks, and I'm sure that's not completely to everyone's satisfaction. But I think it's the best grouping I've seen of those with fairly common shared experiences. Certainly, someone born in 1980 and someone born in 2000 will be different, but their formative years will just as certainly be the Clinton government era, and they will shoulder the burden left behind by Slick Willie pretty equally.

51 posted on 08/03/2003 8:24:29 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (The scariest nine words in the English Language: We're from the government. We're here to help you.)
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To: Chi-townChief

52 posted on 08/03/2003 8:33:06 PM PDT by null and void (Everything I Needed To Know About Islam I Learned On 9/11)
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To: Cobra64
I refer to them as the MTV / instant-gratification-generation.

Yeah Right!!

It's the Baby Boomers who are by far the WORST American generation ever!!! You are the me-me-me-me generation! With you people as our parents and currently running things it's amazing we aren't even more screwed up especially considering the way you really screwed up what once was the best educational system in the world.

It is from your generation that the Clinton's spawned from and it wasn't until the Gen-Xers all reached voting age until we finally got a Republican congress.

Even now as all you boomers are aging and can no longer have any fun you selfishly are trying to make sure nobody else does, That's why we have smoking bans in bars, Lawsuits against McDonalds, Body armor needed on kids just to ride a bike, and all the other new health/safty Nazi crap that comes out seemingly every day.

America will be fine once you people get to old and finally get out of power which can't be soon enough.

Oh yeah and BTW Thanks for the National Debt you will be leaving us.

53 posted on 08/03/2003 8:46:47 PM PDT by qam1
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To: Drew68
I would venture to guess that anyone who wonders why anyone would be caught driving a vehicle as ugly as the Honda Element is not "Generation Y" (which is what came after generation x). (This is per Honda's own admission that the vehicle's target market is generation Y).

I was born in 1977, and I wonder who beat the Honda Element with an ugly stick, so I consider myself a member of generation X.

54 posted on 08/03/2003 8:48:24 PM PDT by brianl703
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To: Dog Gone
Just got back from the beach. This is the saddest looking generation of all time. I saw young girls with 40 inch waists wearing ,get this, hip huggers ! And if thats not enough the tattoos and piercings are enough to make you lose your lunch. And I thought long hair hippies looked rediculous, this generation is into the ugly look. Picture this, a shaved head, piercings in the eyebrows, lips and nipples and than to top it off you are 40 pounds overweight wearing a pair crotch huggers. If I had kids there would be no way in the world I would allow them to look and dress like that.
55 posted on 08/03/2003 8:56:18 PM PDT by John Lenin
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To: qam1
Don't forget the senior prescription healthcare benefit they wanted so bad.
56 posted on 08/03/2003 8:57:13 PM PDT by brianl703
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To: null and void
Yea! Belly-girl.
57 posted on 08/03/2003 9:01:28 PM PDT by blam
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To: Timesink
Rough 15 year increments kind of make sense.

Boomer '45-'60

Gen X '60-'75

Gen Y '75-'90

Generations are marked by the culture landmarks. The first Gen Xer would be one who does not -- due to age -- remember seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.

The first Gen Yer would be one who does not remember Ms Pac Man or TV before cable.

Gen Yers will be with us for a few more years. They are kind of likeable.

58 posted on 08/03/2003 9:02:39 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Spyder
Goodness, gracious! I hope that's not your Granny.
59 posted on 08/03/2003 9:10:19 PM PDT by Palladin (Proud to be a FReeper!)
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To: qam1
It's the Baby Boomers who are by far the WORST American generation ever!!!

I couldn't agree more.

They failed us big time. Don't even get me started!

60 posted on 08/03/2003 9:11:12 PM PDT by Fraulein
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