Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Naked Girls, Modest Guys

Summer is near, It will soon be bathing suit weather and women across the world will be looking in the mirror, dieting, buying cosmetic elixirs promising the impossible, worrying about every real and perceived figure flaw.

That got me thinking. For my novel, The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell, I researched swim wear in the early 20th century. In 1920, men wore tight shorts and wife-beater teeshirts when they ventured into the water. At the same time, respectable women wore long skirts and stockings. Some women's swim teams did adopt men's suits, but in 1922, women wearing such "indecent" attire were arrested on the beach in Chicago.

Today, the guys wear boxy, knee-length shorts that would seem modest to a time traveler from the early 1900s, while girls are next to naked, every blemish, every tiny roll of flesh. Are we giving up our mystery?

I read a book by an American who went to Saudi Arabia. When he attended party of Westerners, he found unveiled faces of women incredibly erotic. Now, I'm certainly not in favor of veiling women, but I wonder are we giving up some of our allure by flaunting so much Southern exposure? American men could wear the tiny briefs we see on European beaches, but they don't want to be that exposed. Why do we? Just asking.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Sometimes the Southern Belle is able to actually go to a book club.

That's what happened March 3, when the vivacious Elaine Donan invited me to her home to discuss THE BAD BEHAVIOR OF BELLE CANTRELL. Inspired by the Southern theme, some of the ladies even wore hats.

We wined and dined on fried chicken and sweet potatoes and discussed the book and the research I did into the year 1920 when prohibition became law and women finally were able to vote. I told them some men thought they were protecting us as we were too delicate to "withstand the rough and tumble of the voting booth." That was also the year the KKK spread across America as a money-making pyramid scheme and equal opportunity haters.
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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Have They Lost Their Minds?

I keep getting ads for mini-skirts in spring and summer fashion:;jsessionid=DOXPQGGGZ5EIKCQAAKTRACY?itemId=cat25260741&parentId=cat25260731&masterId=cat000003&icid=her0b

The Southern Belle says if you've got great legs flaunt them!

But how many of us want to show off our knees or God forbid our thighs? Just as men put on extra weight in there tummies, for women every extra ounce shows up in our neither regions,which in the great scheme of things is healthier.

Although tall skinny models wobbling on stiletto heels may look great on the runway, designers who expect real women to wear those clothes have lost their minds. Maybe they have a poverty wish.