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June 25, 2003
Aliens Among Us

Andy Rooney generally cheers me up. This time he's taking on fashion, but I think he missed the mark.

Sure, clothes are largely good for (1) keeping out the cold, and, (2) covering most people's unfashionably ugly nekkidness, but there's more going on in the world of fashion than that. He should put down the magazine and flip around the television.

He might, as I did the other day, stumble across proof that aliens are, indeed, among us, but they're not trying to infiltrate our government.

No, they're all in the world of fashion. From the 'designers' whose brains envision garments designed for anything but the human body to the stick insects that model said garments, they're all representatives of some inhuman species.

Have you ever watched a fashion show? I mean, looked at the 'people' involved without letting yourself get distracted mocking the clothing? These are not human beings. Watch how they walk.

Each of them is wearing, at a guess, two pounds of chunky, strappy sandal on each foot, accentuating the already unattractively inhuman proportions of their stick bodies. Presumably these shoes contain some kind of electromagnet or heavy metal substance to enhance gravity since these aliens walk like creatures unfamiliar with the earth's gravitational pull.

Watch them. You'll see them jerk a foot free and try to push the foot forward and then the fleshless leg inscribes a wild, floundering arc in mid-air before the magnet kicks back in and the shoe is sucked back down with a near-audible clunk.

The aliens work hard at it and they walk frantically, but they only manage to cover about six inches at a step. Makes me tired just to watch them.

And the parts move, seemingly in ways you wouldn't expect of someone who came by the body naturally. Legs twist and flail madly and shoulders keep time to some unearthly mambo while the spine...I don't even want to contemplate what musculature produces that oddly disjointed jerk in the middle of the back. Maybe that's where they wear the tank that lets them convert oxygen to...whatever it is that they breathe.

I think it must take a lot of work for these aliens to mimic human movements.

Certainly by the time they get all of those other parts in motion, they've entirely forgotten about the face. (The faces are blank masks but if you watch very closely, sometimes you can glimpse a hint of the effort it takes one of them to get its physical shell wobbling down the runway.)

I'm just asking, okay? When did "fashion design" for women stop being about clothes? And when did the rule pass that no model would be hired if her body in any way resembled that of a human female?

I know that many women compare their bodies to those fleshless examples of androgyny with despair, but let's be sensible. By the time they finish strapping, molding, and painting over the bodies of these women, they're ugly, okay?

Do we really want to starve ourselves into malnutrition so we can wear an ostrich feather vest over a snakeskin micro-miniskirt and four-inch platform clogs? We do not. The occasions in a normal human being's life when ostrich and snakeskin are the perfect ensemble choice are nonexistent. (Clogs are always ugly and no one I've ever seen has managed not to look like a strung-out drug addict walking in them.)

I know there's a cachet around "supermodels" and that young men (and, indeed, old men) crave the status that comes with dating one.

I guess at this moment, I'm thanking my lucky stars that the men I've known weren't actually ashamed to be dating a woman and that those protruding bits and other evidences of femininity weren't considered to be a defect.

I'm also thankful for my television's remote. There was something eerily hypnotic about that procession that evening and it was only the accidental slip of a finger on the remote button that saved me, as I firmly believe, from having my mind taken under alien control.

If I hadn't moved on when I did, I'd probably have found myself watching the Shopping Network next, and cooing over the opportunity to buy a "real, genuine diamande bracelet" for only $49.95.

Televison rots your brain, okay? Go take a walk or read a book.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:55 AM