Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Climate Control- California Style

Here’s my frustration:
I’m a born Californian. I grew up in a climate and culture where showing skin was not only acceptable, but NORMAL.
In Cali, when the sun is out, it’s really damn hot. I spent every day I could in my swimsuit, because it was the most comfortable thing to wear when it’s 95+ degrees outside (That’s Fahrenheit, if there was any confusion). To wear honest to god ‘clothing’ would have roasted me alive, I’m certain.
Just to clarify: I am by no means an Immodest person. I like to keep my private things PRIVATE, and appreciate when other people do the same. And I was raised by fashion conscious and modest parents, who taught me the proper way to dress for every occasion, using my body type. But I have never found the exposure of plain skin to be terribly inappropriate, and I do so with ease.
As I’ve ventured beyond the Golden borders, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that this is NOT always a socially acceptable mode of presenting myself.
In Alaska, when the snow melted and the sun came out, I was ecstatic! I dug through my dressers, and pulled out my little denim shorts and a tank top, kicked on some flip flops- And proceeding to get “Bug-eyed” expressions from the locals (Some more flattering than others…). Sigh… we move on.
In Washington, the Soggy State, the land of the Grunge look and Environmentally friendly flower children: I was rather shocked by how much disapproval I receive for my fashion sense.
Not as many blatant frowns and ogles, but there’s definitely a second glance pause when my skirts and shorts hit well above the knee. I’m either glared at for dressing like a “Hoochy mama” by the ghettos, Dismissed by the hipsters for being “showy” without being trendy, or… I honestly don’t know, but apparently my pencil skirt is just a little too high. Pardon me for having long legs.
I recently went back to Cali for a visit, and I cannot express how reassuring it was to drive down the road and see all the shirtless men and daisy duke attired women, of every weight, shape and color. Just knowing I was “normal” somewhere was quite refreshing.
Don’t get me wrong; I have a bit of a dramatic streak. I’ll admit I get tickled by throwing my Washingtonians off their game by adding my California girl flavor to the mix.
I don’t expect to ever really change my habit; I am comfortable in my skin, and my clothes. I find my taste to be flattering and functional.
Well, just an observation from a California Prude.
Winking smile

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