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An opened letter to the fashion industry

January 13th 2003

Britney Spears CD cover

Note to the fashion industry:

The verdict is in--all women have belly buttons. The nation owes you a debt of gratitude for helping us in this discovery. Now can you please design garments that restore some mystery to that which we already know is there.

Please donít consider my request to be motivated by prudishness or moral indignation. In fact you are to be credited for helping enhance my male instinct to defend the honor of my teenage daughter. After all, I have been well aware of my daughterís naval from the time of her birth--which I witnessed--and I expect any call for affirmation of her possession of a belly button to be satisfied by my testimony.


You have also stretched my intellectual and rhetorical skills as well. I have accepted the challenge of explaining to my daughter why I prefer that she dress in a fashion that attract men of character, not appeal to their hormonal instincts in the fashion of tramps or, worse, Britney Spears. Sharing these thoughts have helped us gain a certain respect for each otherís perspectives and a greater appreciation for principles that build stable reliable relationships between the sexes. She even well tolerates, even though I tire of, my continual admonition, "Pull your pants up and your shirt down." Whereupon she continually replies to my tolerance, "My pants are as high as they will go and my shirt is already two sizes too large so it can cover my belt."

Since the issue of Britney, the Princess of Pop, has been breached, I offer you a challenge to enhance the quality of pop culture significantly. Consider what could result if the images of all pop princesses were not so dependent on looking artificially alluring in your current productions. They might actually have time to work on important skills like vocal talent, musical style, and thoughtful lyrics.

Consequently they could feel comfortable at the weight for which their bodies are designed. That alone would allow their voices to mature and blossom so their recordings would no longer sound like an electronically enhanced version of the Bride of Gollum (This is an endorsement of the Lord of the Rings movies. See them and read the book!). This change in priority would provide benefits not only for the musical arts, but save us the embarrassing task of explaining to our posterity how we became so mindlessly devoted to cultural banality.

Now is a suitable point at which your attention needs to focus upon a sensitive subject. Please realize that, although the svelte models and celebrities with whom you in the fashion industry associate earn their keep by maintaining a physical condition that appears appealing in your designs, real world women generally do not have that luxury. Often times throughout the day modern fashions brings me to reflect upon a shocking and disgusting passage of Gulliverís Travels in which Gulliver details the exaggerated features of the giant wet nurse of Brobdingdag. I guess with this observation you are also to be indirectly credited for restoring my interest in classic literature if not a more personal understanding of urban blight.


Your styles expose the obviously poor physical condition of many women besides their possession of belly buttons, and proves that there are some clothes that some people should not wear. One would like to think that these women know who they are, but unfortunately they tend to be the most flamboyant modelers of your productions. They are walking evidence of the dangers that come with confusing self delusions with self-esteem.

I know that your efforts have been in an honest pursuit of a quick buck while helping certain members of our society disguise certain shortcomings in character, talent, modesty and self awareness. The thrill of your masquerade has long passed, though, and mine is a simple appeal to reexamine that which youíve been covering and cover up that which you have exposed to our examination..

Besides, the notion of dignity in fashion can be very attractive. Just look at what it did for Audrey Hepburn throughout her film career, but especially in My Fair Lady. Maybe if you helped women raise their aspirations in dress to that level men would aspire to the qualities of Rex Harrison. Now wouldnít that prove to be something worth exposing.

By Bob Strodtbeck

Bob Strodtbeck has been writing editorial commentaries since 1993.  He has professional experiences in pharmaceuticals, radio, and education.  He has also served as a church elder in an Orlando congregation where he has made his home since 1986.



Some common misspellings: Britiny speers fasion 


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