Dr Airdre Grant
ON behalf of all the people in the check-in queue at Ballina airport, I would like to say thank you.
There we all were, engaged in the business of the traveller; dutifully standing in line, quietly talking, maybe doing mental calculations about the weight of our luggage or secretly judging other people's tardiness, when the young woman at the front of the line was called up to the counter to check in.
She was wearing, as is the fashion these days, a teeny-weeny pair of shorts.
She bent over to fiddle with her backpack. A frisson went through the queue as she treated everyone to a magnificent and extravagant display of smooth, tanned, youthful rump. It seemed her luggage was proving tricky as the display was lengthy.
On and on it went (or so it seemed). The queue fell silent, looks were exchanged. As my dear departed father would say, you could see what she had for breakfast.
Finally, her bag was accepted, she straightened up, checked in and went on her way.
The man next me said, "Well, that's a good start to the journey" and we laughed.
After that I did an inventory of teeny-weeny shorts and I can report they are everywhere.
This fashion trend has been ignored by the older woman, for many reasons including dignity and common sense, but in the younger set they have been taken up with a vengeance.
Men, as usual, have stuck with comfort.
Have you ever seen men take on uncomfortable fashion trends? They may go so far as to vary the size of the armhole in a singlet top, thus affording the world a charming display of chest hair/muscle. But overall - and correct me if I am wrong - men's clothing sits roughly around the pants/shirt combo.
The shoes change slightly but remain reliable. No treacherous high heels for these boys.
Apparently, French king Louis 14 wore 12inch heels at his court in Versailles but he was a foppish monarch who could afford to have two retainers walk alongside and hold his hands so he didn't topple over.
They are not something we see a lot of in Lismore (possible exception at the New Year's Tropical Fruits party).
I followed up my modish inquiries with flick through that most exotic of magazines, Vogue.
It presents a world that is so far removed from the daily grind it hovers somewhere between the preposterous and the compelling. God love the fashionistas, I say.
So a big thank you to the young girl at Ballina and her need to follow trend and wear teeny-weeny shorts.
Without her contribution, my flight could have been quite dull.
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