Saturday, March 3, 2012

Overexposed

There was a time in my life, probably from about age 12 through 18, that fashion really mattered to me. I guess that's true for most girls that age - trying to fit in, wanting to wear the latest fashions and accessories (and the 80s were a fun time to be into fashion). I think that I may have even gone through a (very) brief period where I considered wanting to be a fashion designer. In my teen years, I LOVED clothes. Shopping definitely became more fun for me after Weight Watchers, but even through my nowhere-near-a-supermodel phase, I still loved cute sweaters and dresses and leggings and belts and earrings...you get the picture.

I gradually outgrew my desire to wear the latest trends, and started leaning more towards clothing that I liked, that fit my body, that was comfortable. If it happened to be the latest trend, so be it. If it wasn't...I really didn't (and still don't) care. Back in the 80s I was driven to wear $80 Guess jeans. Today, I would never think of spending that much money on a pair of jeans. My Mossimo jeans that I bought on the clearance rack at Target for $7 fit my body perfectly. They are comfortable, and I love them. I don't care that they didn't come from Nordstrom. I'm thrilled to death when I find a cute Roxy sundress on eBay in my size for less than $10. Bring it on! That's what I'm comfortable in, that's what I wear. Fashion victim? Not this woman and apparently NOT the toddler that I was in the early 70s, who didn't seem to care about fashion, or (so it seems) CLOTHING at all!


I've been going through a lot of old photos, looking for shots to use for my blog posts. As I thumbed through them, I noticed a distinct trend in the types of clothes I was wearing, or, more specifically, what I was NOT wearing. Everybody has photos of themselves as babies (and their own babies) in the bathtub (or the extremely cool 70s bathroom sink with a spout like a water fountain!) - that's normal. However, it seems that as a toddler in the early 1970s, I fully embraced the free spirit of the day. My parents were not hippies - far from it! They were middle-upper-class conservative people. They are Southern Baptist, for goodness sake! I've never even seen my mom in a bikini. Why on Earth would they let me run around nekkid as a jaybird? 



So, I'm going through the disc on which my dad had copied all of our family photos that were on slides. I come to this photo of me when I'm about 18 months old standing on the picnic table in adorable  little outfit:



 But, my mind says, "Wait a minute!...Go back to the previous photo that you just flipped by!" 



[Insert moment of stunned silence] NO way! I remember wanting to be a doctor, a nurse or a waitress at Howard Johnson's when I was a little girl, but a POLE DANCER? Now, I don't remember that at all!  



The more I looked through old photos, the more evident my aversion to clothing became. 

WHY am I playing milkman with my teenage brother
butt-naked?  
Get all dressed up in fancy clothes for holidays? Nah. I'm good.

Christmas in New Jersey is
COLD, isn't it?
Where are my clothes???
My cousin Julie looks adorable in her Easter dress.
Then there's me.
Maybe I figured that everyone would be so focused
on the huge cold sore on my lip, nobody would
notice that I was topless.

I did birthday parties, too.

Hey, if the cake was bigger, maybe I could jump
out of it! ;)

Apparently, I was the pioneer of the Wardrobe Malfunction.
Eat your heart out, Janet Jackson!




















So, as you can see...it seems that I have a few skeletons in my closet (and naked ones at that!). ;) Who knew that I was on the path to becoming an exhibitionist some day? Somebody up there was looking out for me, though. I figure God must have decided to intervene pretty early. He gave me a sense of humor instead of a sense of rhythm, ensuring that I would never become an exotic dancer (a career that would have certainly brought shame upon my family, but would have been significantly more lucrative). He gave me brains instead of boo...err, voluptuousness. ;) And, he made sure that the Villa gene kicked in at just the right time to keep me out of trouble in middle and high school and make me understand that modesty is the way to go. I can promise you that you'll never catch me on a topless beach, in a thong, nor streaking through the fishbowl that is my house. I may not care much about fashion, but I no longer consider clothing "optional" (much to my family's relief!). :)
With Love and Aloha ~ Nancy

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