While assembling my summer SAHM uniform, I did a little research and found this blog post (turned Salon article). The author recounts ordering a skort from Athleta after seeing another mom wearing one at the playground:
Last spring I noticed another mother at the park wearing a lightweight, gray, A-line skirt that hit just above her knee. She had my build — 13-year-old boy from the waist up, prodigiously gifted in the hip department — but she looked happy. At ease. Must be the skirt, I thought.
The author orders the skort but has second thoughts:
The skort had delivered on its promise. It had spayed me. It had communicated to the world that I am a mother, that the body part under my skort . . . has accomplished the signature biological act of my species, and that now, I’d prefer that no one look at me.
Apparently, what the author misses is not so much people looking at her. She actually seems to miss people trying to look up her skirt:*
Think back to Marilyn Monroe, the white dress and the subway grate. The skirt appeals because it’s dangerous. At any moment, it might fly up.
We take pains so that it doesn’t. We sit just so. We cross our ankles. We hold it down when the wind blows. But we’re aware, just like the fellas, that it wouldn’t take much to flip the sucker up. And, dude, that is hot.
. . . . Um, that’s called EX-HI-BI-TION-ISM. Like . . . creepy guys in trench coats. Not hot. You may be more attractive than they, but the sentiment is the same.
. . . .
I mulled this over and then thought back to the skort-wearer described at the park:
“She looked happy.”
I think that’s what I’m going for.
I want to look happy.
Not like I’ve stopped caring about myself.
But not like I’m wrapped up in myself, either.
Not drowning in a potato sack.
But not squeezed into clothes that leave little to the imagination, either.
*Maybe the author is being tongue-in-cheek? I can’t tell.