Monday, August 29, 2011

Another Open Letter...

Dear Inappropriate Lady at Sainsbury's,

I must confess, I have no empathy. I've never been one of those people who, in the right outfit, could be considered "ambiguously gendered". No one's ever come up to me to start a conversation with a well-meaning and apprehensive, but ultimately mistaken, "Excuse me, sir..." To be perfectly honest, I doubt you fit this category of unfortunate individuals either. Sure, you happen to have more-masculine-than-average facial features, but you're not Pat from JoAnn's Fabrics with the awkward stubble, androgynously overweight body type, and that middle-of-the-range kind of voice that could be either a high-pitched man or a low-pitched woman. To this day, I still don't know whether I would have run into Pat at the sinks in the ladies' toilets. I don't think I want to know, to be honest.

Anyway, Inappropriate Lady, all this is to say: you don't need to overcompensate. I shouldn't know how wild and free you like to hang. I shouldn't have to wonder if you do weekend stints as a nudist in some compound out in the Hampshire wilderness. Most of all, I really shouldn't be able to see your enormous nipples through your indiscreet see-through white faux-linen top.

I mean: you've got to pick one thing or the other. Either, don't wear a bra, but make sure I can't see your areolae through your top, or wear a top that lets me pick out the intricate details of the leopard-print brassiere you like to flaunt. You can not - in this instance - have your cake and eat it too. I haven't seen that much public nudity since the last time I flipped through a National Geographic.

Did no one tell you that it's inappropriate to have your boobies hanging out in public? I get that strangers might be ashamed to admit they're being flashed despite the fact that you have a top on, but your husband was clearly standing in the queue next to you. Is he blind? A vicarious exhibitionist? Uncaring? Because I'm hoping he has some excuse for not telling you that your nipples were blatantly visible before you left the house. Otherwise, girlfriend, the blame for this shameful public display is all on you.

I don't care if it feels better to hang loose and free. I don't care if bras are a tool of oppression from piggish male chauvinists. I don't even care if you have a wicked rash from your underwire that your doctor has specifically instructed you to air out. Being clothed in public is something you should do more than pay lip service to. Seriously: it would have felt less indecent if you'd just not put a shirt on at all. I'm just saying...nobody needs to see all of that. Nobody. Especially not in the queue at the grocery store. So please: do the world a favour and get a sweater on before any more eye-bleach needs to be dished out to the general public.

Come on, now. Even nasty Ms. Jackson had the good grace to be embarrassed to show her bits in public.

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