A friend of mine works in the fashion industry. She sighed as she spoke to our friends over Zoom last week. While most of us are dealing with being furloughed or being laid off or not having work come in, she was just given a raise. But with that raise comes a raise in expectations. "I was on the phone with Diddy, and we just can't figure out the hot trend in a post-COVID-19 world!" (To be fair, I can't remember whether she said Diddy. It could have been Beyonce or or Drake or J-Lo or another A-lister. When she talks about that level of fame, my mind tends to liquify, and I go from intent listening to wondering how the heck this is my friend's life. Isn't this the same girl who used to get sloppy drunk off Mike's Hard Lemonade every time a boy didn't call her back in college? And now she is taking calls from... shoot, which celebrity was it?)
Hmm, trend in a post-COVID-19 world.
I can tell you what fashion trends are happening in my home in present COVID-19 world: No pants. No shoes. No bra. Gray roots. Pajamas all day — or not, when pajamas feel like too much work to put on. Bathrobes. No socks. Glasses, not contacts. No shirts. Somehow, miraculously, we're not naked. The belly rolls are spilling over the elastic of pajama pants with reckless abandon — no attempts made to tuck them in or suck them in. There is hair so oily it creates its own pompadour. No hair product required. There are hairy legs and hairy faces and haircuts done in front of the mirror with kids' safety scissors. The children have taken to hand-drawing tattoos on their bodies with washable markers. My daughter rubbed dirt over her body, proudly announcing she has a beach tan. Who needs a summer vacation?
The current trend in my home is untucked, unsucked, unwashed and unshaved, and I love it. Before the coronavirus pandemic, I had to go to specific hostels, communes and festivals to find the dirty, hairy hippies I used to run with in my youth. If I was lucky, I would get a weekend each year surrounded by the specific body odor that brings me back to the good ol' days. Now all I have to do is go to the grocery!
This is a fashion trend I can embrace wholeheartedly.
Fat, hairy and dirty — the hot look of 2020.
I told my friend to have Beyonce give me a call. We have loads to discuss.
My friend, however, only responded with another sigh. She didn't like my suggestion. Apparently, our living in permanent semi-nudity isn't good for the fashion industry. Letting ourselves go equals billions of dollars lost. She is hoping for a pendulum swing. She is hoping we will all be so tired from not having to care about our appearance that we care more than ever. Suck it in, tuck it in, hide it, cover it, shame it. Making a reappearance will be not only bras but also corsets and girdles and other medieval torture devices. Leggings will be replaced with form-fitting miniskirts. Stilettos will be higher than ever, hair more bleached than ever and more styled than ever. Business suits will come covered in glitter and rhinestones. We will Netflix each evening in the prom dresses that would otherwise go unpurchased because of the canceling of high school. We'll never leave the house without a tiara.
I understand the pendulum swing, but I hope it doesn't go that way. I hope that we instead choose to become more accepting of our bodies and our faces and our hair exactly as they are — that the trend that follows COVID-19 remains one unrestricted. Hugh Hefner wore a bathrobe to work every day. Why can't we?
I don't wish for the demise of any industry, especially not small businesses, but perhaps a reimagining is in order. I want work pajamas, and I want black-tie events that accept tuxedo T-shirts, fashion Snuggies and fancy slippers. And I hope that instead of covering the gray, we just let our silver hair grow in and get purple highlights so our heads look like glorious sparkling disco balls. It's gonna be a brave new world out there. Let's make it reflect us.
But also, Netflix in prom gowns sounds amazing. Can we keep that?
Katiedid Langrock is author of the book "Stop Farting in the Pyramids," available at http://www.creators.com/books/stop-farting-in-the-pyramids. Like Katiedid Langrock on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/katiedidhumor. To find out more about her and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.