Well, I was at a friend's house the other day and he has Palladia, which is apparently a music channel, and on Palladia they were playing Later...with Jools Holland, which is apparently a very famous UK show that I'd never seen or ever heard of. (There's a lot of apparentlys in that sentence. I guess I'm weaseling instead of fact-checking today. Deal.) Jools Holland was (not "apparently"--this was internet-verified) a member of Squeeze, a band I like very much and which was part of the soundtrack of my college life. Like, if they ever make a movie featuring me in 1981, "Tempted" will be playing over the montage of me walking around Allston in too-tight high-waisted jeans and a Rolling Stones t-shirt. Where was I? Oh, yeah. So, on Later the other night, Alabama Shakes were performing. Also Norah Jones, Jack White, The Chieftans, and some English chick I have never heard of who did some very interesting electronica. Why is this not on my Directv, again?
I was watching Alabama Shakes, the lead singer of which, Brittany Howard***, is a larger woman, and she was performing in a long tunic/short dress over capri leggings. I turned to my friend and said, "That woman should wear pants at all times. Worst cankles ever." And was immediately ashamed of myself. The woman has a tremendous voice and a hit record. Her cankles are irrelevant. But more importantly, why am I judging and picking apart another woman's body? Who am I to criticize someone else's body parts? Part of me says, "Well, honestly, she's not an unattractive woman and if she just made another wardrobe choice--boots, long pants, a maxi skirt, even leggings/tights that didn't cut off right above her ankles--she'd just look so much better on TV. It's a criticism of her fashion sense, not her body." If I could sing (ha!) and Jools Holland invited me on his show, I could imagine viewers at home looking askance if I chose to perform in short shorts. "That woman should keep her cellulite covered, man." But, really, that's bullshit. Maybe Ms Howard likes her lower legs. Maybe she doesn't see them as an unsightly "problem area" that needs to be camouflaged. Who the hell am I to place that judgment on her? If I were to appear in public--on stage even--with my cellulite on display, is that anyone's business but my own? And would I have ever had the same reaction to an outfit by a male lead singer? (Okay, I may or may not have suggested it's time for Iggy Pop to look into shirts. But that's with more fond amusement than real criticism. Also, while we're on the topic...kinda...I can stop complaining about Carnival Cruises using "Lust for Life" in their ads now that recent events have proved that going on a Carnival cruise really *is* like a scene out of Trainspotting. Feces on the walls? Check! Heh.)
So, mea culpa, Ms Howard. You rock whatever garments you choose and if anyone like me suggests otherwise, hit 'em in the head with your guitar.
You know I had to drop that in there.
***yes, I did actually look that up too. You're welcome.