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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

On Being an Old Fuddy Duddy (part 1): 

I'm 29 and have spent the lion's share of my adult life in academia (which is to say surrounded, mostly, by men and women in the 18-22 demographic). When I was an undergraduate (cast your mind back to 1992-1996) the dominant women's aesthetic was crunchy: flannel, shorts, minimal make up, everyone had a Nalgene water bottle. I've got fond memories of this sort of vibe but for the last couple of years on campus the trend seems to be almost the opposite: young women bedecked in tight tank tops, midriffs bare even in winter and shorts which a friend of mine once described as vertically challenged (which is to say wider than they are long). The logical extension of all of this is the Girls Gone Wild video series in which, I presume, otherwise really average college age women engage in all kinds of debauchery (make out sessions, masturbation...) in front of video cameras in exchange for hats and t-shirts. One of the interesting things about what I see on campus, and what the GGW videos sell from the internet portal, is that its all symptomatic of a gradual movement to do all the sorts of things feminists used to decry as derogatory toward women in the name of enpowerment. This theme and an interesting description of a night out with the GGW crew in South Beach Miami can be found, courtesy of Ariel Levy, in Slate, here.
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