General Interest

Bra Straps and Cultural Progress

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It’s back-to-school time and a couple nights ago Brian Williams (NBC Nightly News) listed some things that today’s college freshman never experienced in their lifetime. He also listed cultural “stuff” that may be “everyday” for today’s college freshman, cultural changes, as he described them. Yet one of these in particular might ruffle an After Fifty feather or two. The cultural change I refer to is the acceptance of public display of bra straps by today’s younger and, sometimes, even older women. Yeah, that. Bra straps.

Yesterday while shopping I found my feathers being “ruffled” by a young lady who’s probably a college student. And the “dis-connect” – you got it, her bra straps. There she was, directly in front of me in the check-out line. She was stunning, in her late teens or early twenties, naturally gorgeous red hair a-flowing, and figure taut, trim. She was wearing a yellow tube-top (which means, for those of you who are un-anointed, no sleeves or shoulder material at all) along with a white bra with straps broadcasting who-knows-what to the world at large.

I have to admit – as I’m sure you’ve guessed, this public display of lingerie really bothered/annoyed me. No, I don’t consider myself a prude. Accusing me of that is much too easy so don’t waste your time or mine. I’m bothered because I really don’t like sloppiness or the people who practice it. When you display your bra straps or your boxer shorts, or whatever, you can’t be taken seriously.

Thoughts of that gorgeous (yet ever-so-sloppy) redhead and her family are rolling around in my mind. I bet her parents may have refinanced their home to help pay her college tuition bills. They may be even working multiple jobs and doing ever so much to help assure that she’ll be “successful” in life. Yet, would I hire her if she showed up at a job interview dressed that way; would I want her for my banker; would I trust her to be an exemplary role-model as a teacher?

Yet the public display of bra straps has made its way into NBC’s Nightly News and I’m hopeful that this cultural “blip” will not be embraced as cultural “progress.” Those of us who may have burned our bras back in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s did so because we were tired of being treated as second-class citizens. We did it because women wanted to be taken seriously. Let’s not stand by and let our daughters, our grand-daughters pummel the life out of the progress we made.

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