samedi 22 mai 2010

Giving the shoulder (unintentionally)

I don't know why all my tops slip from my shoulders lately... At first I felt a little self conscious of my bare shoulder especially in the métro but then after trying to gracefully and furtively reposition it, I just gave up.

It's weird how baring a patch of skin (or more) raises so many questions and controversy. Is it too much skin? Is there an age-limit for showing certain body parts? Which places for which skin etiquette and vice-versa?

I recall this incident that happened to me a few years ago.

I was flying to West Africa when an impromptu long delay forced me and my fellow travellers to stay in Tripoli (Libya). After a night at an hotel, we decided to walk a little outside.

On that burning hot shadowless day, I was wearing my travel outfit: jeans and a short sleeves t-shirt.

Nothing that would ever be considered outrageous either in West Africa where I was headed let alone in Europe or America.

Yet, here I was hailed and harangued by male (of course!) passerbys.

In my (young) naiveté, I didn't understand at first why I was the source of so much passion.

I couldn't even begin to think that my bare forearms, my uncovered face and hair and my whole silhouette as a matter of fact was well, shoking. Indecent.

Needless to say, we went back to our hotel ASAP.

Today, as I was strolling on the rue Cambon, on this bright hot day, I crossed paths with foreigner & French women, of all ages. Some all covered from head to toe, in the - up to debate in France- niqab, hipsters in trendy shorts, and tight bodyconscious mini dress, some others more conservatively dressed in Chanel (head to toe! lucky ladies).

All of us basking and sweating under the sun, all of us mesmerized by the Chanel windows.

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