In its February 2017 issue, Town + Country published a feature on “the 50 most eligible bachelors,” using subheadings such as “returned to the market” and “heirs apparent” and offering the following by way of introduction: “We’ve done the tough work of identifying the men most worthy of your attention. You’re welcome.”
Spoiler alert: “the men most worthy of our attention” are all wealthy, powerful, from famous families, and–it must be said–likely massive egomaniacs. But don’t worry, ladies, T+C has done the hard work of sleuthing out intimate and important details like “we hear he makes a mean lobster fettucine,” “he has a vacation home near The Little Nell [in Aspen, CO],” and “he loves posting lip-syncing videos on Instagram.”
In moments like this, I feel something akin to cultural whiplash–here I am, plodding along, feeling like we’ve made a lot of progress when it comes to gender norms and stereotypes, and then, SCREECH, what?!? How can we have mainstream publications–and highbrow ones at that–publishing this sort of 50s-era content? The copy reads fairly tongue-in-cheek, but still. It honestly brought to mind the script of a Christopher Guest movie, but without the reassurance that we’re all in on the joke.
As I tried to unpack why the spread had sat so poorly with me, I thought about this fascinating Vogue read on why so many famous feminists watch The Bachelor. The article suggests that The Bachelor is especially fertile ground for understanding and dissecting cultural norms around gender, sex, relationships, and marriage–it puts everything in high relief. I shared the Vogue article with my smart friend K. (more on this woman of substance here) because I’d recently confessed to her that I’d been tuning in to watch The Bachelor, and had sheepishly tried to write it off as a “guilty pleasure” I was watching only because “I’m pregnant and have nothing else to do” LOLOLOLOL. But the truth was, I wasn’t sure why I was watching it. It’s kind of like watching a car wreck. I often heave huge sighs, cringe, and rail against the bachelor (he is so smarmy!) to Mr. Magpie, who finds the entire program disgusting.
She wrote back to me: “It’s cathartic to be able to recognize obvious sexism and point at it and rally against it. Day to day sexism can be more complicated and frustrating and nuanced.”
What she said.
Do you ladies watch? What do you think?
I should also mention that sometimes I veer towards the over-analytical. Maybe an ice cream cone is just an ice cream cone and sometimes we just want a self-indulgent, mindless, bad-for-you treat, no strings attached.
Tell me yo thoughts. I’ve been swimming around in this head space since writing about my aspirations for my daughter making her own voice heard, and, yes, since spending some time thinking about Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement, so maybe I’m in too deep.
But in the meantime, I’ll cover a “borrowed from the bachelors” trend that I’ve been seeing a lot so far this season: shirting stripes, in a variety of shapes and forms. (Incidentally, there were a lot of stripes in this post on the dramatic-sleeve trend.)
My top picks:
+Veronica Beard striped dress ($450).
+Gap tie-waist bow dress ($62).
+Chicwish striped bow-waist dress ($59).
+TopShop belted shirtdress (on sale for $118).
I’m also kind of into the embroidered detail on these striped looks:
+Get the look with this Adam Lippes striped dress ($890).
+Striped, bell-sleeved, AND embroidered — all of the trends in one ($38).
+Or, go modest on the trend with this accent-collar button-down from J. Crew ($88).
ALSO — I’m dying over this chic $61 #budgetbuy. So cute for a summer BBQ / Cinco de Mayo festivities.
Or, if it’s a statement top you’re after:
+MDS Stripes top ($395).
+Madewell top ($69).
+Speaking of Ortiz, the asymmetrical top showcased in one of the top snaps is one of hers (shown below, $795). Lucky for us, Stylekeepers came out with a lookalike for $100. LOVE. Talk about turning up for a little night out!
And, finally — for just a hint of this trend — how adorable is this bow-accented sweatshirt ($109)?! If you look closely, you’ll note that the fabric of the bows is a shirting stripe. Super cute with jeans and sneaks.
More good good…