Friday 11 October 2013

Cleavage, But Not the Good Kind

We went to Strong Start the other day. It was busy. Twenty-five or thirty kids. It was crazy.

There was a lot of cleavage on display, but it wasn't the good kind. I know that we're all moms, and we might not have the bodies that we used to, that we want, or that we used to want but now we've given up on, and I know that we're really tired and some days we don't care about our appearances (or just don't have the time to care--I mean, let's face it: some days we're lucky to get a two minute shower, which doesn't allow time for extras like actually washing your hair, or shaving your legs (I'd like to take this moment to apologize to everyone who was at the pool this week)), and I really don't care if you want to be frumpy, I mean, I'm the Queen of Frumpy, but could you maybe please wear longer shirts?

Or at least some underwear? I'm not talking thongs, either. That just makes me think of a girl I went to university with; she quite often had awesome underwear on; we're talking leopard prints and shiny colours, but it was always full coverage; no whale-tails on that girl. I know this because you could almost always see it. I pointed it out to her one day, and her reply was, "Better they see that [my underwear] than the crack of my ass." Excellent point.

The "cleavage" display reminded me of the time my boss and I were talking about how she felt like a babysitter to the front-end staff; she even had to tell the girls constantly that they had to dress appropriately; it's not the kind of business where cleavage needs to be on display. "You need a no-cleavage clause on the application," I said. "Front or back."

When I worked up north in the oil patch, some first aid companies had this in their hiring contracts. It's sad that they actually had to write in that we needed to wear appropriate clothing, and what said clothing was or wasn't. A lot of girls from other cities, though, thought that it was completely appropriate to head in to a remote camp, filled with a bunch of guys who spend their days off drunk at a strip joint, dressed like they worked at a strip joint. Forget being unprofessional; it's just plain distracting!

Don't get me wrong, I think that you should be able to work in a remote camp, naked, and not be assaulted or harassed, but the reality is different. You can be dressed in coveralls over so many layers that you look like the Michelin man, and still be harassed and assaulted up there.We're talking about an industry that used to use first aid companies as escort services (rumour has it that that's how a lot of FA companies got their contracts when they first started in the 80's); when I first started in the mid-nineties, FA Attendants were just starting to change their reputation from slut to professional person.

That was hard to do. You walked in to a rig having first to dispel the assumption that you'd like to make money on the side, and then you'd have to prove that you were there to do first aid in a professional manner, only. You had to do this for every rig that you went to.

So maybe seeing younger girls showing off the cleavage in the 2000's was a bit of a kick in the gut. It felt a bit like they (unknowingly) were undoing a lot of the hard work done in the nineties.

I digress. And the baby just woke up. So I'll sum it up.

Cleavage, especially back, isn't something I want to see. But, if I really don't want to see something on someone else, I don't have to look. That's my philosophy about myself--don't like my hairy legs, don't look at them!

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