My Friend Dresses Like a Whore PLUS Collection Question

Dear Robin:

Hello from Los Angeles! I love your blog, keep it up! Here is my question: how do I tell my friend she needs to tone down her wardrobe? She has always been somewhat of an “edgy” dresser, but since her divorce last year she has seriously changed her style, and not for the better. It’s one thing to put some cleavage out there when you are at an evening event, but this woman is wearing a push-up bra and EXTREMELY low cut shirts and short skirts everywhere. Everything she wears is about three sizes too small, which makes the problem worse.

Last week I saw her at a kids’ soccer game (our boys play for the same team) and I was mortified. Her boobs were practically falling out of her shirt, and her shorts were daisy duke-style cutoffs that rode up and showed her butt cheeks. I feel bad for her, because all of the other moms were talking about her and making fun of her. She had no idea, because she was busy flirting with a dad on the sidelines.

Robin, how do I tell my friend she needs to be a little more conservative in her dress?

-Grossed Out

Dear Grossed Out:

Oh boy, this is a tough one. I’ve been there, on both sides. It wasn’t that I regularly dressed slutty, but I had this one corset-style top that was very revealing. I wore it to a party and a friend of mine actually told me the next day that it was very disrespectful to my husband to wear something so revealing. It pissed me off at the time, but later I asked Tom about it and he said that he hated that top and was very uncomfortable when I wore it. Into the garbage it went.

See how I can make your question all about me? I’m brilliant that way!

A very stylish man recently said:

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Of course, this same man designed this:

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and these:

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So there’s that.

I’m so glad you wrote me with this question because I was already considering the subject for a Sunday Rant. What the hell is going on with womens’ fashion these days? Specifically, why are so many female artists wearing so little? I’m not even going to talk about Miley Cyrus, because that fruit just hangs too low. But has anyone else noticed that all of today’s singers NEVER WEAR PANTS OR SKIRTS? All of the top stars perform in what amounts to a bathing suit these days, even the ones who are far past their prime *cough* madonna *cough*

I am not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but this problem is epidemic. Kate Upton is featured this month on the cover of Vanity Fair thusly:

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They don’t put Clooney on the cover with no pants (but I wish just once they would). My point is that as a society, we seem to be undergoing a major paradigm shift in how little clothing women can wear and still avoid a prostitution arrest. It doesn’t help that we are constantly being visually assaulted and as a result acclimated to almost-naked women on television, the Internet, billboards and in magazines.

Diatribe over: back to your slutty-dressing friend. I’d guess her upping of the questionable attire ante post-divorce is a form of acting out and an attempt to attract members of the opposite sex. What you can gather from that is she is probably lonely and not yet comfortable in her single skin. As her friend, you need to help her understand that her choice of clothing reflects on her character and says more about her than she obviously realizes. In addition, there are children to consider. It’s one thing to be considered the “Hot Mom” or a MILF, it’s quite another to shame and embarrass your children because you can’t keep your titties tucked in.

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You’re welcome, boy readers. And lesbian readers!

I don’t have to tell you that this is going to be a very difficult conversation, but I commend you for taking this on. I don’t think it would be especially helpful to tell her that she is the subject of gossip, as that will likely make her feel really awful about herself and create anxiety and worry. There’s nothing worse than knowing that people are talking about you in an unflattering way. Or so I’ve heard, anyway – I’ve always been extraordinarily non-controversial.

Here’s what I suggest: invite your friend over for a drink. Difficult questions must always be handled with the assistance of alcohol, so if you don’t drink, I recommend starting. Spend a good deal of time asking her how she is doing with the divorce. Be an active listener and try to understand what it’s like to be in her (platform lucite rhinestone-studded) shoes.

And then just be honest with her, but be kind. Tell her you notice she has been dressing really sexy lately and that you are worried about the message she may be putting out. Be prepared to offer examples, but emphasize that you understand how difficult it must be to be single and that you also can relate to her wanting to attract a new mate. I’d go so far as to remind her that most men, the good ones at least, don’t want a woman who dresses in an exceptionally provocative manner. It reeks of desperation and invites negative attention from both men and women.

OK, I know I posted this picture the other day but it is SO appropriate here:

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I just love this shot.

But jealousy isn’t what I’m really talking about, right? When women dress really inappropriately, it puts people off and makes them uncomfortable. I cringed imagining how her son must have felt at that soccer game, especially if he observed the other moms talking about his mom. We can only assume that some of that chatter may be transferred from the moms to the kids, so it’s possible he is being teased at school because his mother looks like a hooker. She needs to know.

You don’t have to tell her that she was the subject of discussion at the game, but what you could tell her is how you would feel if you were her child. Maybe that will knock some sense into her.

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If you have your talk and nothing changes, at least you tried. I feel sorry for your friend, and it sounds like she could use some good advice from someone who cares about her.

Finally, I’d speak out for your friend the next time you hear people trash-talking her. I’d say something like, “you know, she’s been through an awful lot lately. Maybe instead of saying nasty things about her you could reach out and see if she’s OK?” I’ve decided public shaming of people who speak ill of others is my new thing, but I’d prefer if you try it first.

Good luck, and let me know what happens.

-Robin

Dear Robin:

I’ve always prided myself in paying my bills on time. So, I was surprised to receive a notice from a collection agency the other day. When I called them, they told me they were collecting on a $150.00 balance for a medical procedure that was done on me 13 years ago. I called the hospital and they confirmed the balance had not been paid by my medical insurance at the time with a company I no longer work for. The hospital wrote off the debt and sold it to the collection agency some years ago.
Why it took them so long to find me I haven’t a clue. The collection agency magnanimously offers to settle for a mere $46.00.
Since the hospital wrote off the debt, do I really need to pay this collection agency? My credit rating is excellent.
What is your opinion?
-Confused in Florida

Dear Confused:

Thank you for the most boring question I have ever received. **sigh**

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I kid! I kid! I actually love your letter, because the answer is the opposite of intuitive. My first inclination was to tell you to pay the bill because these collection companies can really screw up your credit rating. However, I consulted with an expert (thanks, Dad!) who told me that right now this is probably not showing up on your credit report because the item is so old. A bad debt that is older than 7 years old won’t show up on your credit report and, in most states, can’t even be collected. So, you may not even “owe” the debt at this point. If you pay it, you “reinstate” the debt in your report because now you have a very recent date for an action item with respect to that debt. This WILL hurt your credit score substantially.

I suggest you tell the credit collection company

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and if they continue to bother you, report them to the consumer protection division of your state government. I assume Florida has one of those, but your state is kind of wonky, so who knows?

Oh man, I just potentially alienated a large part of my audience. Please accept my apologies. Now go out there and have a great day! Tell your friends about the blog and send me questions!

-Robin

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  1. 1959duke

    Reblogged this on Change is Never Ending.

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