“Modern!” Nana gave the sort of sniff she gave when she thought of Gum. “If that’s modern, give me the old-fashioned kind.” (from Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield)
I’m never quite sure what to think of myself when I start to identify with a character like Nana more than any other. She is the old nurse who looks after the three Fossil girls in Ballet Shoes, and in this scene she is horrified by the skimpy fairy costumes made for Pauline and Petrova. The costume designer scoffs at her old-fashioned notion of what fairy costumes should resemble and tells her haughtily that these are modern fairies. The book is set in the year 1931, so I imagine the skimpy-ness of the costumes is modest by today’s standards. I walked past a Halloween store in the local mall yesterday and was absolutely disgusted, saddened and sickened. There was not a decent costume on display for a young woman. Not one. The choices I saw as I walked by were as follows: slutty nurse, slutty girl scout, slutty tinkerbell, slutty Disney princess, slutty vampire woman, and slutty French maid.
Have we completely lost our ability to blush? Do you really want your teenage daughter going to a costume party dressed as a prostitute? Innocence is lost. In high school, my girlfriends and I used to have such fun dressing up as favorite characters or something amusing and we didn’t have to expose most of our breasts and all of our legs to do it. Look, I have nothing at all against nice lingerie. But I prefer to keep my negligee for my husband’s eyes only.
Is it just me? Does anyone else out there think, like Nana and I, that if this is modern we’d prefer old-fashioned????