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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Mandy Nolan’s Soap Box: Looks to die for

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Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Byron’s Back

‘Byron’s dead’. That’s the statement that I often hear. Or ‘I never go there anymore it’s lost’ or ‘Byron died years ago’. It always makes me feel a bit sad and defensive. I have such a love for this place, although I curse it when I get stuck in snaking traffic at 8am on a weekday morning or I can’t find a park near where I am going.

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skinny-jeansIt’s official. Skinny jeans are dangerous. Last week an Adelaide woman, or should we say ‘fashion victim’, caused herself serious nerve damage wearing skinny jeans while helping a friend clean. After hours in squatting position emptying cupboards the woman lost feeling in her feet and was found collapsed in a park. She was rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and was diagnosed with a case of ‘very, very tight skinnies’.

Apparently squatting in skinnies compressed her nerves and caused muscles to swell inward. This is what caused her paralysis. After four days she regained the use of her legs.

Fashion has always been dangerous. Ever since Eve first strapped on her fig leaf and then discovered she’d contracted fungal leaf spot (possibly a forerunner to modern-day thrush) we women have been subjected to some bizarre fashion trends. High-heeled shoes are a great example of a device that seems to have no relationship with the mandate of a shoe: that which protects and supports ease of movement. In fact, high heels are designed to limit and repress one’s motion. Plus they cause bunions and hammertoes. Hmm, hammertoes are hot.

G-strings not only ride up and give you nasty crackburn; they can also give you a urinary tract or vaginal infection from harbouring bacteria in unwelcome places. Especially if you already have a bit of leaf rot. Heavy earrings make your earlobes resemble misshapen labia. Overloaded handbags can throw your back out and tight belts, like the dreaded skinnies, can cause numbness and nerve damage.

And if discomfort and mutilation aren’t enough, there’s also a little problem with poisoning. Most fabrics are dyed with toxic chemicals that you absorb through your skin. Polyesters can lower your sperm count. Mine is almost zero. So it seems the natural-toned raw hemp kaftan may be the only safe alternative.

It seems we women have always had a penchant for killer fashion. Back in the 19th century we went nuts for the crinoline. Made of steel, it puffed out a lady’s skirt so her waist looked smaller. Unfortunately any passing gust of wind could literally make a woman airborne. This made waving one’s sailor lover farewell from the pier a lethal activity. Many the lovelorn lass sank to the bottom of the sea, weighted down by a steel cage.

Skirts would get caught in carriage spokes and drag women down the street. Others knocked over candles with their skirt girth and performed their own impromptu witch burnings. And in 1863 in Santiago, up to 3,000 people died in a church fire when people couldn’t exit the building due the the amount of women’s skirts blocking the door.

Then there was the corset. Laced to extremes, the internal organs were re-positioned with the liver in the throat and lungs in the belly. Organs were so tightly crammed a woman could suffer internal bleeding.

Footbinding created weird-looking lotus feet, similar to a hoof. Women generally died of gangrene. Most wanted gangrene because it meant the toes would fall off and death was apparently a better risk than life with normal feet. These small rotting packages of broken and decomposing toes stank like death, but somehow this was preferable to a normal unsullied foot which, ironically, was seen as the foot of loneliness as no man would marry a woman who could still run.

Men were also subject to killer looks. Stiff collars would often cut of the supply of blood to the carotid artery. If you drank too much port and nodded off after supper the forward tilting of your head would cause you to suffocate. Although felting is now the favoured activity of chemical-free Steiner schooling, felt was once imbued with mercury, making the wearing and making of hats both unsafe and crazy. Ironic considering now not wearing hats is unsafe and ‘crazy’!

I always knew that skinny jeans were uncomfortable but who would have thought that tight jeans could kill? They are going to have to come with some sort of warning created by a skinny-jeans regulatory authority. Maybe like the photos on the ciggies with pictures of women bending over or squatting uncomfortably while scrubbing bins. WARNING: SKINNY JEANS MAY CAUSE NERVE DAMAGE. SQUATTING MAY LEAD TO PERMANENT DISABILITY.

Of course there are other options. You could just not squat. Or clean. This kind of thing would never happen in tracky dax. No, you can squat for hours in your trackies and the only feeling you lose is your pride.


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1 COMMENT

  1. When ends won’t meet, and the thread of the cloth is stretched to the limit and you need to zip it but the zipper won’t zip, then you are more hip than you thought you were.

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