Opinions on bra straps and leggings

Christina Ryan Claypool - Contributing Columnist

There’s an old saying about opinions. It’s a quote from Albert Einstein, “One should respect an honest person even if he expresses opinions differing from one’s own.” Regrettably, our country seems to be stuck in an ongoing dispute about whose opinion is right concerning any issue imaginable.

Whenever possible, I prefer to avoid arguments about insignificant topics or political beliefs. Yet I have to speak up about the case of the distasteful bra strap. To explain, the other day I went to a credible Internet website searching for national news. I was surprised to find the page inundated with breaking news about the reaction to what Ivanka Trump wore to her father’s first speech before a joint session of Congress. The designer dress created controversy over what looked like a black bra strap peeking out.

Can I be candid about the wayward strap by repeating a line from the 1939 classic movie “Gone with the Wind”? “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a (hoot) …” Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) said this to Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh). It was Butler’s official break-up line after a decade of trying to win Scarlett’s heart. He just didn’t care anymore.

Personally, I don’t care about that questionable bra strap either. It’s not because I’m a Republican or a Democrat, rather it’s about being an American citizen who is deeply concerned about the real problems that our nation is facing.

Of course, I have opinions. Truthfully, I have never liked bra straps showing. I grew up pre-Victoria’s Secret, and it was a real fashion taboo bordering on indecency if a bra strap was even barely visible. Women of my generation either burned their bras championing for women’s rights, or relied on safety pins to keep them hidden.

Now, wherever I go, I see bra straps everywhere. It’s rather in-style to let that different colored bra strap show, whether it’s a workout top, summer outfit, or even an elegant evening dress. I’ve come to accept the new bra strap mentality.

Bottom line, though, is that Ivanka Trump’s dress didn’t have a bra strap showing. It was designed that way, making this meaningless debate about bra strap etiquette rather pointless.

Still, now that we’re on the subject, what’s your opinion about all those leggings out there? First of all, they sure don’t leave much to the imagination. Thus it would seem wrong to blame adolescent boys or curious men for staring.

Secondly, before leaving the house in leggings, one might want to take a peek at their back view in a full-length mirror. Leggings might be flattering on someone young and thin, or on a woman built like Jillian Michaels, but on most of us, not so much.

The above leggings’ observations are only my sentiments. It doesn’t really matter what I think, because odds are, everyone will have their own view.

Where do our opinions come from? “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” This quote is from playwright Oscar Wilde who died over a century ago.

It rings true today though. For instance, as a former TV reporter doing “man on the street” interviews with young children, it was always fun to listen to them spout off their parents’ ideas when asked a question about current affairs. They usually got their facts a little mixed up, which made it all the more humorous. Then children mature, and begin to forge their own beliefs based on information like their life experiences, educational background, inherited core values of faith or other beliefs, the media and social media, and the views of the individuals they encounter, etc.

In the end, we all have varying philosophies about almost everything. There was a time when our country flourished, because we celebrated and respected each other regardless of our dissimilarities.

There’s another quote, this one by Thomas Jefferson that illustrates this point. “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” Jefferson authored the first draft of the Declaration of Independence and was also the third president of our nation.

Over two centuries ago, it looks like folks were fighting over whose belief was correct even back then. Although, like Jefferson, we have to find a way to respect the opinions of others, even if we can’t embrace them. Yes, even opinions about bra straps and leggings.


Christina Ryan Claypool

Contributing Columnist

Christina Ryan Claypool is a freelance journalist and inspirational speaker. Her website is www.christinaryanclaypool.com.

Christina Ryan Claypool is a freelance journalist and inspirational speaker. Her website is www.christinaryanclaypool.com.