June 15, 2015

"He was the only man I’ve ever seen who could wear plaid shorts and pull it off. Men shouldn’t wear shorts in the first place."

"The British lost their empire once they started letting colonial officers wear shorts. Who can take orders from a man in shorts?"

Said Tom Wolfe, quoted in the New York Magazine piece "Our Bodies, Ourselves/Running, Jumping, Dancing, Stretching, Smoking: New Yorkers Cough Up Their Fitness Secrets (And Lapses)." The bit about shorts came in the context of naming his favorite part of his own body:
“The gastrocnemius. It’s one of the larger muscles in your calves. It’s well-proportioned.” Body envy: "The one I’ve admired most was Ken Buchanan. He was the lightweight champion of the world from Scotland, and I watched him at Madison Square Garden."
Buchanan is the "he" in the quote in the post title.

[ADDED: What follows is based on my assumption that an article that New York Magazine promoted in its sidebar to me today was a new article. No date is displayed to ward off this assumption. However, the assumption is wrong.]

Also... note to New York Magazine: Fran Lebowitz is not 52. I don't care how much she exercises or how that ultimately makes her look, she's 64, just like me. I remember reading her books in the 1970s. I remember reading her columns in Mademoiselle before those books came out. If she's trying to "pass" as 12 years younger, it won't work on those of us who've done our time in the preceding decades... or did I miss a cultural leap and — like gender and race — you are what you say you are? Not that I think Lebowitz claims to be 52. I think NY Magazine screwed up. And also "you're as young as you feel" is an old old saying. Speaking of 64, 64 years ago there was a movie called "As Young As Your Feel":

That's Marilyn on the cover, but she only has a small role. Here's the whole movie at YouTube. Scroll to 17:00 to see the forever-young goddess. How did Marilyn Monroe keep in shape? I don't know but in 1952, Pageant magazine published an article titled "How I Stay in Shape, By Marilyn Monroe."
I don't know who wrote this, but I doubt if it was Marilyn Monroe, and hardly a word of it rings true, but the idea that there's a way to "feel blond all over" could key into today's obsession with transracialism:

How I Stay in Shape, By Marilyn Monroe

"Frankly, I've never considered my own figure so exceptional; until quite recently, I seldom gave it any thought at all. My biggest single concern used to be getting enough to eat. Now I have to worry about eating too much. I never used to bother with exercises. Now I spend at least 10 minutes each morning working out with small weights. I have evolved my own exercises, for the muscles I wish to keep firm, and I know they are right for me because I can feel them putting the proper muscles into play as I exercise."

She Doesn't Like To Feel Regimented

"Exercise. Each morning after I brush my teeth, wash my face and shake off the first deep layer of sleep, I lie down on the floor beside my bed and begin my first exercise. It is a simple bust-firming routine which consists of lifting five-pound weights from a spread-eagle arm position to a point directly above my head. I do this 15 times, slowly. I repeat the exercise another 15 times from a position with my arms above my head. Then, with my arms at a 45-degree angle from the floor, I move my weights in circles until I'm tired. I don't count rhythmically like the exercise people on the radio; I couldn't stand exercise if I had to feel regimented about it."

How To Feel Blond All Over

"Sports. I have never cared especially for outdoor sports, and have no desire to excel at tennis, swimming, or golf. I'll leave those things to the men. Despite its great vogue in California, I don't think sun-tanned skin is any more attractive than white skin, or any healthier, for that matter. I'm personally opposed to a deep tan because I like to feel blond all over.

By nature, I suppose I have a languorous disposition. I hate to do things in a hurried, tense atmosphere, and it is virtually impossible for me to spring out of bed in the morning. On Sunday, which is my one day of total leisure, I sometimes take two hours to wake up, luxuriating in every last moment of drowsiness. Depending upon my activities, I sleep between five and ten hours every night. I sleep in an extra-wide single bed, and I use only one heavy down comforter over me, summer or winter. I have never been able to wear pajamas or creepy nightgowns; they disturb my sleep."

A Set of Bizarre Eating Habits

"Breakfast. I've been told that my eating habits are absolutely bizarre, but I don't think so. Before I take my morning shower, I start warming a cup of milk on the hot plate I keep in my hotel room. When it's hot, I break two raw eggs into the milk, whip them up with a fork, and drink them while I'm dressing. I supplement this with a multi-vitamin pill, and I doubt if any doctor could recommend a more nourishing breakfast for a working girl in a hurry.

Dinner. My dinners at home are startlingly simple. Every night I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all. I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots.

P.S. It's a good thing, I suppose, that I eat simply during the day, for in recent months I have developed the habit of stopping off at Wil Wright's ice cream parlor for a hot fudge sundae on my way home from my evening drama classes. I'm sure that I couldn't allow myself this indulgence were it not that my normal diet is composed almost totally of protein foods."


Bob Ellison said...

OK, I just have to jump in here and anticipate that Laslo will say, "I feel blondes all over."

I am not Laslo.

Scott said...

I'm doing the Dr. Joel Fuhrman thing, eating food with high nutrient density. May 1 my weight was 273. This morning, June 15, it is 261. What's even better, my blood glucose is improving dramatically. I feel like I'm plateauing, though, so I set a goal of buying myself a new Swatch if I can get my weight down below 255 for three days.

Henry said...

By nature, I suppose I have a languorous disposition

Languorous is a really lovely word. I remember an essay on film stars that described Greta Garbo as phlegmatic. Phlegmatic does not invoke loveliness. Languor, on the other hand...

Mark Larson said...

I think it must be an old article since everyone's ages seem to be off by 10 or so years.

Mark Larson said...

Yup, the article is from 2003.

Unknown said...

All the ages are wrong. Tom Wolfe is 84, not 72, etc.
I think this article is from 12 years ago. John C Reilly is 50, not 37.

Scott said...

Really, you're disgusted by men in shorts? Here come men in skirts:

"Now recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in the industry, USA Kilts is ever evolving to meet the needs of the kilt wearing public. We specialize in educating and guiding new kilt wearers in their purchases to make sure their needs are met. From our casual to our wool kilts, we produce custom made garments on a made to order basis."

William said...

Fran Leibowitz has had the most successful career ever for a writer suffering writer's block. She's really good at looking dyspeptic. Perhaps she is the true heir of Oscar Levant.........I'm pretty good at exercise. I don't think that it has anything to do with virtue or self discipline. Probably more to do with some hunter-gatherer gene that impels you to go out running. That same gene also makes one oblivious to worrying about how Tom Wolfe perceives your calf muscles.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

"He bought a boat. Deal with it, you upright, ridiculous, short-panted, ninnified Manhattan thumbsuckers in your million-dollar rat’s-nest apartments," writes Kevin Willimson today at NRO. Bold text highlighted by me.

lemondog said...

re: men shouldn't wear shorts: BALONEY

Larry J said...

British "Desert Rats" in World War II

Australian Soldiers in Shorts

More British Soldiers in Shorts

Soldiers in Shorts

Skeptical Voter said...

Let's not be catty Ms. Althouse. If Rachel Dolezal can feel black and pass for black, Fran Lebowitz can "pass" for 52. After all, it's all in the mind.

As for me, I feel like a sub four minute miler--a legend in my own mind, I can run the mile in 3 minutes 45 seconds. Out on the track however I'm more like a 12 minute guy shufflin' along to Buffalo as it were.

n.n said...

Women in pants. While the ladies are known as the fairer sex with good and sufficient cause, progressive confusion caused by the gender equivalence movement has taken its toll.

tim in vermont said...

I notice that Allen Cummings got a pass for sporting shorts in the opening section of the Tony Awards.

If your politics are correct, you may wear shorts. Though he didn't look good in them. That is for sure.


He actually makes Althouse's case pretty strongly.

tim in vermont said...

I think that the reason men in shorts bother women is the fact that men in shorts are generally not interested in the opinion of women on their fashion choices and need a woman's opinion on fashion like a fish needs a bicycle. I could care less what women or prigs think of my golf course attire, for example. Or what I wear while working in the yard or eating at an informal restaurant. Would I wear shorts to The Ivy in Soho? No.

traditionalguy said...

So 64 is the new 52...or maybe 44 if your friends go along with it without laughing.

Transitioning is a primarily hormonal therapy in Age as in Gender. Human Growth Hormone and Testosterone, don't leave home without them.

Ann Althouse said...

"Yup, the article is from 2003."

Well, hell. I don't see the date and the website had it listed in the sidebar as if it were new.

Bay Area Guy said...

Marilyn comes off as articulate, sensible, and reasonably intelligent in the article. Good for her.

lgv said...

Would it be wrong if she self-identified as 52? Maybe she feels 52 on the inside and looks it with a little makeup help. Sometimes I feel 65 and self-identify as 65, handy for the senior discount at the movie theater.

I know the article is 13 years old, but what if.

Moose said...

Wearing shorts AS I TYPE THIS.

Mark Larson said...


Archive: “Cover Story”
Articles by Jada Yuan | Sarah Bernard
Table of Contents: Jan 20, 2003 issue of New York | Subscribe!

Found it at the bottom of the article. It is far from obvious.

mishu said...

She's trans 52.

My Sex Toys said...

he kilt first appeared as the great kilt, the breacan or belted plaid, during the 16th century, and is Gaelic in origin. The filleadh mòr or great kilt was a full-length garment whose upper half could be worn as a cloak draped over the shoulder, or brought up over the head. A version of the filleadh beag (philibeg), or small kilt (also known as the walking kilt), similar to the modern kilt was invented by an English Quaker from Lancashire named Thomas Rawlinson some time in the 1720s. He felt that the belted plaid was “cumbrous and unwieldy”, and his solution was to separate the skirt and convert it into a distinct garment with pleats already sewn, which he himself began wearing.