July 19, 2008

Was It or Wasn't It?

A few days ago I put up a post that caused me to get my first negative comment. I immediately felt like junk and deleted that puppy right off my blog. But it caused me to freeze up. I was suddenly afraid to post ANYTHING. So I spent the last few days self examining and trying to figure out what the heck happened. Was my radar totally off? Had I crossed some line and not even known it? (The lucky thing is, if you have a blogreader like googlereader or bloglines you probably saw it already because once it’s posted it stays there. Just another plug to get on a reader.)

I had posted about a woman at a party we attended and the fact that she was a genuinely nice person but her shirt was so low as to cause a bit of distraction. It was a situation that caused a bit of discomfort for my husband, my teenage son, and me and I was trying to use humor to get the point across that we women really need to think about the effect our clothing choices have on the people around us.

I did use some colorful slang but I didn’t want to keep saying the word Boob over and over. Maybe that was it.

I also posted it with a picture that I happened to snap of the offending shirt, but the woman’s face was intentionally hidden and maybe the picture sent it over the top. I don’t’ know.

Maybe it was the delivery. You can't really hear my tone when you're reading it so I guess it could be read as harsher than it was intended.

But when I went back to read it (minus the picture) I didn’t understand what my reader got so worked up about. So here I go posting it again. I do hope you get my point that the women seemed like a wonderful person but her choice of clothing made us very uncomfortable. It was not an attack on her or meant to be mean-spirited in any way.

Now the perks were that my husband and I had a good bonding chuckle over it and he stared into my eyes most of the afternoon. The drawbacks….my son got a good solid eyeful.

So without any further ado, here I go again with much trepidation. Am I off my rocker or is this terribly offensive?

A Letter To The Lady With Her Boobs Hanging Out Of Her Shirt

Dear Boobalicious Woman,

First I would like to welcome you and your chest to the party.

I have to admit that it was your chest that I noticed first as you entered since there was so much of it showing. It took a few moments for me to pull my eyes away and see your friendly smiling face.

And I’m sure that as you were getting dressed before the party you thought you looked HOT when you glanced in the mirror, pretty proud of the fact that you were holding that whole shirt up without any help of straps, sticky tape, or super glue. But I would like to mention that as the hours passed your shirt got lower…and lower…and lower.

Now if we were in a group of girls, hey girlfriend, you just go right ahead and get your boob on. But unfortunately you were in a room with my husband, my teenage son, and plenty of other men. Men who happen to WANT to stay faithful to their wives or themselves, with their body as well as their thought life. You know how rare that is?

And maybe you just don’t understand how hard it is for a guy to turn the other way. I’m telling you, I’ve got my own set of hooters and I STILL had to work hard not to stare at yours. They were like a big booby magnet.

So next time can you just keep them tucked into your shirt? You’re a really pretty woman with a nice smile. That is, after I could yank my eyes away from your chest and focus on your face. In fact, when I got to talking with you I though to myself, “She’s kind of cool; somebody I could be friends with.” But I have to admit, I might hesitate to have you over to my house for dinner because I’d be worried that we’d all have to stare at our plates all night.

Now, I’ve had moments where I could have been a little more careful with my shirt too so I just want to thank you for the reminder that it’s a good idea to lead with my smile rather than my knockers. I’d like people to be able to pick my face out of a crowd rather than my…well, you know what I mean.




ZaleaRose said...

I see nothing wrong with the post. I see your point exactly. This was a problem that I and my family faced recently at a funeral of all places. My 17 year old cousin, who is a lovely christian, had the same problem. It is very hard not to notice when you're afraid that they might fall out at any time!

Halfmoon Girl said...

Well, I am not boobalicious- just wasn't blessed with that, but God knew what He was doing as I like to play soccer (which involves a lot of jostling and bouncing). I think that we need a reminder of our attire once in a while. My pastor gives a little speech about it in June to remind the ladies about men trying to keep pure. I am like you- when I see a well endowed person who is well exposed, I have a hard time not staring. I saw this on Google Reader and wondered why it wasn't posted. 'course now I am dying to read the comment!

carrie said...

I think you already know how I feel about this post.

So I won't repeat myself here.

But I'm glad you reposted it.

chickadee said...

i am not offended. your blog. your opinion!

Tina said...

I've only just started reading your blog and that was the first post I read. I saw nothing wrong with it. Don't let negative comments stop you from blogging.

We all get negative comments once in a while. We can't please everyone all the time.

Happy blogging! :)

Anonymous said...

nothing wrong with the post.. it was a good reminder to every woman. I like to know what the mean comment was about.

Jimmie said...

I read it via bloglines before you snatched it. I didn't see any photo, though. I thought your post was brilliant! I've wanted to say those words to many a woman before.

We were in a restaurant in America last fall when I young lady (teens? twenties?) came in with what looked like her mom. The girl's shirt was designed to look like a purple bra was showing around the neckline. And man, did it show. The poor thing was flatchested as all get out, but she was trying. Her mom, on the other hand, was quite well endowed. She was obviously the trend setter in the house because she was showing off her goods too.

LIke you, I could hardly stop staring. It was broad daylight in a diner style family restuarant (like Steakand Shake). What in the flip are people thinking coming to have burgers dressed like tramps?? I was so incredulous! I really had half a mind to go up to them and say, "YOu are distracting the snot out of me with your distasteful clothing!"

So I loved your post!!

Some would say it's sour grapes. I'm still an A. :-(

candi said...

Glad to see it is back. I was just telling my friend about this post and when I went back it was gone. You make a point that I think needs to be made more often. I am the mom of 4 boys so I am very sensitive to how women dress around us.
Thanks for touching on a difficult subject (twice!!) and making me crack up at the same time!!

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

I read it on bloglines and went to comment and it wasn't there; wondered what was up.

I know your heart. :) You're not a meany. And I would probably feel the same way.

Blog etiquette can be tough. I always try to read my posts as if anyone and everyone might read it. (Like I would make sure I was ok if boobalicious woman read it.)

You never know; you may have made a well-endowed reader think twice about her wardrobe which will in turn guard others' eyes and minds. :)

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

Definitely better without the picture. Important words. But also little uncomfortable for me imagining the woman potentially finding herself blogged about.

StephieAnne said...

I very much appreciated the post. Having just gone to the American Idol concert and being aghast at the attire of Syesha - unable to hear any of her music because of what she was wearing, it recently hit home. I kept thinking, "Was that really necessary when we have thousands of families in attendance hoping for a "clean show"?"

I think your humor was just perfect....

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

Well. No clue what happened or what was said by the one offended...BUT, I can tell you this:

Yesterday, we were at a amusement park and I saw SEVERAL women there who were letting it all hang out, and it completely HACKED me off.

They knew what they were doing when they got dressed that morning. And I know that because I am a girl who has had to make those decisions while dressing (not always wisely). They were trying to draw attention for themselves and they got it. By my almost 12 year old son. Which infuriates me and I give no apology for that.

I could go on for years without pause about why I have a right, as a parent, to be mad, but I'll hold it to say: When I get past the thought that my son had to deal with that (which isn't easy as his Mama), I actually start to feel sorry for the person doing that to herself.

Yeah, you get attention all right, but it is the kind of attention that winds up getting you hurt in one way or another before it's over with. You can have an awesome body and dress decently and STILL get noticed. Then, everyone wins. Nobody has to struggle and you don't have to lose all your self-respect.

And that's how I feel.

Terri said...

I think you made your point very well. Your post is funny but it certainly gets the point across. It is not offensive.

...and i do agree with you :-)


justjuls said...

Hey Gayle -
I thought that your letter was humorous - and took it in that spirit. In all fairness, I think the picture probably went a little too far - but I know that you didn't do it to be mean. So I took it that way. I did read the original post on Google Reader.
I am "well endowed" - but I know there are certain types of clothes that I can never, EVER wear. The end. For some women I feel sad because they really see this as their only asset and the attention they get as building their self-esteem. I have been distracted too by the amount of skin that some choose to expose - so I can only imagine what challenge this presents for men.
I am probably going to react to this even more strongly when my son is old enough to start noticing in that way.

LouAnne said...

Gayle, I seriously appreciated this post. I'm a mom with two grown sons, and one little guy on his way up. It's always annoyed me when women "let it all hang out."

I wanted to give you a standing ovation by the time I read the first post. It was lighthearted and humorous, but you dealt with a serious issue. Loved the post.

Glad you put it back up, because after I read it through my reader, I was popping over to leave you a WOOT comment.. but alas, it was gone.

Thanks again for ALWAYS giving us something to think about and for doing it with an awesome attitude.

BTW.. your first negative?! Girl, that's impressive. I've been blogging for years (six to be exact) and folks will leave negative comments about laundry soap! LOL! I'm thankful this was your first. :-) Have a good one!

Anonymous said...

I don't think there is one thing wrong with what you wrote. While I don't tend to be on the legalistic side of dressing myself or my daughters I do think there is a line to draw when it comes to modesty. Christian women, please don't cause our husbands and sons to stumble. You are accountable. Thankfully my girls don't desire to show their tummies (ewe) and they no where shorts or leggings under their skirts or dresses, mostly of their own choice. They say they feel naked without them, and I am perfectly happy to find a variety of leggings in different lengths and colors for them. And you know what, they look very cute dressed that way. (oh, and their skirts are never above the knee).

Anonymous said...

I thought your post to be very humorous as well as an eye-opener (no pun intended!). It is very hard these days to get modest clothing ~ especially being a Christian woman. Even maternity clothing is revealing! Thanks for the post.... B.

Gotta GROW with it said...

now how in the world did i miss out on all this drama? i look at your blog almost every day and i don't remember seeing the boobie post.

girl, one reason i love your spot is because of your honesty
second is your humor
and third is your way of gettin your point across.

i say lop it off and write from your heart. it is YOUR blog btw and what people think or write should not inhibit you. especially because from what i've read...you do it with sincerity.

bottom line for me...whoever and whatever happened: i still love ya! psalms 19:14!

Emily said...

Don't you feel better now? I know I do. I was going to have to kick some butt...them messing with you like that.

Emily said...

Oh no. I said BUTT....are they coming after me next?

Monica said...

Thanks for writing what so many of us think. There is a wonderful woman in our church who dresses the same way AND she's breastfeeding, so I'm sure you can imagine. I've considered saying something to her, but just haven't come up with the right words quite yet. I'm concerned for the males in my family, but also for my girls who are trying to figure out what is appropriate and fashionable.

Maybe I'll forward you her letter:)

Rhen @yestheyareallmine said...

Love the post, love the message!
I have a decently sized pair but the only person getting an eyeful is my hubbyman. Now I can't hide curves but there is no need for the neverending cleavage or a shirt that just barely covers nipples.

EEEEMommy said...

I'm probably one of you more "sensitive" readers, and if I had an issue with this post, I wouldn't be afraid to say so. I don't! There's no judgment; nothing cruel....
I pray that the humor with which you deliver the message would strike a chord with well-endowed women everywhere who happen across your post. Personally, I'd like to distribute it in mass quantities, maybe I could start one of those e-mail chain letters....pass this on to your twelve most well-endowed friends...;) I know my husband would appreciate it!

maudie-mae said...

Gayle, you took a potentially volatile subject from a mom's point of view, wrote a well-thought out posting with humor included. You called no real names, you shamed no one. Feelings just are, and yours belong to you. NO ONE can fault you for having them. Your feelings are based on values you hold dear and by reading many of your comments, they are held dear by many other women. Keep your courage up!!!

Kelli said...

I see nothing wrong with your post at all, I didn't get to see the pic though :-(
Women, girls, have been so conditioned to think that the only way to look "nice" is to look "sexy" it's sad.
I'm embarrassed all the time when we go out with our kids--especially for my 15 yr old stepson.
I always run my outfits by my hubby before I leave the house. I spent most of my life as a very small b but thanks to a 20 lb weight gain i'm now a d and it takes a lot of adjusting!

Anonymous said...

Don't fret. I have been visiting your blogs for a while now and can tell that you aren't a malicious person. I believe the experience will prepare you for the next time it happens. You can whisper confidentially to the offending objects - ahem, I mean person - that she may not realize this, but her blouse needs readjusting. Kind of like letting someone know that their fly is down. If you say it in an informative way they shouldn't be offended or hurt.

The Nest Egg said...

I followed you over from your other blog.

I thought your post was humorous and not mean spirited at all!

I totally agree with women showing way to much with low cut shirts. Drives me nuts! It can be embarrassing for innocent bystanders. I was actually talking to a friend about this the other day. I'll have to send her over to read it. :)

Leanne said...


It's MY turn to weigh in!

I just got back from SE Oregon late last night, and so I haven't checked in with you till today.

Allow me to say that, knowing you in real life, I know your heart and I know how you are. I know you use colorful language sometimes, and to me, it's humorous because it's light and you don't use it to be a potty mouth.

Think with me: aren't we surrounded by boobs and butts and too tight clothes even AT CHURCH??? Should we be??

I am VERY VERY VERY protective of what meets my husband's and son's eyes. This is my job to be vigilant and to pray that the Lord will protect them from lust and impure eyes and thoughts.

A lot of these women know exactly what they are doing.....but, as I have to remind myself, can we expect non Christians to live according to our standards, especially if they've never been told?? WHO will share with them these truths??

Dave's sister, who is not a Christian, dresses like that, and she is VERY WELL endowed, it's so embarrassing because she is such a nice girl! I'm more embarrassed for her!

It irritates me that no pastor in the churches is addressing this issue! Instead of being so obsessed with the Lord coming back, how about making sure everyone is ready and preach some hard messages about men's eyes and ladies clothing!!!

So. I will step down off of my soapbox and tell you that I enjoyed the letter and I'm glad you decided to repost it!

Allow me one more thought: what if we, as ladies, were to tell those around us, gently and kindly, just how they really look and what it does to others?

Let's hold each other accountable, for crying out loud!!


Cookingmama said...

I was at a youth leader meeting and a fellow female youth leader had a cleavage showing shirt on and it was the 2nd meeting I have been at with her and she wore a revealing shirt both times. I didn't say anything to her, but I sure wanted too! Guys are so visual and we need to help our sons, brothers in the Lord (and husbands) by dressing cute but not letting it all hang out there. Thanks for sharing!

WendyDarling said...

Sadly, I missed the original posting. I am glad that you posted it, again.

I completely agree with you, I and I was not offended at all. I think you handled it very tactfully.

gail said...

hi gayle,
loved the post. didn't see the first one or the pic, but your humor and concern comes thru.

i have a question tho: i have a good friend who dresses this way. and its getting worse. in the winter she seems to tone it down. i have wanted to say something to her since she works with alot of men and will even wear the boobie exposing shirts to church. any ideas on how to say something tactful yet letting her know its become a problem? she's a great gal and has a wonderful husband and 2 young boys!

tongue tied gail in idaho

ConservaChick said...

WHAT? This was your first negative comment? I get them all the time! Usually angry Liberals. I just don't post the comments that are mean (trying to keep my blog a happy place where only I'm allowed to say mean things(:

My thoughts? It's your blog, post what you want. Are you writing to please your readers... or yourself?

Oh, and the whole boob post was hysterical. Some of those bank fund raisers are like boob fest! OK, to be honest, I bought a great dress that maybe showed a little more than usual (although not nearly as much as some) but my hubby vetoed it. Yet I take no offense to your post. Some people just need to get over their bad selves. Love ya ~K

Ronnica said...

I totally understand what you mean. I sat across the aisle from a woman at a restaurant one time (a family restaurant at noon on Sunday, no less) who had ample cleavage for all to see. I couldn't keep from glancing over there over and over, and I'm not even a guy! I doubt she could even tell you the eye color of the guy she was with as his gaze was distracted elsewhere.

Marsha Marsha Marsha said...

While the picture never showed up in my bloglines, I did read your post and thought it was excellent-- there was a lot of mental Amen's from this corner!

I don't think you were offensive at all. Let the negative comments go... unless you personally attack someone, I wouldn't worry about it. The offended reader can see your for who you are-- BE REAL! And if they don't like what they read, I usually suggest that they just move on and quit reading rather than stay and be upset or cause conflict.

mom0ktdid said...

I am so glad I got to finally read it! I kept clicking and clicking and thinking...what am I missing here? There is nothing by that title here, but boy do I want to read it!
This was an awesome post! It needs to be on a billboard!
LOVE it!
(and what about those people who do this, and are sometimes rather...eh..well endowed all over...then they do the "re-adjust" thing where they pull it all back up where it's supposed to be?...anyone ever seen that?...ew!"
I love this post so much I am going to link it from my blog!

Kelly said...

There is nothing at all wrong with your post - I didn't see it as mean-spirited and I didn't think the language was too colorful - "boobylicious" isn't exactly a curse word, at least not in my book :)

Just to play the devil's advocate, I will say that as a "boobie blessed" woman myself, I sometimes find myself wearing things I just bought that are perfectly fine when I leave the house but get...more revealing, shall we say, as the day wears on. I've had to go into a ladies' room on more than one occasion and whip out my emergency stash of safety pins!

From the way you describe it, though, I don't think this woman was at all surprised by how revealing her clothes were.

As a Catholic Christian, my faith teaches modesty (as most faiths do), and I try VERY hard to uphold that. Many women forsake modesty for fashion, which is completely unnecessary - many high-fashion clothes are completely modest. And you also have to look at the situation you're in. I would wear a lower-cut dress to a beach wedding in Puerto Rico than I would to a church wedding in the States. It's all about context, and unfortunately, some people are not blessed with powers of discernment...

Which is a LONG way to go to say: great post, Gayle!

Rachel said...

I think there is nothing wrong with the post; you handled the issue well and I feel the same as you about the topic! But, I can see where people would be bothered by a picture of the actual woman.

I've been lurking for awhile now; I love your blog and the way you approach each topic. Thanks for a great read!

Delmajesty said...

Oh how I giggled. So totally NOT offensive in any way.

Jana said...

I'm a future teacher, and you'd be surprised or not by what student teachers and even teachers already in the classroom are wearing.

I learned the rule of modesty years ago. I had been involved in dance at church. We had the "modesty" talk every time we danced. And if there was a girl who was not modest, we heard about it.

I think you should pass the letter around. I'm sure there are a lot people who might need to read it.

Marcy said...

I love this post! It needs to be said...again and again and again! Seriously, some people just don't think before they walk out the door! I think that someone could always be potentially offended by anything. But, it's your blog and you didn't say anything that was inappropriate in my opinion. You are right!

Anonymous said...

I just recently starting reading your blog (and your grocery shopping blog). I always enjoy the things you write. You are honest, and funny. That was my impression the of the post, the first time I read it. I was sad when I went to comment and it had been taken down. I am glad you put it back up.

MommaofMany said...

Nothing wrong with that post, Gayle. In fact, thank you to writing to that woman in my church who loves to dangle the boobies in front of all the men. Drives me crazy!

Kelley said...

I just happened upon your blog today and couldn't pass up commenting on this post. I am all for it. I think it is right on and well put. I can see writing a similar one to the guy at Kroger who wears his pants down BELOW his butt cheeks....like we want to SEE his crack.

40winkzzz said...

Oh, this is a classic. Hilarious, yet gets the point across very well. I'm glad you re-posted.

Tanya said...

Bravo Gayle, More of us need to take a stand on things like this and make people aware of how they are exposing themselves. I loved your letter!!!!

Kristen said...

My husband and I laughed hysterically as I read your note aloud. I am very well endowed and honestly hadn't given a lot of thought to this. Now I will for sure! Everything you said made perfect sense and I'm now left to wonder...who's seen what? Thanks for the reminder (and the laughs)!!

Anonymous said...

Nothin' wrong with your post. Not a thing. Sad though. I would never want my boobs lack of clothing to preceed me in a room uncovered. Never! EEEEK!

Anonymous said...

Your blog and your opinions, but honestly, in the end the only thing that we can control is ourself-- and the same goes for my husband in such a situation.

Angei said...

I didn't see the original either but don't see anything wrong with your post at all. Like someone else said, it's your blog. It's not like you named the lady. Some people need to have lessons on how to properly dress.

Love your blog!!


Barb Shelton said...

Your post was not at all offensive!!! You definitely succeeded at humorously dealing with a rampant problem. I would like to print this out and personally hand it to MANY women I see ~ even in church!!! Any negative responses will ONLY come from those who are "guilty as charged." Ignore them. I mean it, Gayle!!!! Ignore them. They are the ones who need to hear it, and, even if they are offended, you will at least have humorously planted a seed, and hopefully next time they look in the mirror at their indecent, inconsiderate choice of neckline, they will "hear" your voice, and then eventually the voice of the Lord.

With a BIG hug to my DEAR sister-friend,

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