"Self-Iso Brain Rot; Or, Does This Look Good?" by Harron Walker

According to [citation needed] Twitter, William Shakespeare wrote King Lear while he was quarantined because of the plague.

Me? I made these cutoffs.

Sure, they’re not as impressive as a play about a king (?) who lears (??), but it’s possible that, in the process of making them, I stumbled onto something far more culturally impressive.

Increments of time have started to mean increasingly less to me, and differentiating between the days of the week feels quaint, at best, if not fully delusional. But as we used to say in the pre-socially distant times of uhhhhhh…last week, I spent about “15 minutes” of my “Friday” “night” trimming a pair of high-waisted H&M jeans down to a pair of shorts. It’s a bi- or triennial tradition of mine that I’ve practiced over the past 12 years as needed. It usually coincides with the first truly warm day of the year, just as it did last night, though my reason for doing so in 2020 had less to do with the weather and more to do with my need for a comfortable pants-adjacent alternative to my Nike sweatpants and two pairs of leggings.

There are only two rules I follow when making a new pair of cutoffs: They’ve gotta cover my ass, but they can’t cover too much thigh. How I’ve interpreted those rules has changed a lot over the years as I’ve ingested untold amounts of estrogen while starving my endogenous testosterone right off the vine. My body has changed immensely in that time, as have my preferences for where I like my jeans to sit, but the same basic tenants hold true: They’ve gotta cover my ass, but they can’t cover too much thigh.

After eyeballing the right leg, I put down the scissors to try them on and make sure I hadn’t fucked it up, lest I do the same on the left side. I slipped on my jeans—humiliatingly easy after a week of no pizza or Hi-Chews, late nights at bars or even later night bodega runs—and looked in the mirror to take stock of what I’d done. I was satisfied with my scissor-work, but more than that: I began to wonder, does this look good?

Asymmetrical bottoms are most definitely a thing right now, or at least they were in late 2018 and the early-mid months of 2019. Beyoncé dressed as Flo-Jo two Halloweens ago, Korean streetwear brand Pushbutton unveiled single-stemmed silvery biz-casj in January, Céline Dion was spotted wearing Ksenia Schnaider’s “controversial” $375 jeans with one skinny leg and one wide leg during Paris Couture Fashion Week in June, and the endlessly over-throwable Kim Kardashian started selling single-legged shapewear last November. 

Even the acclaimed FTF supermodel Bella Hadid—who apparently brought back skinny jeans, which were dead????—got in on the asymmetrical denim trend last month, donning a pair of vintage Vivienne Westwood jeans that had been treated with bleach on only one side.

Like Anne Hathaway in that movie where she’s like “fuck blue sweaters,” I wasn’t aware of any of this. My mind instead went straight to Shakira in 2009’s “She Wolf” video, writhing and pulsing in a sparkling ruby cavern.

But is this lycanthropy, or is this a look? Or has a minimal amount of self-isolation rotted my brain enough to stick a feather in my cap and call it Mrs. Fashion? Have I, like Ava Max and her crunchy blonde wig, completely misunderstood what made Aaliyah’s heavy Veronica Lake bangs so great, taking the idea of an asymmetrical style to its most literal, unimaginative extreme? Will the Zoomers at Mood Ring laugh at me, should any of us ever emerge from our bedrooms again? Sound off in the comments below, perhaps, socially distantinas!

Harron Walker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: