My people, my people, my beautiful brown people… Yall just don’t know how to act! And though that may come off a bit insensitive or harsh, I’m gonna tell you exactly why. Just know that we have to do better. Much better.
It happened across the country towards the end of last month, hitting each of the major cities on various days. DC got it a few weeks ago, though I didn’t have the pleasure of being there to see it. And New York got it shortly thereafter, a mere two days after I’d left from attending Fashion Week. But I didn’t miss it in Atlanta! Nope, I was here to experience it in its full glory, from start to finish. The date was February 27th, 2011; The day the weather broke.
Now I knew something was different about this day before I’d even rolled out of bed. Through the window, the sun shone extra bright, and I could hear the sounds of the city at their best; birds chirping, cars driving by blasting their favorite tunes (Mystikal’s “Shake it Fast” stood out in particular. No Comment.), little boys and girls playing at the park down the block. Cute. But it wasn’t until I got dressed and ready to step out myself that I understood the magnitude of this particular day. As I locked my front door I heard an ice cream truck making its rounds in the distance and I stopped for a second, puzzled and confused… “But wait, it’s still February.” The temperature told a different story; at its peak, the weather outside hit a chart-topping 75 degrees.
The fashions I witnessed on that Sunday are the reason why I had to scold you all in the first paragraph. Granted, perhaps you – the reader – were not one of the people I came across. But we’re all in this together dammit. And yall need to get your cousins and ‘nem. You see, I was cool with the first few t-shirt and jean outfits I saw. Yea, it was extraordinarily nice out, so why not let the elbows catch some of that fresh air? But that look slowly morphed into a cropped tee and booty short variation for which I wasn’t prepared. Belly buttons in February?! Nope, I just couldn’t. But by the time I’d counted four halter maxi-dress and bedazzled thong sandal combinations, I was done. You hear me? Finished. The full backs and toes had been the last straw. And the men were just as guilty. “Wife Beaters” in public are really never okay. But in the dead of winter – nope. There was really no valid explanation that could be given.
Look, I get it guys, we’re all super anxious for spring! I, too, can’t wait to give my skin a little shine; slight mid-drift here, subtle thigh action there, a little back. It’s natural. But the time and place for that will come, and it certainly hadn’t arrived by the end of February. There’s much to look forward to as warm weather approaches. Walks in the park, tops down, barbecues, frozen stuff, lying out by the pool, soaking up the sun, becoming an even more golden shade of brown!!! Yes, that warm-weather glow is much needed ‘round these parts. But I do ask that we allow the transition to occur, as it should, slowly but surely. Because soon enough, when its scorching hot out and backs are sticking to leather car seats, important documents are being burnt to a crisp on the dashboard and hairstyles are sweating out before we can barely make it out of the salon… We’ll be wishing it were that day, that extraordinarily beautiful winter day on the 27th of February, when Mother Nature decided to come out and play. Mark my words…
– Chelsea Smith