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Photo by Zuzana on Unsplash

Shoes are a practical necessity for most of us. But over the years, people have worn some seriously strange footwear.

Let’s take a look at a few examples, shall we.

Fish Tank Platforms

No, they’re not an urban legend. Fish tank platforms really did exist, although they were never manufactured in large numbers and they didn’t come with the fish. None of them have really survived.

Animal rights activists, needless to say had strong opinions about the trend, although in reality, the shoes were also filled with things like tissue paper, gumballs, marbles, etc.

But yeah, some people did wear shoes with fish…

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Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

This latest wonderful story comes from Cheltenham Girls High School. This is an odd beast; I didn’t know Australia had public comprehensive single sex schools, but apparently they do, and they don’t consider it “selective enrollment.”

That’s besides the point. Here’s what’s been going on at Cheltenham High.

It’s About Their Jobs

Cheltenham Girls High School caters, apparently, to about 1,260 students from Years 7 to 12. This means that these are teens and tweens, some as young as 12 or even 11.

A couple of weeks ago, the Principal delivered a message which said “If students come in mufti for any reason wearing…

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Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

And here I am talking about jeans again. No, I’m not obsessed with them.

One of the reactions to my post about jeans and sustainability was a guy telling me to “STOP” (all caps his) buying pre-aged jeans. He said I should buy raw denim instead.

Raw denim is not washed, manipulated, or processed. You have to break it in. It’s also called dry denim. The idea, amongst other things, is that raw denim jeans fade to your specific wear patterns. They’re also more durable, more environmentally friendly, and barely need to be washed. …

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Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

I love my bluejeans. I suspect most of the people reading this do, too.

So, you’re probably concerned by reports that making jeans is, well, not exactly environmentally friendly. Are there real problems with denim?

The short answer is: Sometimes.

The long answer is below.

It’s Mostly About Water

Growing cotton uses water. Processing cotton cloth, including denim, uses water. (So, yeah, your t-shirts use water too).

But denim is worse because in order to get that soft vintage “pre-aged” look that we like (sometimes pre-ripped too, although I’ve never understood that), denim has to go through a wash.

The dryer way to do…

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Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

Our society bombards us with fat is bad, thin is good, so it’s no surprise that people engage in all kinds of things to try and lose weight. Iffy diet pills, fad deprivation diets that just make you eat too much when you can’t stand it any more…

…but thankfully most people don’t engage in this thing Victorian women did. Most.

The Tapeworm Diet

Enter, the tapeworm. Tapeworms are an unpleasant intestinal parasite that generally don’t infect humans (If you have a dog or a cat you will know about tapeworm preventives), but you can sometimes pick them up by eating undercooked beef…

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Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

“Glowing” is often used as a compliment towards women. A “healthy glow” is a desirable thing.

But there was a brief period in the 1930s when glowing was taken a little bit too literally…with potentially lethal results.

The Radium “Cure”

In the late nineteenth century we discovered that a substance found near silver in mines could treat cancer. This substance is radium, and it’s still used in some cancer treatments today.

Extremely rare in the U.S. until the 1920s, radium sources were primarily used to treat skin, prostate and gylecologic cancers. …

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Photo by Artem Labunsky on Unsplash

So, I’ll be honest…as I’ve said before, I don’t wear stockings or pantyhose very often. And I’ve never understood why some women like them; I find them awkward and uncomfortable.

But did you know there was actually a time when women literally fought over access to nylons, as they were then called.

World War II and Nylons

It started with World War II, or more precisely with wartime rationing. The problem was that the same machines and raw materials used to make nylon stockings were also used to make…parachutes.

So, during the war, women were asked to give up their stockings. This, by the way…

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

I’m pretty light skinned. Not as much as my husband, who basically has no melanin in his makeup.

But I’m “fair.” And “nude” colors don’t work for me. If I buy “nude” pantyhose it looks like a bad spray tan. “Nude” lingerie is several shades too dark. Sigh.

If I want the correct color I have to pay a premium for it. But my problems are nothing compared to those experienced by women of color.

Women Aren’t One Shade…

The fact is that there really isn’t a “nude” color. Lingerie makers would often have us think there is. Thankfully, things are improving. Even Victoria’s…

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Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Dress codes are often in the news, and usually in a negative way. Boys suspended for wearing nail polish. Girls sent home because, omg, their collar bones were visible.

One school who was attacked recently for forcing a Black boy to cut off his locs was Barbers Hill Independent School District.

The school has now fought back, in a rather unusual way. They did their own study in which they set out to prove that stringent dress codes improve student achievement.

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Photo by Cassidy Mills on Unsplash

I have pretty strong opinions on high heels. But their history is actually quite interesting.

And one fact people don’t often know is that high heels were originally worn…by men.

So, why was that, and when did things switch?

The Illusion of Choice

The anti-fashion blog.

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