High fashion magazines have so much work to do these days, just reporting the newest ways of counting calories and orgasms, that it's a wonder they have any time to think about clothes. One of their solutions has been to seek fashion advice from Real Women who don't think about clothes.
A Real Woman, a species that has never been seen outside the fashion magazines, is a woman with a glamorous job, a supportive husband or livein beau, several athletic and cultural hobbies and lots of friends who love her informal dinner parties, but who nevertheless spends all of her time with her children.
She always says she never thinks about clothes, but just likes good quality things that are comfortable and will last. One such nature girl in the current Harper's Bazaar is shown hugging her dog and wearing a comfy old sweater and pants outfit that cost $861, indicating she may not have been thinking while she was shopping, either.
It's not easy to be Real Woman, at least according to the directions in the articles in the back of that magazine. In one article, we are told that "any woman who regularly manages to get up, dress, be at work on time, hold down a job and also maintain a personal life, especially if it includes the care and feeding of a family" probably has sex problems. Better you should be sexy and come to work late and half-dressed.
In another, Dr. Lee Salk, the children expert whose own custody suit we all so much enjoyed, says a mother needn't feel guilty about working. She need only spend a few hours in the middle of the day with her child, eat breakfast and lunch with him at home and make downtown luncheon dates with him, be home when he returns from school, take him along on business trips and postpone his bedtime so the evening can be spent with him. The ideal career would be if you could be hired as your own children's governess. That way, you might get alternate Thursdays off.
Another danger of being a Real Woman is getting too far ahead. Still another article in the magazine quotes people to "confirm this negative image" of women bosses being jealous, bogged down with details, threatened by other women, devious and emotional.
However, in spite of all these difficulties, there are 13 successful Real Women presented as role models in the magazine. You know they've made it, because they're all as happy as can be.
There is a flutist who says that "being a musician is a 24-hour-a-day commitment" but "there are other things in my life, of course," including sailing, food and wine, enjoyed during those other hours.
There is a teacher who bubbles, "Much as I love children, when the time comes for us to decide whether to have any of our own, it won't be easy."
There is Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.), who apparently had a moment of doubt but overcame it. "Before my swearing-in in 1971, I stood on the Capitol steps and said to myself, 'I'm a mother. What am I doing being a congresswoman when I haven't even toilet-trained my daughter?" This question does not seem to have occurred to Sen. Strom Thurmond.
But the prize for Real Woman upbeat attitude goes to Toni de Marco, the author of health and beauty books who is shown modeling her $210 poncho, $136 sweater and $130 skirt. "I'm pregnant again, and terribly excited about having another baby even though I'm in the process of being divorced," she says happily. An inspiration to us all.