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Opening Arguments

Legs, talkin' 'bout legs

The fashion police of Southwest Airlines try to kick a passenger off the plane for apparel that is "lewd, obscene or patently offensive” to ensure the comfort of children and “adults with heightened sensitivities.” Her outrageous clothing? A miniskirt:

So when I arranged to see Ebbert in the notorious outfit, I brought along my fashion advisers, writer Nina Garin and photojournalist Crissy Pascual, who for years collaborated on a feature in this newspaper called “Seen on the Street.”

The three of us met Ebbert and her mother for lunch at Nordstrom Cafe. Ebbert, who is 5-foot-5 and has green eyes, is pretty enough to be a model.

Yet even wearing the clothes that scandalized Southwest, she did not attract attention beyond some lingering glances.

My fashion advisers were baffled, saying they saw nothing you don't see on a college campus or in Pacific Beach.

“I was expecting to be shocked, and I was shocked the other way,” Pascual told me.

“It wasn't a big deal,” Garin said. “Her skirt was a bit short, which was only accented by her heels. If she had been wearing flip-flops it wouldn't have mattered.”

Prudes. I worked one summer long ago for the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, driving that silly miniature train around the tracks day after day. The woman who worked the ticket booth was a couple of years older than me, though not yet 21. She wore a miniskirt every day, and she was exactly the type who should wear a miniskirt, if you know what I mean. I had the darndest time keeping my mind on the safety and well-being of all those little kids, and my taste in women's clothing was forever set in stone.

They say every fashion trend comes back around. We've had the return of bell bottoms and all that silly '80s crap, and any day now black will be the new black. So where are the miniskirts? Come on, designers, summer is almost over. My dirty-old-manness is being wasted!


Larry Morris
Thu, 09/06/2007 - 10:09am

Airlines can now get away with almost anything they want (right or wrong) and in most cases if you argue or get perturbed or outraged, you can be arrested. The real story here is yet another example of someone working for an airline going to far and not having any checks and balances. She was lucky she was not forcibly removed from the plane like the Mom and little boy who cried too much, ...