With all the recent blowback I've received in my blogospheric life over my claim that there is indeed - or should be - a universally accepted set of rules when it comes to what an individual should, shouldn't, can or can't wear, I was honestly beginning to question my convictions. You might, too, if you had nearly a 10:1 ratio of "you're-what's-wrong-with-Washington-style!!" flung at you and your beliefs in setting what seemed to you like obvious venue-and-figure-appropriate boundaries.
But then, just as I was about to put fingertip to Word document in the form of a why-do-I-believe-what-I-believe? piece, I came across this picture of Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and her daughter, Tallulah "Lulah" Willis at last night's Mr. Brooks premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
Aside from Ashton's unnecessary Bret Michaels 'do-rag, my first impression of the threesome was that they made a nice-looking bunch. Nothing tremendous, nothing traumatic, but somewhere in the middle. And just as I was about to click "back" to spend some quality time skipping Jessica Alba's highly annoying new InStyle interview but gazing upon the hot accompanying snaps, something hit me and I stopped short.
How old is Tallulah? 14? 15? Can't be, because Demi was pregnant with Scout in '91 (I remember like it was yesterday sitting on the Meijer floor in Traverse City, wide-eyed and big-dreamed, flipping through that Vanity Fair spread), and Tallulah is the youngest of the Willis girls. That must make her...12?
Well, I was close. She just turned 13 in February.
When I look at this picture (and those below), I can't say Lullah doesn't look fabulous, because frankly, she does. Her shoulders and birdlike limbs are perfect for the halter trapeze mini. Her hair is right at the equidistant point between coiffed and tousled, and her fierce posture - oh, the posture! - belies the fact that she's only been eligible to watch Mom get her bikini-bod on in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle for about two and a half months.
I know this is Hollywood, and I know kids there grow up quickly, especially those with three A-list movie star parents, but 12 and 13 year olds clearly braless in very adult-looking mini dresses? I just can't get on board. Not at a premiere, not at a party, not even if she wanted to dress up as Edie Sedgwick for Halloween. I have no groundbreaking explanation as to why I disapprove, but I suppose it all goes back to what my Mother told me when I begged her to let me trade-up to silk Victoria's Secret bikinis from my striped cotton Jockeys briefs back in 6th grade:
"Be a girl right now. Give yourself something to look forward to when you're a woman. You'll thank me."
So yes, in addition to venue and figure, I throw age into my setting-boundaries rulebook as well. Though for different reasons, seeing a minidress on a 13 year old is just as likely to elicit from me a pair of pursed lips and a slow, downward-looking head-shake as seeing one on a 43 year old. Sorry, Demi, you've got the gams, but you've also got a shorter hemline than your daughter. Not good.
For a couple more pics of Lullah wearing dresses (and heels) I wish I could've worn to my 8th grade dance but would never have passed the Mom-test, see below:
Mr. Brooks premiere (22 May 2007 - 13 years old)
Open Season premiere (9 September 2006 - 12 years old)