ono's hot pants
Ono in The Globe and Mail (April 2nd 2005)
I had great fun being photographed by Albert Watson for the Spring Fashion issue of New York Magazine. Yet, some people seem to be
offended by my personal style.
This is reflected in the following
letter to a columnist [Jeanne Beker]: "I recently saw a fashion spread
in New York magazine featuring Yoko Ono, a septuagenarian, in denim short shorts.
What kind of message is this giving older women? And does anyone seriously expect
a seventysomething to follow suit? I thought the concept was downright scary."
-- Bewildered Bette
I'm totally flabbergasted by the
reaction my hot pants outfit has created. Why do females and males of our species
want to look good? Because we want to feel good ourselves, make other people feel
good about us, and make our family feel good about us. My two kids are happy the
way I am. They don't want to see me depressed, unkempt, and feeling not good about
You might say that I am being too superficial. The
beauty of the spirit and the mind is all we need. Really? Then I must be a different
species from you. I like dressing up and looking nice. I like having fun with
clothes. Why not? What is this . . . it's scary that she is wearing hot pants
at her age? [Beker] replied to Bewildered Bette: "She probably will not
go out on the street like that." Well, I don't know about that. I will,
if I felt like it one day! If I did, why would it be scary for you? Scary is a
very strange word to use to express your feeling of the possibility of seeing
me on the street with hot pants, isn't it? She could be concerned that I will
be vulnerable to physical attackers... but somehow I don't think that's her reason.
I was brought up by a mother who thought I should not dress too sharply because
people may get the wrong idea. Nice women don't wear sharp dresses. My father
wore a tweed jacket until he died. My mother wore a skirt which was always long
enough to hide her beautiful knees! Well, a bit less tragic than the nuns who
never took off their clothes to go in the shower. So. Is there some uniform that
a person over 50 should wear, or 60 or 70? People used to openly express their
disdain to see me come into restaurants having a big tummy when I was pregnant
with Sean. I looked around, and discovered that there was no pregnant women in
any public places in those days. That one, it seems, is over now. This time, it's
old people, is it? We cannot wear what we used to wear when we were 18? Why?
People over 50. There are so many of us on our planet. In
fact, statistically, there are more of us than people under 50 now. We are the
ones who toiled, held up the sky, and waited for you to appear on the scene to
join us. We are the ones who have some knowledge acquired through our experience
to give you, so you don't have to make the same mistakes we made. I think you
still need us, darlings!
Just know that we want to feel good,
as well. Just like you do. There is no difference between us, except you will
get where we are after us and not before. Give us the respect and freedom you
expect to get when you are at our stage of life. -- Yoko
A friend who read my writing came back with this: It's interesting that for someone
like Clint Eastwood, when they talk about him it's how great and buffed and in
shape he is and of course "still sexy at his age," and it's "normal"
that as a man he is sexy. It's about time that "everyone" can be "still
sexy after 50."
Lenono Photo Archive 2005