Gum-Snapping Fashion

When we were in New York City, we noticed many young women who were dressed to the nines.  They were wearing breeches, and knee-high boots, and dainty short white coats, and scarves that were carefully tied so as to look as if they had been casually tied.  A very strong high fashion vibe was in the air, everywhere — but then the whole look was destroyed when you saw the young lady, mouth agape, chomping away on a wad of gum.

You never see Vogue models with gum in their mouths.  There’s a reason for that — the vigorous jaw workout that goes with gum chewing is neither attractive nor classy.  You can put together the most attractive high-fashion clothing ensemble imaginable, one that would fit comfortably on the streets of Paris, and if you’re grinding away on a lump of gum you may as well be wearing ratty, ill-fitting sweats and walk outside with a bad case of “bed head.”  It is simply impossible to look cool and fashionable when you’re chewing gum.

I find this curious.  Anyone who pays as much attention to their appearance as these young women obviously do must be aware of how their unseemly gum-snapping is perceived.  Do they just not care how they look to strangers on the street as they chomp away, and do they then dispose of their gum in some fashionable way when they reach their fashionable destination?  Or is the gum an intentional statement that is designed to convey some kind of ironic message too subtle for me to comprehend?

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