When it comes to the mini, no man stays cool. They love it or hate it with equal passion.
Our reporters squeezed into their minis to gauge the temperatures. It turns out that it is not really the size of the mini that stokes the fires one way or the other. Rather, it is the size of what is in the mini.
Plumped up in a little dress
Truth be told, I am not the skinniest girl in the world. I fall more in the plump category, which is fine with me. But it may explain why I prefer long skirts and trousers. But I had to bite the bullet one day and try on the famous (or notorious) mini; and what better opportunity than a graduation party?
It felt quite liberating, looking at the chick staring back at me in the mirror, in a short brown dress and high heels. Is that really me? I loved me but what would others, especially the men, say about my new look?
Heading for the Kisaasi boda boda stage, I did not have to wait long.
(Warning: sometimes people say the grossest things!)
“Onyumma ekitwe,” hurled one boda boda guy, meaning he would like to make out with me. Others said I had nice legs and “appetizing” thighs. Some went as far as suggesting that I go back home and put on undergarments. If only they had X-ray vision, they would have seen the ones I had on.
I reach Wandegeya, with my newfound confidence, which every chick that wears short dresses ought to have. In Wandegeya, I was not surprised that a few men (read riff-raff) attempted to tap my butt, saying they wanted to have a piece of me. (I am not cake, ok?)
The women, however, advised me to get something longer to cover my stretch marks.
“Oyo omuwaala yandi nyumye singa muwala mutono”, said another woman. She implied that had I been smaller, I would look better in the short outfit.
By the time I arrived at the party in Kanyanya, I knew how well men enjoy looking at chicks in short dresses. They simply can’t resist the seduction of a short dress. Jennifer Bafuga, a beautician at Kampala Skin Centre, agrees.
She says short clothes are also trendy and women feel good in them.
“Some use them to look young and build confidence. Women who wear short things and don’t attract the opposite sex, I think have a problem.”
Too skinny for my mini
I thank God I was not of age in the 1970s, when women were undressed for wearing miniskirts. However, such stories of the brutality occasioned on the wearers by men almost kept me away from my much-loved short dresses.
I am happy with the permissive society that sees me prancing around town in my short dress (slightly above the knees) and does not raise a lot of dust. Ok, I will admit to occasionally wearing a dress so short that my sister has asked to please “wear some leggings with that”.
Of course I have not listened to her because I am comfortable and that is of utmost importance to me. In the old days, a short dress or skirt drew stares but not today, in my experience at least. Some have argued that it is because of my size; I am skinny to a fault, I’m afraid.
I’ve worn extremely short shorts and dresses, and moved around downtown - the hub of idle men who would ogle a chick in a mini. Much to my surprise, no one paid me any attention. I sauntered on but I neither got shouts of admiration nor condemnation.
It was on only one occasion, when I wore a short tight dress that a trader gave me a sad look.
“Naye banange tetujja kufuna sente mu Kampala. Bano abawala abatukunamira batukuba ebisirani,” loosely translated to mean, “We shall never make money in Kampala because these girls, who wear short clothes, rain curses on us.”
I’ve noticed that short clothes (if they are slightly above the knee) might not draw you any attention if you are small, until you put your shades on.
“Designer, mpa ku ka-number ko,” meaning “Designer, may I have your number?” They will also call you “Beautiful” and generally act like shades have transformed you into Aphrodite (Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and sexual rapture).
On the whole, we the skinny ones seem to have it easy. We get away with brief shorts and minis.