Photo Prayer 2021-15 — Roller Skating Fashion

Four years ago, Marc Bain wrote that “Japan’s wild, creative Harajuku street style is dead.” Maybe so, but something like it lives on in the attire of young girls with inline skates. The two I saw yesterday were dressed in bright candy colors and contrasting layers of leggings, sweat shirts, knee and elbow pads, helmets, wrist protectors, masks, and roller blades. Who knew safety and sporting equipment could be so fashionable? Like the psychedelic rainbow dress of tie-dye hippies, this style encourages variety and personal choice. Don’t think you can keep up, not if you are old enough to vote. Instead, pray for people like me, people who have dressed the same for decades, people who have little time for play or exercise, who seldom take frivolity seriously.

Photo of two Harajuku street-style roller skaters, Delaware.
Photo and text copyright 2021 by Danny N. Schweers.

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Julie wrote:
Don't worry, Danny. There is room enough in this world for all of us, fashionable or not.

John wrote:
I love the punch line — your “request for prayer.” It triggered a memory of a book I read probably 25 years ago, the title of which comes into my consciousness from time to time: “Happiness is a Serious Problem.” I think I fail to treat frivolity as “seriously” as those girls do. I need the same prayers you seem to be asking for!! [Danny replied: That book you mention, Joe, is by Dennis Praeger, the radio host. I was in a discussion group with him in the 1990s, over ten years before “Happiness is a Serious Problem” came out. At that time he was saying that heaven was a place where God’s will was done. He agreed with me that, when we do God’s will, we make earth part of heaven. One blurb about this book says happiness is a moral obligation. Well, your comments make me happier!]

Hugh wrote:
Pink and lavender… every girl’s dream. [Danny replied: Your comment, Hugh, concerns me. Only a very courageous man will make a general statement about women. One of the hallmarks of Harajuku street style is that the women often make a point of looking extremely cute and adorable, to the edge of parody. So yes, pink and lavender, but those colors may be adopted by them with quote marks around them, so to speak — “Yes, I look cute, but I am not.” I believe many Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders make a similar statement in that they strive to look mean but often are not. But what do I know about street styles?]

Mary wrote:
Hi Danny. Great photo and observation!

Jim Schwaber wrote:
Not clear why you want me to pray for you. Are you happy with your choices of clothes and activities and being serious? Maybe you would rather be like my live-wire GF who “has been playing dress up since age 5 and not thinking to stop yet” - and starts each day having fun with that? [Danny replied: Jim, I think I could loosen up and have more fun. Next time I go shopping for clothes at Goodwill, I will be looking for colorful and edgy threads!]

Tom wrote:
Yes, they sure are decked out. Bicyclists too. Of course, such folk provide an excellent foil for the grunge crowd, to which I belong :)

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