Drop the crop top

British health experts tell young women to put a coat on or they'll catch cold. Wait, when did my grandmother become a British health expert?

By Page Rockwell

Published December 22, 2005 12:16AM (EST)

Thanks to BBC News for alerting us to an important public health campaign going on in Britain this week: warning young women about the health risks associated with skimpy clothing. According to the BBC item, experts advise that crop tops are "harming girls' health." Should someone notify Gwen Stefani?

The exposé here is that going outside in winter without enough clothes on can make you more susceptible to illness. Which doesn't quite qualify as news. But it seems that, this year, health educators have chosen the midriff-baring shirt as a particular target of their ire. Cardiff University professor and Common Cold Center director Ron Eccles growls, "students with bare midriffs ... are asking for trouble."

Still, most of these health experts are being pretty cool about the whole thing. "The current fashion is for girls to bare their midriffs, or have backless dresses," Lancashire health boss Catriona Logan says sagely. So Logan's colleague and public health director Maggie Morris offers a health- and fashion-friendly solution: Teens can wear "shrugs or capes, which are currently in fashion," the BBC reports.

Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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