Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

Women’s Voices for Change dot org created a new sub-category when our site was redesigned: “Musings.”  And, I must admit I haven’t given it much thought. Until this morning.

At 8:30 a.m., I exited my car at my office on 90th Street between 5th and Madison Avenues.   It’s  major entrance to Central Park’s famous jogging path around our beautiful reservoir is at 90th and 5th,  so I see joggers every morning and night as I come and go from work.  On occasion I am one of those joggers. However, this morning my musing is not about the benefits of exercise but the inappropriate attire adopted by women of a certain age.

This morning, I was visually accosted by a woman in her late 50’s with a nicely re-done face, on her legs tight spandex tights even though she was at least 30 pounds overweight.  I could live with the tights, and I am delighted that she was taking those extra 30 pounds for a jog for health and presumably weight loss.  But what pushed me over the edge this morning was the top.  She was wearing a tiny, too tight spandex-like thing in bright colors, exposing about a mile of bulging mid-driff and those badly named “love handles”.

The doormen looked at me.  They did that New York eyebrow raise thing.  I gave them the appropriate New York shrug,  to say “What can you do?”

Then I realized I could do something.  I could write my first entry for our Musings section. I could get this off my chest and ask all of us this big existential question. “When is enough, enough”?

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  • patricia yarberry allen July 3, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Dear Diane,

    We at are delighted to hear that a musing written in two minutes gave you a week of information to think about. What a successful piece!

    The off the cuff musing I wrote was my observation and reaction to the attire of a woman my age in New York City dressed with large amounts of middriff bulge coming out from her top. I am not the judge of what people wear, but as you are entitled to, I am entitled to my opinions. Conversations that are civil about issues that are of interest are never meaningless, Diane.

    Do join us often with your opinions. We will publish them and treat you respectfully. And, at times, agree to disagree.


    Patricia Yarberry Allen

  • Diane July 3, 2009 at 9:39 am

    This article and Barbara’s response to it has been replaying in my mind for a week or so. Here is the question it engendered for me: who is to decide what is ‘enough’. Who or what panel made you the judge? Dressing and fashion have long been recognized as a means of expression. We live in a country where expression is protected by law. So, who is to determine what is ‘correct’ and what is ‘bad taste’?
    Has it occurred to you that in some places in the world, you would be considered to have displayed bad taste? NYC is a wonderful place, full of diversity and energy, a place that symbolizes the best and worst the world has to offer. One woman’s bad taste can be the next woman’s self expression. There are no rules, despite your critique, anything short of out and out nudity goes. You can complain but it’s meaningless.

  • Barbara Thornbrough June 22, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I love your Muse article. You are so lucky to be in NY where a vision such as this occurred. It is rare for a NYers to turn their heads for anything but this was worthy of a big turn. One has to wonder if anyone has any good taste left in this world? It is just rude to appear like that in public. If you do not want to be looked at then dress appropriately for your body and your age. OH the purchase of a full length mirror would be a start for this ” look at me” person. Judgmental- no I do not think so- accosted by a bout of bad taste is more like it. Enough is enough.

  • Diane June 22, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I say you’re doing that thing that we all do to each other with such gay abandon – judging. What concern is it of yours what she wears or how she looks? Or even if she gets exercise.
    I say live and let live then maybe we won’t be as inclined to make those excuses or try to wear the inappropriate clothing because it’s in style.
    The way I see it, you’re way out of line even thinking you have a right to judge and that’s the symptom you should be striving to erase. Let the jogger worry about her weight and her attire.

  • Gail Lawrence June 20, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Enough is enough! You are so right.
    What is enough? I will state my perception, i.e.opinion.
    Enough is that women are still abusing their bodies and hence still making excuses and still complaining about their weight all the time and few do anything about it except go up and down and continue to complain. ENOUGH ALREADY!
    Ladies…stop, look and listen to yourselves…I and obviouly Pat are sick and tired of looking and listening to those of you who continue to eat yourselves to a size 18 or more and listen to your complaining and not take control and responsibility for your HEALTH. I live in the south, deep south an everyday my eye is bombarded with women killing themselves with food. Hello, be healthy. Eat well, get the sugar and chemicals out of your bodies and your complaining will become joy as lose the girth.