I can’t quite get over how the long-awaited first all-female space walk was casually nixed recently because of…a wardrobe snafu.
For quite some time, we’d heard NASA describing plans for the historic walk timed to coincide with National Women’s History Month so one would assume a little thing like having two space suits that would fit the two women aboard the International Space Station was taken care of.
But no. Just a few days before Anne McClain and Christina Koch were preparing to suit up for history, it was discovered both wore a medium and there was only one medium space suit top available or, as NASA somewhat creepily explained: “Only one medium size torso can be made ready by Friday.”
What were these brilliant women supposed to do? Fight over it like a sale on Michael Kors leopard caftans at Filene’s Basement?
Has NASA ever watched “Say Yes to the Dress”? Because Randy Fenoli and the crew at Kleinfeld Bridal could’ve tailored that bulky torso in five minutes using a McGyver-like combo of banana clips and “Dynasty” shoulder pads, if you ask me.
Randy could’ve been catapulted into space, arriving just in time to bellow “Hello, Beautifuls!” bringing at least a half dozen sparkly space suit choices draped over his arm.
Yes, yes, I know it’s more complicated than that. That’s the point. I know the suits are worth millions because I saw Sandra Bullock in “Gravity” and without it, she would’ve been death in a tank top. These suits use a gas-tight exterior to contain a complicated heating, cooling and ventilation system. Also, and maybe it’s just wishful thinking, commercial-free Hulu.
But how in the name of “Sacajawea gets a brief mention in 7th-grade history books and that’s also unfair” did NASA drop the ball? It’s like packing for a week in Key West and not taking a swimsuit. Yeah. It’s just like that.
I don’t blame the women. They’re doing important work up there, not rushing home from study hall to look at prom gowns on Rent the Runway. (While some of those gowns are breathtaking, a poorly crafted spacesuit is literally breathtaking, as in you won’t be breathing if it’s made sloppily.)
I’m sorry I haven’t paid much attention to the women in space. Honestly, the last time I thought about their wardrobe challenges was when that nutty woman with the astronaut boyfriend drove across the country wearing space diapers so she wouldn’t have to stop.
To learn more about my sisters in space, I did a (very) little research and discovered one of the reasons this whole spacesuit thing is so dicey is space does wonky things to your measurements. Astronaut McClain explained she’d already grown 2 inches taller in the few months she has lived on the International Space Station. I plan to use this excuse at my next physical when my BMI elicits disappointment.
“I know it looks bad now,” I’ll say, “but in microgravity I’m freakin’ Kendall Jenner.”
Yeah, that should work.