Dear Huffington Post, Let’s Talk About Iowa

September 3rd, 2013

Hello from the cornfields of Iowa

“I’m happy wherever I go, whatever I do. I’m happy in Iowa, I’m happy here in California.”  Ashton Kutcher  (Some of us are happy here too, Ashton”).  Have you noticed he seems like kind of a nice guy?  Not surprised.

Dear Huffington Post,

I really like your site.  In fact, sometimes I even write for your site.  But, the other day I ran across a piece from your site on Twitter about a quest for style in Iowa.  Apparently, this was such a strange notion that the Onion had to do their own version, which was pretty good, and in some cases, pretty accurate.,31579.

I’m glad you visited, though.  I actually liked the video piece, full of charm and good characters, but your written piece left out some of that charm.  So, readers all  over the U.S. were left with just these photos as a representation of all of us here in the fields of dreams….

So, with your permission, (can I have permission?) I’ll use your photos but add a couple of my own.

Here’s your picture of where we shop….

You really should have shown Walmart. We have some good ones here.  Photo courtesy Huffington Post.

But sometimes I shop in places that aren’t in malls, with, like, cool brick walls and everything…

Like this place…called Studio 427, not in mall.  Courtesy Studio 427, Sioux City

or this place

Indigo Palette, also in Sioux City, Iowa.  Here, I’ll prove to you that this isn’t in a mall….

Not a mall.  So, there’s only two or three places that aren’t a mall, I still thought I’d show them to you.

Then we proceeded to the type of hair salon, we all frequent, from your story…

You kind of picture Aunt Bea here, don’t you? Photc courtesy Huffington Post.

Here’s my hair salon, if you’d like to add this to your follow up story…

This doesn’t suck too bad. Bliss salon, Sioux City. Not in mall. Have you noticed I’m trying to get you to come to Sioux City?  Photo courtesy Bliss Salon

Not done yet, but neither were you, so we’ll move onto the clothing styles, particularly our choice of denim… Here’s yours..

Here’s your Iowa denim fashion statement. I actually kind of like overalls, and they work on this guy. Photo courtesy Huffington Post again.  I would imagine that probably only about .001 percent of us wear these but thank you anyway…


I found one just about like this…so you were darn close here… Photo courtesy Huffington Post again

Ok, a bit different, but not bad…. Photo courtesy La Ventura and the Weekender, yes, Sioux City again.

Two young Sioux City kids wishing they had overalls… I think I’ll find them and buy them some. Photo courtesy La Ventura and The Weekender.

Here’s another jeans picture from Iowa, taken of my husband during a protest.

Oh, shit, are these dad jeans?

But wait there’s more….

I loved your beard picture of the guy that lived in Paris and moved back to Iowa.  I can’t find a damn thing even close in Sioux City, so you win big here….

This beard is awesome, great job. Photo courtesy Huffington Post again.  You guys are great and so is this beard..

Nothing remotely like it that I could find in Sioux City, so here’s two guys I know, with rather short beards.

Here’s two friends who apparently need to work on their beard length if they want to be a bit freakier than they are. Photo courtesy Garie Lewis and Mike Langley.

I do get it, though.  It’s easy to pigeonhole Iowa.   I was the executive producer of a documentary called “Bully”, partially filmed here in my home town.  My friend, Lee Hirsch, who I love, didn’t show much of Iowa.  In fact, Sioux City looked like one bus, one train track, and a school.    Here’s a shot…

Sioux City in “Bully”, footage courtesy of Lee Hirsch, and I think the Weinstein Company too. Thank you, Mr. Weinstein and thank you for buying our film too. 🙂  Will you please buy my next documentary? Call me….

Heck, we’ve got bridges and everything here in Sioux City, and cars too….

Sometimes, half the town gets together for a big party close to the fourth of July.  There’s usually about 30,000 of us and some good bands too, so I am inviting you to visit and get kind of a cross section of types, because, you’ll get the general idea that we are a bit more nuanced here in the heartland than people think.

Here’s the party….

Gosh, we can fit about half the town here…. and just the denim fashions alone will give you much to work with.  Photo above and below courtesy Saturday in the Park.

These folks aren’t from here, but we let people like this play here and no one has to pay to get in. So, join us next year, ok?  I like Melissa’s jeans.

I’ll close by saying that we come in all shapes and sizes here in flyover America, so do come visit again, particularly in Sioux City. We need you. Poor Sioux City is doubly not blessed by not only being in a flyover state, but for having the unfortunately airport designation SUX.  I’m not making that up.  So, on your purchase of a ticket from whatever coast on our one and only airline, you can see it yourself.  And, you’ll get a free gift basket, with items such as this…

All SUX photos courtesy Sioux City gifts….

and my personal favorite…


So, come visit and be nice, or as Glinda once said,  be gone, before I drop a Walmart on you. 🙂

Most Sincerely Yours,

Cindy Waitt

This is me and my family.  When we’re in California, we wear dark glasses, so we can pretend we are cool too.


And finally, can I still write for you?








14 Comments on “Dear Huffington Post, Let’s Talk About Iowa”

  1. Kristine Elkjer said at 1:59 am on September 3rd, 2013:

    Rock on! I am laffing out loud!!!!

  2. Lewis said at 2:21 am on September 3rd, 2013:

    Brava, Waitt, Brava!

  3. cindy said at 2:35 am on September 3rd, 2013:

    Thanks, Kris!

  4. cindy said at 3:28 am on September 3rd, 2013:

    Thanks, Lewis!!

  5. Mari Jackson said at 10:10 pm on September 9th, 2013:

    Thank you Cindy! You speak the truth for all of us and WELL DONE!

  6. cindy said at 11:26 pm on September 9th, 2013:

    Thanks, Mari!! I get tired of the “flyover state” status.

  7. Myra Steinberg Derry said at 7:50 am on September 29th, 2013:

    I lived in Iowa for 21 years and raised our kids there. My husband was born and raised on a farm there and we love Iowa. The only reason that we are not still there (have been in the South for 31 years now) is because of THE WEATHER!! Can’t stand the cold and snow but when we visit in the Summer we love it! 🙂
    This is a great article!

  8. cindy said at 7:40 pm on September 29th, 2013:

    Hi Myra,
    I wrote it because I got tired of people stereotyping Iowa. Thanks so much for your kind words, and I agree, the weather can be a challenge November through March!!

  9. Julie said at 9:23 pm on October 26th, 2013:

    Loved this…we ARE so much more….

  10. cindy said at 1:11 am on October 27th, 2013:

    Thanks, Julie. Agree. More than flyover state!

  11. thomas said at 2:31 am on October 27th, 2013:

    I noticed you said you couldn’t find anything close to a guy who lived in paris, you could have used me I live and have residency in Guatemala. I was born and raised in Sioux City and am back there a large part of the year, however I do not have an impressive beard. That was a great letter I really loved it

  12. cindy said at 10:45 pm on October 27th, 2013:

    Thank you Thomas! Glad you still visit! 🙂

  13. Myndi Shafer said at 10:58 pm on October 27th, 2013:

    LOVE this. Iowa’s great. I live in Kansas, and I think Kansas is great, too. 🙂 Big hugs to you.

  14. cindy said at 11:07 pm on October 27th, 2013:

    Thank you Myndi! Remember what Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home”….Hugs back!

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