how to dress like a slut

Sometimes I listen to Fergie. I’m not proud of it, but…actually, you know what? I am proud of it. There’s this one song called London Bridges and there’s this one line of lyrical genius that I really just connect with emotionally and spiritually. It touches my soul. Anyway, the line is this –

“I’m such a lady but I’m dressing like a ho.”

Now anyone who lives with me can tell you I like belting this line out at pretty much any minute of the day, but especially when I’m dressed like a homeless person in my ratty plaid flannel and 75 cent tunisian pants. I think it’s funny. I think I’m funny. And the reason I think it’s so funny, is because of this huge divide that is currently going on with the way girls dress.

Most recently, three of my facebook friends posted this article to teenage girls. This was odd in occurrence because these three friends couldn’t be farther across the spectrum of….religion, ideas, cultural norms, etc. One of these friends is a devout Christian lady in the states, one of these friends is a Christian wife and mother back home, and one of these is an atheist punk rocker with a penchant for, um, diverse fashion interests. Two of my friends were posting the article because they agreed with it, and one was posting it because she vehemently wanted to punch everyone in the face after reading it.

So basically there are two schools of thought. 1. If you dress immodestly, you’re inviting boys to look at you without respect for you as a person because it’s sending a M-E-S-S-A-G-E. 2. Boys should respect girls no matter what they dress like.

Oh my god, where to begin. First on the scandalization menu is this – does dressing a certain way send a certain message? Fashion does send a message. If it didn’t, nobody would care about it. For example, when I dress like a homeless bag lady, I’m sending the message that I prefer comfort over sophistication. If you were to assume that about me based on the way I was dressed, guess what? YOU’D BE RIGHT. But, here’s the thing – I could also be dressing that way trying to send the message that I’m in solidarity with homeless people. Or that I’m too poor to afford nice clothes. Or as a protest against the proletariat. Or maybe I’m saying, with my dress, that I’m a communist. My point is, you don’t know what my message is, because you haven’t asked me. So to just assume that you know what I’m saying without asking isn’t kind. And it’s not very smart, either.

Now, why do girls, teenage girls, post selfies of themselves in what they might consider to be “sexy poses” before bedtime? I don’t know why. But then there’s a lot of things that teenage girls do that I don’t understand. 

And rest assured, I do understand the awkwardness that comes with scrolling through a feed and all of a sudden there’s a half naked trying-to-be-sexy teenager. Or mid-lifer. It’s not something that just teenagers do. 

Why do girls do this? Some girls do it because they want acceptance and they’ve been told, from day fucking one, that it’s what the world wants to see. So they do it, and then they get confused when the world is like, “I am scandalized and offended and I will complain about you!” Exhibit A : Miley Cyrus. 

But we can’t paint all girls with same brush and say they all have daddy issues because although even the best cowboys have daddy issues, we still don’t know what’s going on because we haven’t asked them.

Now, consider a guy doing the same thing – posting shirtless pictures of himself working out or doing whatever. (I think we all have Ian Holmes on our news feed, AMIRITE?) When a girl sees that, does she say to herself, “Wow, he is really desperate for attention.” (Sometimes, but not always.) Does she say, “He obviously really needs acceptance” or “He clearly doesn’t respect himself as a person” or “Look at THAT! HE IS CLEARLY  A SLUT AND NOT SOMEONE I COULD EVER BRING HOME TO MY PARENTS!”

I think we’ve all seen those “hey girl” photos of Ryan Gosling, and never once have I met any girl who’s been like, “That Ryan Gosling sure is white trash. He could never be a serious boyfriend for me.”

Image

So this is what I have to say about the topic : 

1. Girls dressing in revealing clothing may be sending a message, but we don’t know what that message is in every single case.

2. It’s not our responsibility to make sure boys don’t grow up to be perverts from the way that we girls are dressed. That’s the parents’ responsibility.

3. Sometimes I am bugged by girls dressing revealingly when it indicates a low self-esteem, but until we see a change in the way the media or the way that boys see girls, I doubt we’ll see a change in the way girls see themselves. 

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4 Responses to how to dress like a slut

  1. Philippa Spottiswoode says:

    I read this and there is only one thing missing. A nifty ‘Boom.’ on the end.

  2. lauren+emma says:

    haha ok ya I agree with you

  3. I appreciate this. Keep posting!

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