Why Are We Dressing Like Sluts?11comments
Maybe this new trend wouldn’t upset me if men were wearing suits, dress pants or ties, but no. They are still in a college outfit of jeans, t-shirt and sneakers – maybe a modified version or a nicer level of these things, but casual all the same. (However, I’m ignoring men wearing Ed Hardy or Affliction type of clothes because the less I see of that the better. Any man wearing jeans with back pockets with bling, excessive stitching or designs – well, I have no words for that man except stop. Just stop.)
Recently, the NY Times ran an article illustrating the disparity between men and women’s roles (including their attire) across college campuses. Despite huge advances in women’s roles (the writer used going back to her alma mater, Princeton, after 20 years to see it have a female president, an equal ratio of male to female students, and women studying in a majority of professional fields, etc) she noted,
“What stunned me was what was happening outside class, where women seemed not to have budged in decades. In social settings and in relationships, men set the pace, made the rules and acted as they had in the days when women were still “less than.” It might as well have been the 1950s, but with skimpier clothing, fewer inhibitions and better birth control.”
Among the ways in which men set the pace, was in what they wore. Even at parties and social gatherings, men were dressed casually – jeans, tennis shoes, maybe a button-down, but almost always t-shirts, as opposed to the women who were in cocktail dresses, heels, full makeup and hair. The idea seemed to be that women dress to be sexually available. And though there has always been this element, but when did it get so skewed? Do the men not care about their appearance? Or do women have much lower standards?
I’ll freely admit that I love a reason to dress up. I own a lot of dresses and heels, but I’m usually wearing them at an upscale restaurant or holiday party. I’m not at a frat house drinking Natural Light out of a red solo cup in a cocktail dress. And I’m not at a sports bar. Every weekend, I see these women pour into the bar. What’s worse is how inappropriate and ill-fitting these outfits are. These girls have squeezed themselves into a Bebe dress that is wrapped around their thighs like sausage casing. I’m not anti-fat, I’m anti-bad fashion. Know what to wear on your body ladies. They teeter around on 4 inch high heels while wearing enough eye-liner and mascara to open their own Sephora. It just seems like a lot of effort for a sports bar that sells $3 beer and pours a lot of Jager bombs. Call me crazy, but you don’t need to show full cleavage, full leg, a dress barely covering your crotch, and half of your back to get a man’s attention or to look sexy. You could show your neck and some guy will still want to fuck you. And anyway, is that what this is about? Is our goal now just to look simply fuckable?
Not that there isn’t a time for a killer cocktail dress. This is me at a recent girl’s trip to Vegas. Was I in a short, sequined dress? Yes. But in I actually was at club XS in Las Vegas! Would I wear this dress out in LA? No way. When my boyfriend saw me packing for Vegas, he asked about the sequined dress and I told him “unless it’s New Year’s or Vegas, I doubt you’ll see me in all sequins.” Not that I think wearing sequins is wrong or necessarily always over the top. Sequins can be tasteful and fabulous. Nor are all short dresses slutty. And in many ways, the whole word and connotation of slutty is antiquated. I don’t want to be a total hypocrite, I just think women’s taste and style has gone off course. I think how and where you wear a certain type of dress does say something about you… and sometimes what it is saying is that you’re lacking some style and taste. There is a difference between sexy and slutty, between stylish and garish.
I was recently with my friend. She’s married with a newborn, and we were talking about this issue and what women (or young 20-somethings) wear when they go out. She said, “I don’t have anything like that in my closet. I feel like I missed that whole little, tight dress thing.” Maybe we liked the ease of good jeans, great top and heels. That seemed to be enough. Maybe I don’t want the pressure of owning a million little tiny dresses for each weekend. Maybe there are some benefits to getting older, and knowing that you really don’t need to try that hard.