Foolish Monkey wrote a post,
in response to a post by Jeanette DeMain
I read the Breastaurants post yesterday. These two made me think about something I've been thinking about for a while. Spending most of my waking hours on a college campus, I get to see the gamut of female fashion, and I wonder.
I had thought that I was getting to be a prude! Yes, me. I was horrified! So I started trying to rationalize it. After all, it wasn't that metaphorically long ago that women had to be buttoned up to the breast bone, no skin showing except cleavage. Now, they cover the pertinent parts and call it good. One of the secretaries I work with wears clingy dresses that slither into her butt crack. No undies? I don't check. Another is a regular fashion clothes horse wearing 6" platforms most days. Nothing slithers into cracks, though, and I do love her shoes. If I was 60 pounds lighter...
I've seen some campus employees dressed rather tackily. There was the severely overweight woman wearing fashionable slacks and no undie lines. Some things we just don't need to see jiggle. There are the slinky dresses that get caught in the crotch while walking. Mostly, though, the employees dress appropriately for a professional setting.
And the students are covering more than they were about two years ago. Remember those low rise jeans with the thongs hanging out and the midriff shirts? That was some scary stuff, let me tell you. Now they wear tights that fit like skin and tops that come down to where the butt starts to curve out. Mini skirts and hiking boots. Shirts falling off the shoulders. But no fear of parts falling out of clothes. I feel sometimes that I should avert my eyes, but do I need to? No flesh is showing, just the form. I wear jeans and stretchy t-shirts, so you can see my shape though not in the same detail. Are they really being too outré, or am I being too judgmental?
And I have a friend with a 14 year old daughter, tiny girl with big bosoms, that is allowed to wear clothing that reveals her lacy bra. This I don't understand at all.
So I thought, maybe this is a reaction to the repression that women live under. We are judged on our looks. We judge each other on our looks. Women can be absolutely vicious to each other, but I read somewhere that it is in response to the repression we all live under. We put each other down so that we personally aren't on the bottom of the pile.
So I thought, one thing that no one can control is how we dress. Perhaps the total revelation of the female form, though fully clothed, is a nose thumb at the powers that repress. Fashion magazines may make suggestions, parents and boyfriends may make requests, but the actual purchase and wearing of the clothing is a personal decision. No one is being hurt.
For every day wear, clothes are a personal choice that we get to make.
These restaurants, though. Do you remember when Hooters started out? I do. In the late 80s; I used to eat there. The food was excellent. Yeah, the outfits are skimpy but the girls wear flesh colored tights so nothing is falling out of the shorts and most of the boobs are fake so they're not bouncing out, either. 10 years ago, though, maybe 8 was the last time I was there, they had really gone downhill on their menu. Wings, hot dogs, and beer. I took it as a sign that they weren't doing so good. All of that food is pretty inexpensive for the restaurant. They turned into a sports bar. Woopy.
Maybe these "breastaurants" are a sign of the times. Maybe they are the future, though I hope not. Maybe their sole purpose is to "put women in their place." It wouldn't be the first time, and it really won't be the last. Maybe they are a reaction to the man-cession. Do you remember that? At the beginning of the recession, men were losing jobs faster than women were. Maybe it's a response to the fact that women outnumber men in colleges. Maybe it's a reposnse to being in control of our own sexuality, choosing when and with whom to have sex and make babies. Hell, maybe it's because we know how to use power tools.
But as to the women on the street, I have hope. Clothes are still something we can choose for ourselves.