Last night I had the joyful opportunity of celebrating 6 months with my partner at the symphony. Yes, 6 months is not really all that long, but if you knew me well, you would know this is a huge milestone. I just don’t typically date anyone for any longer than it takes to get the check after dinner.
Here are a few thoughts I had last night surrounding women, feminism, sexiness, and standards.
The Art of Getting Ready: We all know that part of going out on nice dates, is the 2 hour extravaganza that some people take in getting dressed. Suddenly your weekend jeans and sloppy shoes just won’t do. Competing for attention in my head were two thoughts “what should I wear?” & “what will be appropriate?” Riddled with these two very rudimentary questions I perused my coolest for the 101 time as if on the 101 time something would magically appear. I settled on a nice vintage looking polka dot dress I bought when I was 16. I did not want to feel too sexy and yet I seem to have erred on the side of church goer instead of sophisticated symphony. Now, I must admit I don’t live a gucci lifestyle so holding onto a dress is a must to not break the bank. That polka dot silk special had been a standard for almost a decade. I had answered both of my questions.
In hindsight, I just wonder why in my mind I had this prewritten script of appropriateness. Yes, it can be argued by our conventional standards in society, what you may be inclined to wear to Wal-Mart at 2:37 AM is probably not appropriate for the 8:00 PM Symphony. Perhaps you could make a counter argument that standards of dress to the fine arts limits lower socio-economic classes and thus an exercise or privilege and oppression. I won’t travel down that road today. As you can see it can be sliced a few ways.
What made something too sexy? Why would a woman feel she would be out of place if she played up her curves and showed a little more skin? I know I looked just fine and by the compliments of my partner and by my own opinion as well. However, why was it a huge concern that ‘gasp’, a woman would want to dress her body and be proud to show its shape? In my mind it was about attracting the wrong attention and image. It was an old script I had been taught that attracting that kind of attention meant something about you, the woman, not the viewer. I can feel the collective cringe among feminists who know this old script is a big, fat lie!
What if more women just embraced their bodies and said yes to whatever it was that made them feel sexy and confident rather than feel confined by society’s standards of appropriate beauty? I just want to say one thing here. Wear what you love and know any judgment, leering eyes, snobbish glances are not a reflection on you, but on the viewer. It is time someone just said it flat out. Women are worth more than the dresses they adorn, sexy or otherwise. Even still, wearing or not wearing a dress doesn’t make or break your femininity either. Neither choice, polka dot or sexy LBD makes or breaks a woman’s character or defines her femininity. Perhaps had I remembered that I would have just worn my curve loving LBD after all.