Friday, July 22, 2016

Phallic Friday - clothes we wear

I just saw this headline on the website "Dressing like a wh*re. Anchor slammed over top" and it got me thinking. Here's the article if you want to read it and check out the top in question (all you can see are black spaghetti straps of a halter top).

From a young age, women are told what is and isn't appropriate to wear at certain occasions - more so than men I think, but that's only anecdotal/observation, no hard facts.

As a kid, I argued all the time about having to wear skirts and dresses because for the life of me, I couldn't manage not to show my undies. Skirts/dresses all too easily blow up in the wind, they get caught up on things, they flap when you run, get in the way when you climb and sometimes even walk.

My Mum seemed to give up on me too. I'm not sure if that was because she had no arguments to offer me, or if she wasn't really sold on the appropriate clothing bit herself. Her mother had been a 'proper' country lady who dressed for town in gloves and hat. I don't think I ever saw Grandma in anything but a dress. Certainly never trousers or shorts, even when she was at home. Mum liked jeans and shorts and often wore them, especially around the house. So I suspect Mum was a bit rebellious herself.

I worked in a male dominated field, and a lot of my early motivations for going into science were that I could work outdoors, which also meant I could wear normal clothes. But I know what's considered appropriate clothing for women - I got told so many times I've long forgotten to be ashamed by it! Plus people (usually other women) comment incessantly about everyone's clothing choices.

There are age appropriate clothes. Colour appropriate choices. Certain things for certain events. Other things for various times of day/night. There are power clothes. Clothes suited for every occasion - not to mention accessories. And if you wear the wrong thing, you'll be told!

But why's the world like this? Did it developed as a marketing campaign around the fashion industry and gone crazy?

Who made it so that women are never taken seriously if they don't wear sleeves?

Who made it so that as you get older you need to be more and more covered?

Who decided what constitutes a 'professional' outfit?

I've been watching the ABC news lately (much to my joy, broadcast times have made it necessary even though Mr E would prefer a commercial station news) after not watching it for many years. Do you know what shocked me the most - that there were mostly older women in front of the camera reporting. That's a very sad state of affairs. Why should I be shocked by that - because it's not common on commercial TV and if it is, then they're made up to look younger. ABC has a few au naturals and how refreshing is that to see!? But I wonder how much flak they cop for being who they are - good reporters doing their job.

I hope, one day, that women can wear what we like and be taken seriously for who we are, not how we dress.

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