Coco Chanel may wish she’d kept her mouth shut. Or at least issued a caveat.
“Before you leave the house, take one thing off” the iconic French fashion designer purred. And it’s sound advice. Less is more. Except perhaps when you’re wearing less in the first place.
Go to any club on a weekend and you’ll see them. Young women all dressed the same – flashing the flesh. Big hair. Long nails. Barely there skirts. Plunging tops.
Young women wearing their sexuality with gusto.
The question is, is there anything wrong with that?
News Ltd columnist Angela Mollard says you bet there is. And that if these women are chasing male attention, the ‘blow-up doll look’ is the wrong approach to take. In a column entitled Dress to Impress, she writes about how a 25 year old bloke (looking for more than just sex) might view the passing parade on a Saturday night:
‘So what do I see? Blow-up dolls – hundreds of them. All Kim Kardashian look-alikes, with their upholstered chests and hair and eyelashes stuck on with glue. I see cleavage and thighs and – as she downs her fourth vodka – other bits I really don’t want to see.
They’re funny, these girls. Smart, too. But they look and smell like sweaty sausages sprayed with perfume, and they’re deck-stained to the ankle.’
Angela admits that coming from HER mouth, such words sound distinctly nana – esque. But she makes the point that blokes see exactly the same thing. And in many cases, they don’t like what they see – which wouldn’t be a problem at all except that the girls in question by their own admission, are often dressing specifically for male attention.
Yes, [men] do love a molten leg and a short skirt, but those trotters you can’t walk in even when sober need to go. Ditto the hair extensions. Seriously, guys want freshly washed, soft and beachy. You know the chick Zac Efron falls in love with in The Lucky One? The blonde in denim shorts and gumboots? The one who loves dogs? Her.
They like personality and quirkiness but not fierce. Yes, you might like fierce, your girlfriends like fierce, and you’ve been raised on Rihanna’s brand of scowly sexual liberation, but the guys? They like Pippa Middleton’s bum – even though they’ve never seen her bum, only the outline of it, in a bridesmaid’s dress, no less …
… If you’re any sort of feminist, here’s where you shout, “Who cares what men think? As if we dress for them!” And, no, you shouldn’t. But surely gadding about like Barbies at a Hugh Hefner pool party, your self-worth as deep as your spray tan and barely a bra strap to distinguish you from your friends, is as big a travesty to your smarts and imagination.
Come on, girls, you’re 20. You’re not supposed to conform to some tired template of flesh, tramp-stamp and silicone. You can annoy your parents with something better than that.
Read Angela’s full colum here.
It’s a tricky topic to navigate. Should we be judging young women on the way they dress? Encouraging them to ‘put it away’? Or instead allow them to explore their sexuality?
But how did ‘exploring your sexuality’ become so widely translated as ‘dressing like a porn star’?