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If She Looks Like, Walks Like, She Must Be a…….

November 2, 2011

I’m one of those rare people who actually believes that you can learn from people of ALL ages. And, recently I was engaged in a discussion with a twenty-something young woman who is into fashion, current trends, etc.

Our discussion centered on the inappropriate dress (o.k., let’s just call it what it is – slutty) of many of her generation of women.  I said that it just wasn’t her generation of women who don’t or won’t dress appropriately – that it seemed to be some sort of cultural phenomena. As hard as women fought over forty years ago during the feminist revolution to be taken seriously and not be treated like sex objects, too many of our fair gender seem to think that dressing provocatively (like a slut) at all hours of the day and night is acceptable. And, we both agreed, that it’s not.

When and why did it become acceptable – for instance – to display (during the day) deep cleavage or wear pants cut so low on the hips that the dimples on the small of your back are exposed not to mention the upper part of your buttocks? And, when and how did it become acceptable for women to dress like they were indeed professionals but professionals who are plying the oldest known trade (you know – prostitution)? It dismayed both of us at the importance and focus that many women – of any given age – put on being perceived as “sexy” or “hot” rather than smart, educated, accomplished, etc. What is sad for me, is to see a woman “of a certain age” who is still trying to compete with the twenty-somethings or her daughter.  It’s sad, because what she seems to be saying – whether intended or not – is that she is terrified of the natural process of aging and is hanging on to her youth with white knuckles – even if it makes her look ridiculous or predatory. (Think about it)

Now, I’m certainly not one of those women who think that once you turn a certain age you need to get thee to the nearest orthopedic shoe store and cut your hair short – quite the contrary.  I believe whole heartedly in doing your best to look your best. But looking your best evolves over time and what works for a twenty-something usually doesn’t work for a forty or fifty-something.   You know I’m right about this.

I’m of the opinion that women who dress inappropriately (like a slut) either: a.) want attention; b.) lack respect for themselves; c.) want attention – oh wait, I already listed this one; d.) are unaware that how they dress discounts and distracts from any other fine attributes and qualities that they may possess; e.) really ARE sluts; f.) are of a “certain age” and are terrified of aging; OR g.) a combination of any and all of these.

My very wise twenty-something friend summarized our conversation like this: a woman’s apparel should be tight enough to show that she’s a woman but loose enough to show that she’s a lady.  And, that – we both agreed – is the problem: many women don’t want to be a “lady.” Instead, they want to be “sexy” and “hot.” My question for them would be, “for whom and for how long?”

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