Thursday, 18 June 2015

Scantily clad and totally rad.

                                                                   Source via

Slut shaming is wrong in whichever context you put it. Whether it be to class a woman as undignified based on sexual history, desires and choices or on the clothing she wears it is an unfair judgement on her way of being that really isn't reversed for the other gender. The sexual revolution has perhaps not come to its conclusion in that rather than being liberated women are merely encouraged to behave and dress provocatively but are then ridiculed and debased for doing so in some bizarre and unjust game of double standards. The media says to wear a mini skirt, and society (whilst perpetuating the content of the media) passes judgement for any woman or girl who decides that they really do like the scantily dressed fashion item. The amount of people a woman sleeps with is becoming less of a cause for discrimination because, like, get over it, but the sexualised fashion making its way down to girls as young as 12 is a little more concerning.

There is a more psychological issue running right along side our slut shaming scandal which brings to light the reasons behind the fashion choices women and girls make. A young girl is the only person making the conscious choice to wear a revealing crop top and hot pants which is totally rad if that makes her comfortable but, when looking at it a different way, a horrible example of the mass insecurity supplied by media and society both to sexualise girls in particular.

For some reason, most boys do not feel it necessary to wear as little as possible to parties where they will find a majority of the girls with skirts riding just below their buttocks. Sexuality for boys, whilst full of its own concerns, is not quite as dramatically enforced as sexuality for girls is shoved into the faces of TV watchers, newspaper readers and internet users every single day. The power of female sexuality may have something to do with femininity and the mystic hold it seems to have over both the possessor and the onlooker and when one is comfortable with said sexuality a short skirt and an attractive demeanour can be totally killer. But the horrible feeling I have when I see a young girl clad in nothing but a bralet and short skirt is that this girl is not really meaning for the whole world to be watching as the skirt rides up, or her cleavage squeezes as the bralet bunches together. Sometimes I worry that this girl has seen one too many popular music videos and suffers from low self esteem because glossy magazines scream at her to lose weight and get a tan and get toned and wax everywhere possible. So this girl wears near to nothing to feel the gaze of men (and women) on her, to know that some men will look at her hungrily and to feel appreciated for the perfectly formed body which each day is devalued and criticised for not looking inhuman, all to fill a hole in her confidence. This girl is probably only 14.

This is not to say that wearing provocative clothing is always a sad thing. Sometimes it's thrilling to wear short shorts, sometimes it feels empowering and pleasant to know that you are attractive to people in the immediate vicinity and sometimes being scantily clad is a choice of a self confident woman who enjoys the attention just for the rush it gives her.

What is desperately important to stress is that in both circumstances a woman cannot be called a slut for wearing revealing clothing. It means nothing in the way of describing who they are, but it is detrimental all the same. There is no need for a public ban on hot pants (I for one would heartily oppose such a thing) but there is definitely a need for a review on how women are portrayed. Sexualisation by itself is not wrong but sexualisation forced onto all members of society, including young children, in a visually violent and often distasteful manner through a vast section of media causing a whole wave of self hate and misplaced respect is almost disgusting.