Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Whole Lotta Skin

I find myself in a sort of a dilemma, a paradox really. It involves women and a whole lotta skin, so this will probably be one of those posts that gets passed around; which is fine, I have no objections against giving the people a little heart and a little humor. So.....butts hu?

Growing up, I was taught that modesty is of critical importance for a young lady. My mother, a conservative lady herself, never would have allowed me out of the house wearing outfits that I have seen girls sporting at church recently.  Here is where my conflict arises. And since I never do anything without dramatic flare, I would like to present it in the form of an angel and a devil on my shoulder engaging in conversation. But since angel and devil denote right or wrong, lets just call them Tic and Nip. Why? I have no idea. This is how I approach a lot of topics; that is to say, I often examine issues from both sides of the argument. Some may call this fence sitting; I call it thinking. Nevertheless, here is how this conversation might sound, were you in my head as a spectator.

Me: Wow....that girl's shorts are leaving nothing to the imagination.

Tic: That is disgusting, doesn't she realize that everyone can see her cellulite? Short shorts are like driver licenses, they are meant to be a privilege and not a right.

Nip: Would you feel differently if she had a flawless body?

Me: That's a good point. Am I appalled because she is wearing immodest shorts? Or because I don't feel like someone her size should be wearing immodest shorts?

Tic: Look, I'm not saying it's fair, but let's be honest. Society has certain standards, and those include standards for physical beauty. This is why you are never going to see a 300lb Ms. America. I'm not saying that it is right or wrong, I'm just saying that a girl of her size needs to realize that she simply can't wear those shorts, even if they are in style. If she really wants to wear them, then she needs to hit the gym a little harder than that box of Ho Ho's.

Nip: But that is ridiculous! Why should this girl feel a need to cover up simply because of some socially constructed dogma about physical beauty? What if fat became the new thin? Then would you feel differently?

Tic: When fat becomes the new thin, then I might rethink the matter. But I really doubt that day will ever come. Reality is reality on this matter, unfortunately. This girl needs to learn the rules of engagement.

Nip: This girl, should be just as proud of her body as any toothpick running around. It is absolutely asinine to place restrictions on a body due to some perceived "flaw". So what if she has cellulite? The real issue here is the obvious double standard, which, I would hope you as a woman would fight to oppose.

Me: It's true, I do feel torn. On one hand, I believe that a woman should be able to wear whatever she wants regardless of her size or shape. I think the bigger issue for me isn't who should get to wear that kind of clothing, but rather, should anyone be wearing it period?

Tic: Absolutely not. If we are going to talk real virtues here, nobody should be wearing them.

Nip: And why is that?

Tic: Because; it sends the wrong signals to men. It is basically a big flashing sign that reads Open for Business 24 hours a Day.

Nip: Really? All that from a pair of shorts? Isn't it possible that she is just proud of her body and choosing to...

Tic: What? Choosing to use her body as a means of gaining attention/affection? Yeah, I'd say that's a little tacky.

Nip:  Now isn't this the pot calling the kettle black. Like you said, I didn't build the social constructs, I am merely pointing out that certain ways of dressing present a certain...openness to sexual availability. If that is what she is going for, then she has learned to play the game and more power to her. You wouldn't fault her for flaunting her flawless smile or sparkling eyes right? In this culture, sex sells, and if you so happen to have a body that falls within the approved pile, then why wouldn't you use it to the fullest extent?

Tic: The issue here is that a woman shouldn't have to feel like she needs to wear that kind of clothing in the first place. But you are right, it is what it is. But here is the thing, if women refused to sexualize themselves, then the men would just have to adapt. If the kitchen is closed, then they will have to find other ways of feeding themselves.

Me: I think I have to agree with both of you. I find it sad that we live in such a society that women feel a need to have to use their bodies and sexuality as a form currency in order to buy love and attention. That being said, I see it highly unlikely that this reality is going to change any time soon. Even if we all started wearing turtle necks and parachute pants, it isn't going to change the fact that a man will be trying his darndest to get you out of said clothing at some point. We are only human after all. 

I guess in the end, I just have to accept that there are certain realities about the society we live in. There will always be girls with perfect bodies who use said bodies to catch the attention of men. On the other hand, there will also always be women who refuse to objectify themselves in such a manner.  I also think that even though we are all human, and as such, all predisposed to a weakness of the flesh, I can't discredit those who make a conscious choice to not give those kinds of girls the time of day. I don't think those girls are evil at all, I myself have certainly been guilty of flaunting what I got a time or two; but I do feel sorry for them, for all of us really, that we felt like we had to in order to give us the edge in this highly competitive world of mate selection.

That being said, I understand that what is "modest" is nothing more than a social construct. However, it is the construct in which we find ourselves. In an ideal world, people could walk around naked as a jay bird and nobody would say boo. After all, what is the body more than raiment? the good book says? We are more than our physical forms, and I do find it slightly bemusing that we have become a society that all but worships something that can never last, and that will ultimately turn to dust anyway, while seemingly neglecting the value of the indestructible soul. We are blinded by biology it seems. Myself included. Too bad really. Too bad.  



  1. "I find it sad that we live in such a society that women feel a need to have to use their bodies and sexuality as a form currency in order to buy love and attention." It's always been that way. Men have evolved to be attracted to signs of fertility and health in women. Women are attracted to signs of power and strength in men. That's about it.

    What we have on our hands now is a pile of shame about our own feelings. All things are relative... or are they? Read this and tell me what you think.

  2. To each their own as I always say, we must all make and live with our own decisions but, that being said, I do have to judge for myself. And when a girl dresses to impress in a sexual manner, I keep my distance, because I know those are the types of girls that will not be helpful in my keeping my moral goals. Not that they're bad people as you said, I have many girl friends that dress that way, but they are not good for me, dating-wise