A little while ago I decided to give 'The Traditional Club Look' a test drive by stepping out in a fuchsia peplum bodycon dress from Fairground. I'm usually the type to wear something most people would consider "unflattering" to an event in which neat silhouettes and feminine styles are encouraged. Validating a dress code is most definitely my worst fashion nightmare. But after some indiscernible quantity of public appearances in garishly unorthodox ensembles, the novelty wears off. And it paradoxically becomes even more head-turning to wear a look that does conform to expectation. So after enough hesitation, this outfit coalesced... and it turned out to be much more of a sartorial surprise than a look that would have actually been true to Bebe Zeva character. You know, like harem pants and sneaker wedges and an iPhone 5 charger wrapped twice around my neck. Instead of the usual response -- hands on hips and a lighthearted "you would..." -- I was met with (for the first time ever) a "you wouldn't!"
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:
Gold necklaces - ROMWE, Daily Look
Fuchsia peplum bodycon dress - FAIRGROUND
"Modern sandal heels" - Daily Look
Maybe I'll just start dressing like this forever? Like literally just showing up for class in ass-accentuating mall dresses and ostentatious costume jewelry... this seems like a good segue into a conversation I'm going to force my readers to have with me about the Female Dialectic. I'm expected to honor an aesthetic wherein my "feminine qualities" like boobs, hips, and a butt are highlighted, otherwise I'm considered unattractive. And as a woman, my attractiveness is directly proportional to my worth as a human being. But then when I actually wear this shit out in public, I get slut-shamed for trying to draw attention to my body and appearance. I'm labeled 'superficial' and 'trashy.' As a consequence, lots of women instead opt for "the natural look" or pride themselves in resembling "one of the guys." But I find that behavior to be problematic as it encourages assimilation to androgyny and a concentrated movement away from symbols of femininity. I don't believe that women should ever reject clothes or products they associate with a "socially constructed idea of womanhood." I don't believe that is productive to the feminist cause. I believe that embracing what is associated with womanhood sends the message that there is nothing to be ashamed of. High heels, heavy makeup, tight clothing, so what? Shaming these symbols because they are "fake" is like expecting a POC to reject elements of their own "socially constructed culture" because it contributes to their oppression. NO. SHAME and REJECTION contribute to oppression. Celebration does not. Agency does not. Subverting what society encourages us to move away from because it is 1) a threat to conformity and 2) a reinforcement of diversity is empowering.
Everything is infinite,