• Megan Biggs

How to dress like a slut


Sometimes I listen to Fergie. I'm not proud of it, but...actually, you know what? I am proud of it. In her song London Bridges, there is one line of lyrical genius in particular that I really just connect with emotionally and spiritually. It touches my soul. Anyway, the line is this -

"I'm such a lady but I'm dressing like a ho."

Now anyone who lives with me can tell you I like belting this line out at pretty much any minute of the day, but especially when I'm dressed like a homeless person in my ratty plaid flannel and 75 cent tunisian pants. And the reason this is taken by my roommates as facetious is because of this huge divide that is currently going on with the way girls dress.

Most recently, three of my facebook friends posted this article to teenage girls. This was odd in occurrence because these three friends couldn't be farther across the spectrum of....religion, ideas, cultural norms, etc. One of these friends is a devout Christian lady in the states, one of these friends is a Christian wife and mother back home, and one of these is an atheist witch punk rocker who comes from Mormon stock. Two of my friends were posting the article because they agreed with it, and one was posting it because she vehemently wanted to punch everyone in the face after reading it.

So basically there are two schools of thought on this in Christian circles : 1. If you dress immodestly, you're inviting boys to look at you without respect for you as a person because it's sending a M-E-S-S-A-G-E. 2. Boys should respect girls no matter what they dress like.

Oh my god, where to begin. First on the scandalization menu is this - does dressing a certain way send a certain message? Fashion does send a message. If it didn't, nobody would care about it. For example, when I dress like a homeless bag lady, I'm sending the message that I prefer comfort over sophistication. If you were to assume that about me based on the way I was dressed, guess what? YOU'D BE RIGHT. But, here's the thing - I could also be dressing that way trying to send the message that I'm in solidarity with homeless people. Or that I'm too poor to afford nice clothes. Or as a protest against the proletariat. Or maybe I'm saying, with my dress, that I'm a communist. My point is, you don't know what my message is, because you haven't asked me. So to just assume that you know what I'm saying without asking isn't kind. And it's not very smart, either.

Now, why do girls, teenage girls, post selfies of themselves in what they might consider to be "sexy poses" before bedtime? I don't know why. But then there's a lot of things that teenage girls do that I don't understand.

And rest assured, I do understand the awkwardness that comes with scrolling through a feed and all of a sudden there's a half naked trying-to-be-sexy teenager. Or mid-lifer. It's not something that just teenagers do.

Why do girls do this? Some girls do it because they want acceptance and they've been told, from day fucking one, that it's what the world wants to see. So they do it, and then they get confused when the world is like, "I am scandalized and offended and I will complain about you!" Exhibit A : Miley Cyrus.

Now, consider a guy doing the same thing - posting shirtless pictures of himself working out or doing whatever. Lots of guys do this. But they are not met with shame. They are more likely met with appreciation. (At least on my part.) He is not met with parents thinking he is not boyfriend material and needs higher self esteem. (If anything, these men need their self esteem lowered.)

I think we've all seen those "hey girl" photos of Ryan Gosling, and never once have I met any girl who's been like, "That Ryan Gosling sure is white trash. He could never be a serious boyfriend for me."


So this is what I have to say about the topic :

1. Girls dressing in revealing clothing may be sending a message, but it's not for us to say.

2. It's not our (the sexy ladies of instagram) responsibility to make sure boys don't grow up to be rapists from the way that we girls are dressed. That's the parents' responsibility.

3. The beauty and fashion industry is a billion dollar industry for a reason. It is built on the insecurity of girls and women. So do a lot of us have poor self-esteem? Yes. We fucking do. But institutions and authorities and the media have been constantly telling us from the get-go that we have to be skinny and pretty and sexy in order to be liked. So that's what we did. And like a proud child who colours a picture and manages to stay within the lines, we also would like to show the end result in order to receive a pat on the head and a "Well done!" I do not understand why anybody is fucking surprised about this.

Which brings me to my next point.

A girl's body is her own. She can do with it as she likes. That does not give anybody else the right to assault her, berate her, or disrespect her. Or write stupid opinion pieces about her.

We seem to have grasped that in regards to boys.

But in the words of one revolutionary meme, "He's going to call you crazy anyway, so go ahead and cause that fucking scene, bitch."

Everyone is going to call us slutty whores anyway. It wouldn't matter what we were dressed like. So we might as well go ahead and cause that fucking scene, bitch.

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