Women – are we supposed to be sexy? Or not? What is the respectable way to dress?
As a little girl, I learned that “sexy”=”bad girl” and I dressed accordingly as I got older, with my high-necked lace blouses and conservative skirts. I remember my first boss giving me a little bit of flack about how high up my shirt was buttoned. (male car-sales manager)
My next employer was very conservative, so I fit right in with the dress code, but after work at happy hour, when all of us would go out to dance, I would let loose (I grew up dancing) and then drew inappropriate attention because of the way I moved my body. I was called a tease.
So, probably like most other women, I learned in my 20’s how easily I could control the attention of males (and the looks of disapproval or approval from others) with my clothes and how I move my hips.
Next stop… NFL cheerleading. May as well put that sexual energy into a creative outlet, I thought. That seemed like a safe place to dance my heart out and wear a sexy outfit. (Well, sexy for the 80’s, I guess.)
Next came marriage… He seemed to love my cheerleader status when we were dating, but once I became his wife, things changed. I changed. I became a mother. I dressed the part like I thought I should. Frumpy clothes. Weight gain… (I’m sure I gained the weight as a protective measure to be sure no other men looked at me.)
I hit my 40’s. God help me. God help all of us women in our 40’s with raging sex drives and “fuck-you” attitudes.
I dress for myself now. I dress so I can feel sexy, not so I can be sexy. I don’t care if men look at me or not… I care if I feel good. And most of the time, I feel good in a great VS push-up bra and a low-cut blouse. I finally like my breasts that I once thought were too small.
And I don’t really care if I’m leaving a wake of hard-ons behind me (even though the irony is, that probably isn’t happening now that I’m in my 40’s). I’m not dressing to get laid. I’m not dressing to impress the girls and get their fashion approval. It’s all about me, baby.
I don’t have to feel responsible for your behavior. I am not responsible for anyone’s reaction to what I wear. I feel confident I can control myself, and I’m the only one I need to worry about.
“I Don’t Need a Man” I see you looking at me
Like I got something that’s for you
And the way that you stare
Don’t you dare
‘Cause I’m not about to
Just give it all up to you
‘Cause there are some things I won’t do
And I’m not afraid to tell you
I don’t ever want to leave you confused
But does that make me a whore for attention? Is it a character defect that I like to celebrate my femininity and dress in sexy clothes? Is it evidence of some childhood trauma or lack of love in my life?
Is it disrespectful to a significant other?
This last question is the most important one, in my opinion. How much do we give up of ourselves in order to make another person feel comfortable?