Thursday, October 11, 2007

On Women’s Clothing and the Dignity of Woman

h/t to Melanie:

This is an excerpt from a great post from Aimee the "Historical Christian" blog. Aimee has brought up some very interesting points, and I must say that I think she is right.

Here is a snip:
I remember a couple of years ago watching the show Project Runway, a reality show about upcoming fashion designers competing to win on the runway. At one point the judges, all models and fashion industry executives, were gushing about a particular dress coming down the runway, “Now, any woman with any figure could wear that! It’s beautiful!”

Any woman? Excuse me? The dress was of thin white silky material, with a short, pencil-straight skirt, sleeveless and backless, neckline plunging down to the navel, and the sides of the (braless and hanging) breasts exposed. It had less material than a slip. How could anyone in their right mind believe for one moment that any woman could wear such a dress?

Then there was the episode where designers were asked to design things for other contestant's mothers – and how painfully clear it became that most of them had no clue about how to design for a woman under 6’ and over 120 lbs. One of the mothers was reduced to tears of humiliation by the ugly design her “designer” created. I could relate. I’ve worn those same tears.

In watching the show over a couple of seasons (I enjoyed the creativity of it, though not, for the most part, the designs), it occurred to me: many top fashion designers are gay men. Having been close to many gay men in my life, I know that they for the most part don’t, shall I say, find a woman’s body attractive. Among some I’ve known, quite the opposite. Some refer to women disdainfully as “breeders,” with clear contempt for our reproductive capacity.

It occurred to me, as I watched the tall, skinny models make their way down the runway, that they bear a certain resemblance to adolescent boys. Gay men do like adolescent boys. So perhaps gay fashion designers, who in many respects drive the fashion industry, are not really designing for women, but for boys, consciously or no – leaving real women in the lurch, feeling inadequate, deprived, ugly, because of our shapely, curvy, soft, unpredictable bodies, designed for giving life. And that does not even begin to address what contraception, abortion, promiscuity, and pornography have done to our view of a woman’s body, its meaning, purpose, and dignity as image and likeness of God. Feminism was supposed to free us from such degradation - but it has not. It is worse than ever.

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