Social Issues: Conservative Dress for Women

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  © 2007  by Raymond Alexander Kukkee

"The future solution to  extremist swings from ultra-conservatism to the flaunting of flesh and back --in female dress code --appears to be for common-sense women everywhere to unilaterally claim, protect, -and even fiercely HOLD, the middle ground of fashion. Refuse to be dictated to by glittering CEO's of fashion or dogmatic threats of hell, regardless of origin."   Conservative Dress: The Basic Issues are not  Fun or Simple. You may believe that choice of dress for women should be a simple thing. You may believe that in our enlightened times, women already express themselves as they see fit, and dress themselves as they wish to be seen. Dress appropriately. Make a choice. Fashion is fun. Surprise. It is not fun.  It is far from simple. It does not happen. Societal pressure to conform to conservative dress or otherwise for women is, in part, imposed by peer pressure and artificial limitations, but substantially more so by artificial social mores and societal hypocrisy. The current trend and influence of rising religious dogma is also exerting influence, but not nearly as much as that of fashion an international human disease driven by the fabric of big business, greed and money. If one cannot grasp the concept of societal hypocrisy in fashion, check out the gender gap; it is easily enough observed. Complain about pervasive sex in society as you may, then open any popular magazine, or watch any commercial, popular television show or motion picture in North America today. Invariably, the women in "entertainment" display cleavage and long legs in all walks of life, -while males are buttoned up to the neck, choking in neckties, and are undoubtedly zipped up tightly. The fact of the matter is, commercially, sex and exploitation of the female body sells product. The degree to which clothing has been considered to be conservative has changed repeatedly over the centuries and continues to do so. "Revealing of the flesh" and "dressing conservatively" as it pertains to draping the female form varies and changes worldwide, from country to country, culture to culture, and from year to year. From the extremes of Victorian prudery and the Burqua to purposeful exposure, societal attitude continues to display substantial lack of parallel in comparison of dress code of males to that of females. The naked fact and reality is that current treatment of the female body is driven and dictated by sexualization of individual body parts which are exchanged at the whim of style. Breasts are in, ankles are out, but legs are in vogue; the endless molding of contemporary societal attitude satisfies the lust of hypocrites and achieves the financial goals of the powerful. The real problem confronting women's dress code today is the artificial objectification and sexualization of female body parts, which is nothing less than blatant artificial insemination of the collective societal mind. Anything can be planted, made acceptable  and even desirable -if the right seed is planted . The fashion industry clearly knows that lust grows where the body shows. With specific encouragement, beguiled men respond precisely as the industry expects, and brainwashed women become clones in unison as the industry predicts and profits -at directing one of the most lucrative games in the world. Fashion tweaks vanity.Vanity breeds conformity. Every woman wants to look good and feel desirable. The female body is indisputably an incredibly beautiful creation that -without the silicon enhancements of late, fashionable or otherwise, does not need to be, and clearly should not be, objectified, sexualized or sensualized for the titillation of the masses. Civility would suggest that the existence of any body part should not be magnified, modified, or glorified merely for the wealth of the fashion industry, or used as targets of implied shame. To do either is to provide cannon fodder for the self-righteous -those being the individuals that feign impropriety, insult and express indignation at nudity, complain bitterly about pervasive societal sex, but somehow seem to participate willingly.
Michelle Alves, Model  1.

Michelle Alves, Model 1.

  In nature, breasts exist to feed babies, but the industry insists they are merely for the endless titillation of lusting hedonists.The brassiere was invented to objectify and make the female breast erotic, conveniently making money in the process.Every woman has to have one or more, hopefully dozens of brassieres, or she is not " dressed appropriately or fashionably".   Young girls only eight or ten years old are given "training bras"- not because they have breasts to fill them, but to train them psychologically and early, to buy into "fashionable" bras, filling  instead the cash registers of the fashion and garment industries. Bare-breasted women have walked around freely in Africa, Polynesia, and other parts of the world for centuries and absolutely nothing is thought about it, other than by bra manufacturers and gawky beach-wasting foreigners who perhaps indignantly pretend to cover their eyes in embarrassment and stare as if the female breast was a new, threatening, alien creation. Historically in some cultures  it was the style to cover one breast, but expose the other or perhaps peek-a-boo a nipple. For the simple and jolly-minded, it might have been too easy to assume there was one nipple provided for the baby and one for the lust of men, but in fact it was the lusting of the fashion dictators, - and women were pressured to breast-feed only in private. Breasts became   objectified and the playground of the fashion industry instead of being what they are-a food supply for babies. For some reason, the most important and natural process in the world became almost taboo and unacceptable to fashion. The politically correct and the fashion industry must be made to share blame equally.
German Fashion model Vera Gafron

German Fashion model Vera Gafron 2.0

  Legs have also been sexualized and objectified. Long-legged, popular, and intensely beautiful made-up models, their legs unbelievably thin and reaching all the way to the outskirts of Regina are used to display "fashion". The "mini". Less cloth, more profit. Women, spray-painted,  manufactured, totally unrealistic samples of womankind are endlessly promoted as "normal" body types in the annual hemline shift .     Women are hidden in the suffocating, hot, deep south, at times down to the ankle at the insistence of control freaks that fill their cash registers, but take advantage knowingly as hemlines are headed either direction. Up or down, it does not matter as long as women are also decorated with expensive silk. Silk from China raised ancient eyebrows first because it was possible to see the female body in it's entirety if it was swathed in filmy, beautiful silk -yet silk was embraced and imported quickly and vigorously promoted by merchants of fashion who used the sexualization of legs for profit.
Afghan Eyes Sexualized

Afghan Eyes Sexualized  3.0

  Similar conservative dress' regimes have been applied to arms, wrists, ankles, feet, and even the eyes. The veiled, painted eye is the promise of the unknown; the allure of unrequited, mystical sex.     Lips covered with the "fashionable enhancement " of colour can be truly and exotically beautiful, but cosmetic companies push the envelope to extremism.  The garish, flaming red lipstick of common prostitutes is
Garish Lipstick

Garish Lipstick    4.0

promoted as "beautiful" to encourage women to buy product. The not-very-subtle message to women is, " if you can't act like a prostitute because of your religion, Daddy's position in life, your church, or your up-tight upbringing at finishing school, at least you can look like one and still get your man". It is impossible for the cosmetic industry not to be aware of the crude description "cake hole", a term that is coarsely and ignorantly used to describe the garish red lip-stick- caked mouths of sex trade workers. One must seriously question if an ugly descriptive phrase such as that is coined by women-hating men that wish to exert power and control women; individuals expecting instant gratification and fellatio by the brightly painted, outrageously red mouths they have seen -in fashion  magazines.  Open any fashion magazine and see for yourself. In fashion advertising, sex is the seed that is planted in the mind. The sex of advertising blatantly and unashamedly sells almost everything except morality, reason, or conservative dress. Contemporary exploitation of women of all ages by the fashion industry is a disgrace. The fashion industry does not blatantly state so, but infers that if a woman is not "in fashion" she is the unworthy, ugly duckling of females. The fact that the "incredibly thin, manufactured, painted, manicured, perfectly coiffed, and fashionably-dressed" woman is unrealistic, improbable, and outrageously expensive -is ignored. Women are encouraged to be thin and lose weight to the point of anorexia -and exist as starving, jutting female bone structures that support confused, hollow, empty eyes seeking approval, often at the expense of their very lives. Fashion is truly sick.  

The Demand for Conservative Dress for Women equates to Control of Women

The industry knows which buttons to push. Young women start to believe they are "less than adequate" as the reduction in self-esteem makes them believe their core values, even their morals - are worthless if they cannot conform to "the image" . Rather than being allowed to be the children that they are, girls nine years old are endlessly made up, dressed up, and pushed into our adult world of extremes, where children have been used as models - to act like they are eighteen --for the explicit purpose of selling fashion. The truly sad derivative end to the equation is that many women, young and old, educated or not, actually buy into the continuous bombardment of industry propaganda  -even willingly, since they are also encouraged to feel totally worthless if they do not conform - no matter how flaunting, unattractive, foolish, or stylish' the latest bimbo fashions may be. The paradoxical, feigned indignation evident when western society is criticized by extremists of cultures that would have all women controlled and invisible, covered completely with black cloth and Burquas, is little more than a knee jerk reaction of uncertainty in uncertain times, yet the morality, freedom and style of women today is piously considered by some conservatives to be one of the root causes of universal extremism that has been thrust into prominence and aimed specifically at western culture. Regarding other cultures, perhaps we should mind our own business.     As an observation, North American society already suffocates women perhaps not as blatantly obvious, perhaps even not intentionally or cruelly hidden under the despised  ugly,  often black, hot cloth of other cultures, but under the pressure of materialism and unrealistic expectations; unyielding pressure for immediate gratification of the greedy and powerful sex-based fashion industry. Cultures that simultaneously criticize western values but also practice hypocrisy and control of women in the most distasteful order shall continue to do so. Undoubtedly, to stem the criticism of the uprising tide of the religious right in North America, conservatism in dress will again be brought into "fashion" by the industry. The fact that it will be done so, and conveniently, -just in time to profit immensely by matching up the indignation and resulting perception of our society that it must protect itself from the outfall of unreasonable, outrageous religious dogma, and angry, economically desperate, ill-understood third-world patriarchal cultures -should not go unnoticed. Exploitation of the human condition continues to find no limitation in our uncivilized world .In civilized minds, moderation and the application of intelligent thought go a long way to achieve any goal of change. The future solution to extremist swings from ultra-conservatism to the flaunting of flesh and back in female dress code --appears to be for common-sense women everywhere to unilaterally claim, protect, -and even fiercely HOLD, the middle ground of fashion. Refuse to be dictated to by glittering CEO's of fashion or dogmatic threats of hell, regardless of origin. Genuine empowerment of women is paramount. Not in the sense of mindless extremism and foolishness practiced by ultra feminist movements of times past, but rather in sincere, consistent, and absolute change. Maintenance of standards of moderation and decency -boldly applied and practiced -would not be illogical in the search for reason. Movement inevitably must be made, not ever closer to the apparent state of the spotty, decayed morality now professed to be 'cool' by women who clearly have little or no self-esteem, but movement closer to logic and recognition of self-worth. To many, female human bodies have become less than mindless dispensable painted Barbie dolls, objects to be offered indiscriminately and used in sex ; bodies displayed to achieve instant approval, gratification and the love they seek. Will conservative dress for women resolve that issue?  No.
Afghan Women wearing Burkhas

Afghan Women wearing     Burkhas    5.0

  For these individuals, sadness and confusion is prevalent, and they have no idea why. Ugly, often black, hot cloth of other cultures is clearly not the answer, but without thought and under the pressure of materialism and unrealistic expectations; unyielding pressure for immediate gratification of the greedy and powerful sex-based fashion industry, it may become so.   Cultures that simultaneously criticize western values but also practice hypocrisy and control of women in the most distasteful order shall continue to do so. Undoubtedly, to stem the criticism of the uprising tide of the religious right in North America , conservatism in dress will again be brought into "fashion" by the industry. It seems that conservative dress for women will, in fact, be forced upon them. The fact that it will be done so, and conveniently, -just in time to profit immensely by matching up the indignation and resulting perception of our society that it must protect itself from the outfall of unreasonable, outrageous religious dogma, --and angry, economically desperate, ill-understood third-world patriarchal cultures -should not go unnoticed. Exploitation of the human condition continues to find no limitation in our uncivilized world .  In civilized minds, moderation and the application of intelligent thought go a long way to achieve any goal of change. The future solution to the contemporary North American problem of societal confusion that will result in extremist swings from ultra-conservatism to the flaunting of flesh and back in female dress code appears to be for common-sense women everywhere to unilaterally claim, protect, -and even fiercely HOLD, the middle ground of fashion. Refuse to be dictated to by glittering CEO's of fashion or dogmatic threats of hell, regardless of origin. Surely at some point, logical women already realize  they have been duped by the rich pimps of fashion, and the eternal, negative influence of societal materialism. Clarity in analysis of any human behaviour dictates there is a place for breath-taking nakedness, playful exposure, and subtle, beautiful allure, just as there is a place for blue jeans, sweatshirts, or conservative, reasonable dress. It is time for women universally to decide for themselves how they wish to dress themselves . To achieve that goal, women must ignore the dictates of fashion and decide for themselves what they wish to portray as individuals; not as sheep to be led, bleating, to the cash registers that ring incessantly in fashion houses and malls, -and not as objects of religious fervour. They personally must decide what they wish to display of themselves, and to do that , they MUST vote with the economic power they now hold as an ever more powerful segment of society. For women everywhere, there is much to be gained in claiming the power of style and self-determination. Women must reclaim ethical and moral decency in dress, but as normalcy rather than as "fashion". Women must ultimately individualize themselves, each and every one,  dressing appropriately, reasonably and, yes, even conservatively when appropriate -and dress otherwise when they individually have chosen to do so, not because of peer pressure, not because of religion, and most certainly not because industry has magnanimously  dictated  that something is " in fashion". Conservative dress for women must be a choice made by women. YOU decide -what fashion, and 'conservative'  IS.  Think for yourselves  The gloves are off. # Is that Incoming I hear?


 

1.  Photo credit:  By Tiago Chediak on Flickr (http://flickr.com/photos/tiagochediak/90236724/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons 2. Photo credit:  German model Vera Gafron   Wikimedia Commons 3  Photo credit:  Afghan eyes  Wikimedia Commons 4. Photo credit:  Pouty Lips     Wiki Media commons 5. Photo credit:  Afghan women wearing burkhas  Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 GenericFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

3 Responses to Social Issues: Conservative Dress for Women

  1. (1) Bra, really? Thank God, I don’t need one — but it’s good for large breasts, makes it more comfortable for “gifted” ladies to carry their gifts around…

    (2) Unfortunately, for those having to raise kids, esp. girls, eradicating those false messages that the media & society shower them with from a very tender age takes up time & energy that could be so much more constructively used!

    (3) What I see as most tragic (indeed!), is that obsession and anxiety of girls & women about their appearance, leading them to distort their nature with implants — everywhere: from boobs to lips to “anti-ageing” injections to sucking fat through medical procedures. Our culture is contradicting itself: wanting to teach self-confidence (a must-have for succeeding in life), while allowing the media to bombard women with insecurity about their image…

  2. Hi Helene, apparently you are the bravest girl around, at this date, over a thousand people have read this article, and you’re the only person that has been brave enough to comment. Kudos to you!

    I couldn’t agree more. The industry FEEDS on the vanity and insecurity of women–and brainwashes them from childhood. The ‘fashion’ industry dictates what shall be ‘in style’ but clearly lacks ethics, they are insulting and abusive in the attempt to turn ever-increasing profit. Genuine concern for women’s health is non-existent in the fashion industry. “Surgical correction” is “mandatory”. Bigger busts are “necessary”. Dignity is non-existent; and unfortunately–overall, there are few, if any boundaries of decency remaining in fashion. The promotion of ‘products’ from chemical-loaded deodorants, skin-killing makeup to ‘hair management’ and outrageously overpriced “skin creams” offers no concern or acceptance of responsibility for the proliferation chemically-induced cancers and other health problems. Unbelievable isn’t it. The ‘fashion industry’ is out of control–women seriously need to think for themselves and decide what’s suitable and best for THEM. The culture is indeed contradictory and destroying itself.
    Helene, thanks again, thank you so much for commenting “:) ~R

  3. Freda says:

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the
    courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Texas!

    Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!

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