You don't have to signal a social conscience by looking like a frump. Lace knickers won't hasten the holocaust, you can ban the bomb in a feather boa just as well as without, and a mild interest in the length of hemlines doesn't necessarily disqualify you from reading Das Kapital and agreeing with every word. --Elizabeth Bibesco

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lent is Drawing to a Close: Interviews, Part 1

Okay, so Lent is drawing to a close and I'm trying to figure out what I've gotten out of my Lenten discipline and where I will go from here. I feel like much of it has been a study in what parts of my body I am comfortable showing and why I'm not comfortable showing them. For instance, I've been pretty much always uncomfortable in swim suits and while this is due in part, I am sure, to my own body image issues, I think it is also heavily related to modesty. Some of those parts (stomach, upper thighs) are, for me, between me and God and my Woman. I don't want to show them to everyone and their brother. I think this discipline has liberated me in a way. I feel more comfortable covering what I want to cover, whether or not everyone else does.

It also taught me that everyone has parts of them they think should be covered and parts they think should not be covered, so I decided to interview a bunch of friends for their opinions on clothes. I will do a little series on these with whoever wants to contribute. My questions are in Italics. Their answers have only been minorly edited for comprehension and such.


Do you have parts of your body that you feel should always be covered (in public)?
What are they?

Pretty much just the naughty parts, boobs, butts, and genitals.

Do you have parts of your body that you feel should never be covered? What are they?
Pretty much just the face. Although I really don't like wearing gloves.

Do you have parts of your body that you feel should be covered/uncovered at certain times?
Everything that hasn't been covered before! Every other part of your body can be covered or uncovered depending on the situation. For instance, what you wear to the beach is different then what you wear to a business meeting.

Besides what you cover/don’t cover, are there other distinctive ways about how you dress? Please elaborate as best you can.
I pretty much wear anything and everything. I do try and pull comfort into the mix. Because I live in SoCal in the desert, it can get hot. I like to wear light fabrics with bold prints, and especially sun dresses. In the winter it gets pretty cold, so layers are key. I also like to look good and feel sexy so some times I put in some extra effort like wearing jewelry, but that is only once in a while. There really is no telling what I will feel like wearing on a day-to-day basis.

Describe your typical outfit.

I have two typical outfits. One is for the week when I am in school. I wear jeans and a teeshirt, or one of my longer dresses. I like to keep my legs down to my knees covered along with my stomach. I make sure that my bra or underwear are not showing and that I am not being provocative. On the weekends, it's a whole other ball game. I wear my SUPER short skirts and dresses, often bear my midriff, and like to show off cute colored bra straps. Even still, I try not to be too racy. I only show off one provocative area at a time (legs, midriff, shoulders/breasts). My goal is to be sexy, not slutty.

In an ideal world/social norms notwithstanding, would your typical outfit be different? How?
I think my typical outfit would be a lot different, especially in the summer time. It gets so hot here, that oftentimes the last thing that I want to do is wear clothing. I think that I would start wearing bathing suits as clothing, or just go completely nude (which I guess isn't a typical outfit).

Why do you dress the way you do? Please elaborate as best you can.
My clothes basically try and find an intersection between comfort and beauty. I want to look hot/sexy/beautiful, but I also want to be able to move in my clothes and feel comfortable. I like finding flirty clothes that aren't too tight or too short or too restricting. Because of this, I love my sun dresses. They are typically about mid-thigh length which is enough to run around in and sit down in without flashing anything inappropriate, but short enough to show off some leg. And because they are dresses, they have a certain amount of style and beauty associated with them.

Do you think everyone should dress the way you do? Why or why not?
I think that people should try and follow some of my guidelines about what to wear and when. I have seen, several times, girls wearing micro mini skirts to class where everyone can see their underwear (or lack thereof). To me, that is just not appropriate. Don't get me wrong, I love the micro mini and if they looked good on me I would have 12 in my closet, but it is for a more informal setting then the classroom. As far as what people wear, I would hate it if everyone dressed like me. I wouldn't be able to stand out with crazy fashion sense or ridiculous shoes. I like everyone wearing different things and expressing who they are.

How do you think people respond to your manner of dress?

I think they think I'm a little crazy sometimes, but overall I don't think people really think about what I wear. I don't wear anything that is overly offensive or different from the norm at my school.

How would you like people to respond to your manner of dress?
Mostly for them to think I look good.


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