slut (plaid dress, plaid coat, & clashing shades of red)

I

“You always dress so classy,” she said to me as we passed on the street. “I really like how you manage to look sexy without being, you know” – she lowered her voice – “slutty.”

If anything has ever made me want to unbutton my blouse and rip a few inches off my skirt, it was that.

V VI

That girl was just one person, sure. But I wish that attitude weren’t so endemic to the vintage community. I’ve unfollowed a couple of tumblr rockabilly blogs for continually posting stuff like “reblog if you wish women still acted like ladies”. It’s funny to me how people don’t see that ideals of modesty are constantly evolving. Many of the styles these vintage girls fetishize were downright scandalous by, say, Victorian standards. Exposed ankles? What a slut! Who’s to say today’s iterations won’t look positively dowdy in fifty years?

I hate that the way I dress comes with embedded implications of how I think or what values I hold. I, personally, prefer a more understated sex appeal in my daily life. (My burlesque life is a whole other beast.) I’m not comfortable in short skirts or tight dresses, but don’t think for a second that I’m okay with shaming people who are. My fifties dresses don’t come with fifties values. Perish the thought – you can value modesty for yourself without hurling epithets at those who aren’t just like you!

III VIIIXI II

I feel caught between worlds sometimes. I want to present Prim as Fuck and still be loyal to my poly folks and my burlesque dancers and my sex workers. I don’t want my personal style to negate my commitment to My People, and I definitely don’t want it to imply, ever, that I’m complicit in shaming others’ sexuality.

VII X

5 Comments Add yours

  1. “Exposed ankles? What a slut! ” That made me laugh. out. loud. I think “slut” is all in the attitude of the wearer; you know me and my values of modesty, but seriously… people can wear what they want. Personally I think sexiness is something more than just clothing, too, so… there you go. And while I can’t say that I haven’t judged a girl for wearing supershort, supertight, superlow outfits all in one (because if we’re being open, we all judge on something physical, even if we try not to), but on the everyday basis, usually if I see an attractive girl wearing something low cut or whatever, my first thought is not “what a slut.” My first thought is probably “man, she’s pretty/her figure is great/dude those boobs(we all think it.)/I wish I had her legs”.

    Annd… I wish I had your wardrobe. I was thinking about starting a wardrobe trade off kind of like some blogger groups do, but then I got afraid that I’d miss my clothes too much while they were gone. But I also think it would be SUPER fun to have something like that for bloggers who are… you know, more buxom. 😉 It’s still just an idea rattling around in my head.

    1. skye says:

      I mean, we all judge. We all have horrible filthy internal monologues we’d never dare speak aloud, and that’s fine. 🙂 I just find it weird when people air theirs – especially to almost-strangers, as I barely knew this girl – and expect people to nod along. Some things are just unkind and are better left in your head or among friends.

      I wish I had *your* wardrobe! Especially the schoolgirl dress. And the cherry dress. And the mushroom dress. And everything else. 😀 I would so be interested in setting up a clothing swap. I’d miss my clothes too, but that might be balanced out by the thrill of new ones.

  2. Anna says:

    Haha. I wouldn’t even know what to say if someone said that to me. Probably ‘thank you,’ but with a question mark. Heh. We’re all judgmental by nature and, more often than not, we have no idea what we’re talking about when we verbalize those judgments. If I cover myself practically from head to toe, this doesn’t mean I’m not a slut. I could be sleeping with people left and right. Meanwhile, the girl in the above-knee-length skirt and low cut tank top could be a total sweet heart; intelligent; thoughtful; and virtuous. Basically, you can’t know sh*t about a person just by looking at him/her. So many people don’t seem to get this or they just completely ignore it.

    I think it’s cool that this lady thought you were sexy, but it seems like she would have concluded that you were slutty, if your dress was shorter or if it had a lower neckline or if you wore garter stockings. That upsets me, but like I said. We’re judgmental creatures (for better or for worse). At least you don’t let it get to you. That’s the best thing you can do under the circumstances. ❤

    – Anna

    http://www.melodicthriftychic.com

  3. Helga says:

    I suspect my reaction would have been a keen urge to pull my knickers down and flash my twat, grey hairs and all.
    People are so fecking ridiculous at times, and don’t think before they speak.
    Come prance garishly with me sometime. XXX

  4. Benesse says:

    It wasn’t a terrible comment, but then we’re all wired differently. It’s certainly less offensive to me than someone pulling their knickers down and flashing. The older I get the less judgmental I am of myself and therefore others.

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