britney’s new video (synopsis), which she starts by pseudo-rebelliously saying “Fuck you” to members of the fake press, lead me to comment that i think it’s sad that after all these years her interpretation of being “edgy” is using the F word and dressing like 19 year old hot topic salesperson while still singing in her baby voice. this video is supposed to be Britney responding to her haters, but to me it seems she got played right into the thing she’s supposedly fighting against. the video does not scream “strong, confident, independent woman” to me.
this brought me back to try to finish my thoughts on this piece, which caused a lot of dissonance for me: http://jezebel.com/5810735/dont-fear-the-dowager-a-valentine-to-maturity
“Women with master’s degrees who are searching for life partners, list “rainbows, Girl Scout cookies, and laughing a lot” under “interests” on their Match.com profiles…
When I shop now, I have to make sure that garments I think are dresses, are not actually rompers. If you don’t know what rompers are, they’re shirts attached to shorts, and they used to be called onesies.
The closest thing Madonna ever did to infantilizing herself was for her 1992 Steven Meisel Vanity Fair cover. Today, KATY PERRY IS POSING IN HEADGEAR. And despite the facade of cliqueishness, and female friendship, and the Romy & Michelle’ness of gal-pal fun times, let’s be real. We all know these manic pixie Muppet Babies are really just in it for the peen. And instead of acting like a woman who might remind a skittish bro more of his teacher or his mother, we’re going for the pubeless, twee, Anime-eyed version of whatever dream girl we assume they want or need.
It’s like how we used to hide our interests around boys (‘I hate math! It’s so hard!’). Now, instead, we’re singing the praises of Skittles Sours instead of emulating, say, Kathleen Turner? Barbara Stanwyck? …
It’s all to the same ends— women are trying to broadcast to men that we won’t bite their dicks off. It’s just that now, instead of lipstick, we’re wearing glittery lip gloss, or that shit you get in the drug store that tastes like Dr. Pepper.
…Because the larger issue is that it is a lot easier for men -or even guys or bros-to demean us, if we’re girls. It’s much harder to bring down a woman, or to call her a moron, when she’s not in pigtails and Ring Pops. Not that his idea of you should influence your style, or your sense of self-worth. But I feel like in a way, it already sort of has?”
this causes a lot of dissonance for me because as a woman who is almost 35, i still often dress what some people would consider “young”. but while i would never be one to say what women over X age should/should not wear, i too agree that it’s hard take a woman over 30 seriously if she’s demanding respect while she is dressed like a girl half her age, and i too have noticed that current mall trends are catering hard to what some would consider “infantilism”. just the other day i was walking behind a female on the street who, from behind, i thought was probably 15-20 due to her slight build and because she was wearing a floral print onsie-romper thing. then i passed her, and noticed she had a pack of cigarettes in her hand and so then when i looked at her face, this woman was at least 40. it was confusing. perhaps this is my social construct, but to me it signaled something about this woman that suggested she wasn’t quite sane.
on the other hand, i also am firmly against the “blame the victim” accusations against women who get raped and then someone says she was “asking for it” because of how she was dressed/she was intoxicated, and believe that a woman should not suffer negative actions based on how she’s dressed. however, i do believe that what you wear matters and how you dress sends messages (intentional or otherwise), so i’m with the Jezebel author in that i have found my self cringing lately when i see other women my age dressing like someone half it. a touch of cutesy – sure. i like playful. i like pigtails, i like striped knee socks and glitter. but there’s a blurry line there and somewhere (usually depending on context) it becomes hard to know if you are just holding onto your youth or if you’re really immature.
also, on this note, of late i’ve been irked by the ubiquity of the use of the word “girls” to describe women of ANY AGE. i was watching a travel show on TV and this hiking guide was with two middle-aged WOMEN, but he kept referring to them as “the girls” and it was driving me NUTS. i get that the linguistic pairing of “guys” and “girls” is basically equal to “men” and “women”, and therefore calling a 35-y.o. male a “guy” and a 35-y.o female a “girl” is the same, so then why is it that the reference to a grown woman as a “girl” seems so much more demeaning to me?Filed in culture and random linkage, fashion | Tagged with britney, jezebel | Comments (3)