As I mentioned in my piece about the transition to and necessity of thongs, which you can read here, my mother has always had a keen eye for making me look like a cult-member from New Mexico. She was pretty happy when I came home from my eighth grade trip to Lancaster, PA toting an Amish bonnet. Thus, I have been born and bread into a double life–part of me criticizing college girls for showing off their beer bellies, which no one wants to see, and part of me loving the collarbone-flattering blouse I just bought or the ironic sheerness of an overpriced sweater. I have always wanted to rebel, but I have always kept hidden those motherly values that were instilled upon me. Needless to say, I have been torn quite a few times in the search for what fashion defines me.
In this never ending quest, I have grown to know the key components of sluttiness in clothing–the “effortless” slut look, the trashy slut look, etc. However, I am still trying to figure out one unsaid rule of fashion: less is more. Let me elaborate with a couple of examples:
The monokini is sluttier than the bikini.
The monokini, which made its grand debut four or five years ago, is basically a bikini with a landing strip in the middle, attaching the top and bottom pieces of the bathing suit. This “landing strip” optimizes and highlights the hourglass figure, yet hides belly buttons and the center of your six pack (or lack thereof). The monokini, which potentially began the cut-out craze (basically how every girl will only wear clothes that literally appear as if they have whole chunks missing from them), is looked upon as a bolder statement–a sexier move. I bought one for a recent vacation without my mother’s knowledge. Her reaction upon the first sight of it? Hannah, where the Hell did this come from? What is it??????
Wearing shorts with boots is sluttier than wearing shorts with sandals.
When I attempted to walk out of the house wearing a short dress with over-the-knee boots, my mom told me that I looked like a prostitute, Jesus Christ, and must go change immediately. Mommy dearest, I don’t understand… didn’t you want me to cover up?
How intriguing it is that the less leg we show off, the more men want us. The less belly we flaunt, the more attractive our bodies become. Maybe it’s because they like the images they have of us inside of their heads better than what they really see. Maybe they want more open back, less open boob, because it allows them to be enchanted by the wonders of a push-up bra and not realize that our “D’s” are actually B’s. Maybe it gives men more to tear off. It gives them the power to know that they are the reasons that women are naked, rather than women being naked because they offered their bodies–crop top, cleavage, bandage skirt, and all–to the highest bidder. I always wonder why in rated R movies, women are having sex with their bras on. The bra becomes an accessory–another ornament to don the body and make it look more beautiful.
I am seriously worried that one day, I’ll be naked and some guy will tell me to put my clothes back on. It’s not you, he’ll say, it’s me. And I will shake my head and wonder if Victoria’s Secret is in serious danger of going out of business. I will also wonder if my mom was actually pretty cool all along.