Sunday, October 6, 2013

What Is Sexy?

Since Miley Cyrus's controversial performance at the VMAs there seems to have been a lot of talk about how over-sexed the music industry is becoming. I think what Miley has done is not exactly a wise move as far as a long-term career is concerned, but is probably a smart move as far as publicity goes. Why? Well, she's got everyone talking... While the outfits and performances of late are definitely of a sexual nature I have to question; is it really that sexy?

According to 'The Free Dictionary' website sexy can mean one of two things:
1. Sexually attractive or exciting
2. Sexually aroused

While I am sure this means different things for different people I would like to think that this involves more than just showing some skin. In 'Coco Avant Chanel' a woman asks the designer to create an orphan costume for her for a party and when the woman complains that it covers too much Chanel says something along the lines of leaving it to the imagination (Sorry, I cannot find the direct quote). I don't believe that we should all be dressed head-to-toe in black, but don't you think that it makes sense to leave something to the imagination. Isn't it a bit more exciting to have something left to unveil? In most magazines I've read there was always some sort of guideline (among the ones about sizes and flattering designs for certain shapes) encouraging girls to focus on one feature at a time.

In a way I feel like this is not all of Miley's fault. Times are changing and while there were some very short minis in the sixties/seventies, there are other aspects of fashion that continue to become more and more outrageous and exposing than before. Yes, Madonna was (is still) provocative, yes Lady GaGa has worn two wobbly shells instead of a bra and now we've got Miley... As outfits become more provocative and designers continue to find ways to make dresses that strategically cannot possibly be worn with a bra I start to question the need for modest fashion in this world and if some of the looks of the women who came before us are still as attractive now.

^A picture I put up on the Facebook page. How is it that Dita can dress more appropriately for "red-carpet" events when she is a Burlesque dancer who gets down to nothing but a rhinestone G-string on stage?!

In a way you could say that this is a step up from women. Another rebellious example of a woman evading oppression. Fashions have gone through stages where the shapes and lengths have changed and altered to suit society, And, women themselves have gone through stages where the roles they have in society have changed. Fashions have become "appealing" in different ways over the years with the twenties hems revealing a bit of leg and the fifties dresses hugging the waist and flaring out over the hips. How far is too far though? and what is it that we actually find more attractive? While Miley's outfit above may reveal a lot of skin and have some very suggestive black patches, the shapes created aren't necessarily attractive.

I am not a man and I don't pretend to know what a man likes (but rather what I'd like to think), however I assume that (like women) we do not all appreciate the same kinds of qualities in people and that we are all attracted to different things. Things like personality and intelligence or a good sense of humor. One of the things I like about 'Burlesque' (the movie) is that even though the outfits may be on-par with some lingerie, they don't actually reveal all that much. It's really more the style of the dancing that is provocative. In one scene where Ally (Christina Aguilera) does strip down to nothing on stage you can't actually see anything because it's done in such a way that she is always turned away from the crowd or parts of her body are hidden from the crowd. I also think a lot of people find her attractive not just because of her body and her looks but because she is so talented. 

What are your thoughts on the word "sexy"? I think that women shouldn't have to get down to their underwear (or less) in order to be considered appealing. I would like to think there is something attractive about showing off one asset at a time or that leaving a bit of mystery about yourself is appealing. I would like to think that a pair of high-waisted shorts (like Audrey Hepburn wears in 'Sabrina') are appealing or that bright colours can attract attention. Most of all, I would like to think that there is some part of attraction that has nothing to do with what you wear, but rather what you have to offer the world (kindness, professionalism, the sound of your voice maybe....etc).

I hope you all enjoyed hearing my thoughts and I hope I didn't offend too many with my rambling.

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