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Dressing 'like a slut' and other sartorial musings

(43 Posts)
garlicnutter Mon 04-Jul-11 11:38:49

When did 'killer heels' become 'stripper heels'? Men don't talk of stripper heels; women do. A put-down? Women dripping contempt onto other women for their choice of footwear? What's it all about?

Whenever we appear before other people, we send out a message by the way we present ourselves. It's an intricately coded language that changes constantly, and is interpreted differently by different people. It's not a trivial matter.

I currently do "No-style" style and I do it knowingly; I want to be easily ignored - I haven't always been this way, and can still get the code right when needed. I'm not pushing an agenda here, just wondered whether anyone wanted to talk about how we judge other women, maybe why we do, and whether "empowerfulness" is such a bad thing ....

garlicnutter Mon 04-Jul-11 11:39:16

This is extracted from "The Luckiest Woman in Rio", a chapter in Rough Guides' (sadly out of print) Women Travel anthology. I had the same experience.

Brazilian flesh comes in an infinity of shades of brown, and it's paraded - toned, tanned and glistening ... My bikini was bigger than some of those girls' street clothes, and they were wiggling muscles I didn't even know existed - they were so beautiful, they surely didn't need to be as obvious as that. There could only be one explanation. I remembered the voice of a friend: "They're all prostitutes." "All of them?" "Yes, all. Some of the men, too." Her tour guide had confirmed it.
The author then spends some time travelling in Brazil, returning to Rio after learning to integrate with local culture.
By the time I got back to Copacabana I had the tan, the shorts and the walk. I could get into deep conversation with strange men, exchange phone numbers, then saunter away with a smile. I could see newly arrived visitors staring at me with the same distaste they showed toward the other half-clad women on the avenue.

I loved having Brazilian confidence in my body. I loved the popular directive, "Whatever is beautiful must be shown off!" It was great to discover that anyone can be beautiful, whatever they look like, and marvellous to be part of a culture that celebrates the human body. When I came back to England, I found that I was, once again, being misinterpreted. I had to tone myself down (and cover up more) so as not to be seen as sexually threatening. I felt sad about that.

Nowadays I am sad to feel I must display my fleshy, middle-aged body very modestly, if at all. Were I still in Brazil, I'd be showing it off with as much pride as the matrons of Rio.

garlicnutter Mon 04-Jul-11 11:42:43

Four years ago, I moved from London to this backwater of the rural Midlands. people are much fatter here. The young women of this town, chubby girls on the whole, wander around in little groups, giggling as one does at that age, in tiny skirts and short tops with muffin tummies on display. I really, really like this! To me, it means confidence and "doing it for themselves". In London they would be harshly judged, I think.

LeninGrad Mon 04-Jul-11 12:54:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

garlicnutter Mon 04-Jul-11 12:59:10

Thanks for replying, Lenin, I was feeling lonely!! So maybe it's just not an ishoo. Or it should be on another board - probably not S&B, though wink

donnie Mon 04-Jul-11 13:00:50

Germaine calls them "fuck-me shoes". I think that's much more accurate.

LeninGrad Mon 04-Jul-11 13:04:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SybilBeddows Mon 04-Jul-11 13:07:44

I don't think 'empowerfulness' is a bad thing; what's bad is when it's offered as a substitute for actual power.

IKWYM about applauding the muffin tops - I like a nice 'I don't give a shit' muffin top. Or rather, I like the attitude it expresses.

garlicnutter Mon 04-Jul-11 13:12:55

I like Germaine, but if she says that meaning it, I disapprove! I suspect she calls 'em fuck-me shoes because that's what they were called briefly and she loves a soundbite.

Shoes don't talk.

I also hate the 'asking for it' thing, Lenin. It's victim-blaming. Those who imply that women make themselves vulnerable by wearing heels and/or short shorts are shifting blame from victim to perpetrator, imo.

garlicnutter Mon 04-Jul-11 13:15:58

shifting blame from victim to perpetrator - er, the other way round blush

LeninGrad Mon 04-Jul-11 13:24:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DontCallMePeanut Mon 04-Jul-11 13:59:56

Agrees with Lenin. Someone brought an advert to my attention a few weeks ago, which sums up my sentiments exactly. Featured a woman out shopping and telling the assistant that she was looking for something to wear which would get her raped. Pretty sure it doesn't happen, unless I've missed something. hmm

For Greer, the use of "Fuck Me Shoes" sounds bordering on rape apologetics... What, if a girl's wearing those, it sends out that message? Become a bit hmm about Greer recently.

garlicnutter Mon 04-Jul-11 14:59:55

I just had to google that, DCMP! Here it is.
Love it. Could have been even more hard-hitting imo.

How come Scotland's doing such good work on this, while England ignores the question? Or have I missed our version?

DontCallMePeanut Mon 04-Jul-11 15:06:47

Nope England's just crap in general. grin That said, I do think I remember reading that Scotland's rape conviction rate is lower than England's sad

EricNorthmansMistress Mon 04-Jul-11 15:17:30

Stripper shoes aren't the same thing as killer heels. I bought pair of killer heels the other day, 4in, black patent mary janes. Lush. They don't make me look like a stripper. these are stripper shoes which got into mainstream fashion a while ago

garlicnutter Mon 04-Jul-11 15:44:46

I wore shoes like that when I was a student - well before "stripper shoes" had been invented grin

garlicnutter Mon 04-Jul-11 15:45:12

Mind you, my feet know about it now!

HRHMJOFMAGICJAMALAND Mon 04-Jul-11 23:45:16

Message withdrawn

HRHMJOFMAGICJAMALAND Mon 04-Jul-11 23:46:39

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garlicnutter Tue 05-Jul-11 01:48:36

They sound amazing - both pairs, the black and the red envy
I'm not sure I want to ask how you managed to lose the black ones ...

HRHMJOFMAGICJAMALAND Tue 05-Jul-11 09:29:12

Message withdrawn

buzzsore Tue 05-Jul-11 10:24:10

I agree with the point that 'stripper heels' aren't the same as 'killer heels'. I'd think of the transparent platform type as the former, while the latter would be ones a high-powered business woman might wear in the '80s. To me.

I would think the rise of the stripper heel coincides with 'pornification' of society.

TheAtomicBum Wed 06-Jul-11 15:10:12

I've heard of "Hooker shoes". Again, but only my DP ever referred to them as that when ashe saw them in the shop (she then bought a pair). They were stilt-high stilletoes with clear plastic on top.

Although it is an issue. Did you know 4 out of 5 women believe that a rape allegation won't be taken seriously if they are wearing a short skirt?

garlicnutter Wed 06-Jul-11 15:15:27

Bloody hell shock sad

I wonder if they're right??

HRHMJOFMAGICJAMALAND Wed 06-Jul-11 15:20:20

Message withdrawn

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