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Mama Deb
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December 2010
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Ugly swimsuits

Truly modest swimwear.

I'd rather wear a t-shirt over a one-piece, thank you.


The "slimming" seems to be constructed along "slimming" lines - princess seams and contrasts that visually lengthen the body.

One of the reasons I suspect this is from a Christian group is because they seem so unattractive. To quote Lisa Aiken, the idea behind modesty for an Orthodox Jewish woman is be "attractive" - feeling pretty, well-dressed, feeling good about one's appearance, fashionable if that's what she wants, all those positive things - but not "attracting" - not sexy. At least one rabbi thinks women should wear pretty clothes so that the clothes get the attention, not the woman.

These are built, they claim, to focus attention on the hands and face.

Yeah, I can see where there's some illusion thing happening with princess seams and elongating the eye and drawing attention to the hands and face (because you can't see much else). Although as for the rabbi's argument...

I'm not at all sure I buy the distinction between attractive and attracting, particularly because I do believe that when you feel attractive, you attract other people far more than when you're feeling shlubby, and that's independent of what you wear.

Have you ever felt sick or crampy and put on nice clothes instead of baggy sweats, and then ended up standing up straighter and then feeling better? And then people end up talking to you instead of sort of avoiding you?

If you have that "I look great" attitude on, then people look. Men look.

And when you've got your attitude on, and feel attractive, the men who notice the clothes and not the woman are the gay men, which is not the point, I suspect *g*, and doesn't really do much for the rabbi's argument.

Not to mention (and hell, I'll mention it), clothing, if a man does notice it, is as much visual as it is tactile/imaginary. Men often like velvet and velour, not because of how the light shines off it, but because of how it feels (or they imagine it feels). Silk, likewise. So there's a connection between clothing and sex, and it's at the level of the imaginary and the fetishistic (as any shoe-man will tell you, or any man who's into watching women put on their stockings).

Women (Orthodox or otherwise) can rationalize the choice to buy the sparkly clothes and the high quality wig. But somehow, I think that in this case, I think negotiating between female desire and male desire is trickier than Aiken and that rabbi's argument allows for).