There used to be a time when wearing mini-skirts was considered risque, where bikinis were bigger than my handkerchief, and where the only panties you saw were on the clothes line. But now, wandering around topless is perfectly normal, short have become smaller than underpants and underpants are no longer under the pants. I don’t want to sound like a prude, nor am I a grandfather, but why is the human body on display like it has never been before. I wrote a post on the sexualisation of women once, and I know that the first reaction to this post (besides the guys saying, ‘naked people? that is cool man’) will be that it is freedom of choice, and that they are being themselves. But I have always believed that it was a rather twisted choice with no real result other than attention.
Protesters who protest naked will gather some attention for their cause, but mostly it will be guys gawking at their bodies. Raunchily dressed girls may do it to feel good about their bodies, but guys just view them as objects to be scored. What nudity (or near nudity) attracts is simply attention to the body, where the eyes send signals straight to the balls bypassing the brain completely. It achieves nothing except sexual drive and voyeurism.
I have never been able to adequately articulate my thoughts on this matter, but an insightful post by Pretty Dumb Things put most of what I felt in words far better than my own.
Strip Nation is the place where little girls wear body glitter for fun, where pole dancing is a fitness pursuit, where chicks have standing appointments for monthly Brazilians, and weekly tans, French manicures and matching pedicures. It’s the place where women purposefully show bra straps and g-strings. It’s where average women have the lower-back tattoo, body piercings, and t-shirts that read “Diva.” It’s the where women get breast implants, labiaplasty and anal bleaching. It’s a place where family restaurants have waitresses wearing orange short-shorts, and where drag-queen restaurants have banana deep-throat contests, and where eighteen year-old girls win them.
Strip Nation is where we live now. It’s not a bad place to live. Strip Nation gives us Carmen Electra and body butter. Strip Nation lets us shake our booty with abandon. Hell, Strip Nation, combined with Hip-Hop Nation—it’s a unified country of dual principalities—has given us the word “booty.” Without Strip Nation, we’d still be pogoing and wearing flat shoes and high-waisted pleated pants.
Strip Nation can be a lot of fun, but it’s a deeply problematic kind of fun. I am proud to have been a stripper, but I know that stripping is best kept in the strip club because stripping is about serving up a fantasy based on the most simplistic heterosexual male’s formulation of an uncomplicated woman. Most simply, Strip Nation provides a dreamscape based on a model of a two-dimensional woman and men’s desire for them. And while that is all well and fine for an eight-hour strip shift, it has major issues when it goes rampant, out into the streets, and disseminates like a virus into the culture at large.
This ‘Stripper-Vogue’, this idea that an attractive woman is an anorexic vixen with the skills of a lap dancer and a Brazilian backside (and wax), this idea that you have to flaunt your body to be cool is as unnecessary as it is absurd. In a world where people are like sheep led by the media-shepherd, it is so easy to influence young people.
A commenter, Paul Davis, on Pretty Dumb Things had this to say:
having watched my 16 year old step daughter step out today in an even more titillating and unabashedly “i am a sexually active female and you know you want me” costume this year than last, i read this and loved it. i don’t even know how to begin to think about grown women who do this – my thoughts are mostly centered on their younger counterparts. what frightens or saddens me most is the lack of awareness of what and how men, including teenage males, actually think. sometimes, i don’t even know if the all-wise-having-done-the-stripper-thing CG fully grasps the horror of the contemporary male mind. I see my step daughter and her friends engaged this with as though it were a kind of fun game that nobody will really take *that* seriously, although it would be kind of cool if that guy in 11th grade thinks i look hot and/or cute in this. But thats not what men (and especially not 11th grade boys) think, ever.
They don’t admire the aesthetics – that’s for gays (he says in his most slanderously generalizing remark so far this year). They admire the flesh and they are consumed by the want. The girls appear to have some inkling of this, but in truth even 20 years from now, most of them won’t understand the depth (or is it shallowness) of the want, the objectification of it, the utter, total disconnect from their person that it is really based on. And oh yes, there are a few exceptions, a few nice young men who look past the pert breast, the tight ass, but they merely prove the rule.
So – this is a game being played by women, but a game where the rules as understood by the men are totally different.
So, keep your clothes on, and keep your pride. You don’t have to be part of the crowd, and you don’t have to portray yourself as an object. Life is so much more than being part of this Strip Nation.