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I've read a lot of variations on this, and of course in the world there are lots of ideas about who a woman should dress for and who gets to pass judgment about how well she did or didn't live up to some standard. But Erin says it best, I think.
Posted on October 24, 2006 | Permalink
It's been said (and darn, I don't have a source) that women dress for other women. Women are the only ones who really pay attention to what other women are wearing so they're the ones who *do* pass judgment. I think once you step outside your house, you open yourself up, rightly or wrongly, for judgment on your appearance just because that's human nature. We are born with the instinct to discern, judge, decide.
Personally, I like to pretty-up. I don't spend a great deal of time because when the makeup comes off, I still want to be recognizable for who I am. But why not cover up those little skin flaws? Why not wear something that's flattering... unless one just doesn't want to be noticed as a feminine being or unless the task at hand just doesn't require it, like taking out the trash or going for a jog. Maybe it's the way I was raised, but the only time I don't pretty up to at least a small degree is if I have to go to the hardware store NOW to get whatever part to fix whatever problem that would otherwise cost me a service call. I may be superficial about my looks, but I'm also cheap. :-)
October 24, 2006 at 12:13 PM
Thanks so much for opening up this topic...the whole beauty myth is something that our culture really needs to re-evaluate. Erin's post was powerful too...everyone needs to read this!
October 25, 2006 at 02:20 AM
I really didn't get it.
I think it's only in the north that people have this idea that "attractive" is about or for other people somehow. And it really offends me. Women are not defined by others. We define ourselves. That should be completely obvious. And the fact that someone has to say, 'You look how you look for you." Is just sad to me. Plus, and I don't mean this to come off the wrong way, who wants to look like crap? When I get up and make all the decisions and o all the work required to really look my best, I feel so good. and it has nothing to do with anyone else. And I love that feeling.
So no, of course you don't have to look any particular way for anyone else just because you're a girl. We should know this by now, but maybe it needs to be repeated. I still think, though, that you should find SOME way to enjoy your life. To bring some style in. To make it MORE. To express yourself. To take care of yourself. To be yourself. And make a statement about that. Both for yourself and to tell others how you expect to be treated.
October 27, 2006 at 12:51 AM
I suppose it depends on whether you do exactly the same amount of work on your appearance regardless of whether anyone will see you that day. If you put as much effort into choosing your clothes, applying makeup, etc. when you know that you will spend the whole day at home with no one else seeing you, then yes, you are being attractive for yourself, for your own happy consciousness that you look good. Also, if your decision on whether you look good is based entirely on your own conception of what does look good, and is unaffected by changing trends and styles.
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October 18, 2007 at 06:44 AM
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March 26, 2009 at 04:55 PM
I feel really awkward about putting this one here. It is on my mind a lot, but I feel like people will see me as vain and uppity. Please don't...because I'm not. Wiki is a place where I feel—or want to feel—like I can put anything and not have people immediatly label me. I hope this is true.What Reply
So I have gotten a lot of shit from my family about being "pretty". They think that I get my self esteem from it and that I feel superior to others because of it. I don't. I don't even think I'm that pretty. But the fact is, people have asked me if I am a model and there are some features about my face that fit into that little box that society calls "pretty". Reply
Roya said on TheWeightIssue that people see her for more than her looks when they meet her where as her little sister has more trouble with that because she is "pretty". I know how that feels. I've had enough people tell me that I am "pretty" that when some guy flirts with me I wonder if he is doing it because he likes me, or because I am "pretty". Reply
I want to know what other people think about this. What do you think about how you fit into the idea of "pretty"? How much does do you think it effects how you are treated? How does it effect how you treat others?
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