Recently, I went on a special outing to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We were at a place that had a dress code, and though the dress code was pretty lax (it was pretty much against baggy shirts, baggy pants, and exercise clothing), it was implied that you should probably look semi-swanky. I originally considered the couple sequined tanks or glittery tops I owned, but instead I went for a more subtle sexy: a black cowlneck sweater and flowy black and white skirt that went just a bit past my knee. To keep myself warm, I donned opaque black stockings. I also brought knee-high, high-heeled boots to wear, but since we had to walk a couple of blocks, I ended up wearing silver Toms imitators (for those who don’t know what Toms are, they look like smoking slippers. And for those who don’t know what those are, should probably just skip the whole first paragraph because it’s just all boring fashion stuff). I still felt pretty in what I was wearing, happy that I could be attractive without overdoing it. I decided to incorporate glitter in a less-obvious way: a glittery purple wristlet.
When I arrived at the meeting place, I started to feel a little underdressed. The birthday girl was in a gorgeous blue dress with strappy black heels that everyone else (including the boys) was fawning over, and another girl who was part of the crowd had worn a low-cut, short-skirted, curve-hugging turquoise dress with super-glittery heels. Neither of them were wearing stockings (at least, not from what I could tell). For a split second, I felt frumpy, but immediately got over it. I was comfy, and for that, I was grateful. The other two girls looked beautiful in their own right, too, don’t get me wrong. They fit in with every other girl there, and I really couldn’t distinguish them from anyone else because it was a sea of glitter, heels, and short skirts.
This spurred a conversation afterwards between the the hubby and me: why do girls dress up, and HOW do they dress up? The stereotypical answer is for girls to accentuate their girly positives, whether that be their legs, curves, breasts, or rear end. Of course, it’s to impress the guy. And I get that. Ladies want to put their best face (or body, as it were) forward. It’s part of being a lady, is it not?
And then there are the girls like me. If it is a fancy place, then sure, I’ll put on a dress or skirt, but definitely nothing too revealing. On first dates, to put my best face forward, I want to look approachable and not high-maintenance, so I usually opt for nice jeans and a cute but comfy top. I skip the heels (I’d trip in them) and put on fun flats. I hate mascara, but I’ll put on some chapstick. I’d like to think I’m not viewed as a prude because of it. Then there’s the matter of the dates themselves: I don’t expect guys to pay the bill. It’s okay if they offer, but I don’t go into a date thinking it is the guy’s duty to pay for it. There have been countless conversations where my guy friends have used the phrase, “but you’re not your typical girl”. It usually comes into play when they talk about drama, playing mind games, falling for pickup lines, being seen without makeup, being self-conscious about eating in front of a guy, and expecting my guy to treat me to lavish things like diamonds. Does this make me less ladylike? I’ve heard that phrase so much that I’m not sure if I should take it as a compliment or criticism. I think my guy friends don’t mean it as criticism, but sometimes I can’t be sure. Because if I’m not a typical girl, then what am I?
I’d venture to say that not acting like a stereotypical female puts me in the “one of the guys” category. I worry sometimes, though, if that means I’m not being taken seriously as a woman. I still want to be good-looking in my own right without having to be someone I’m not. I don’t want to be any less-attractive because I love a good baggy sweatshirt and playing basketball. But in reality, what’s more attractive? And what does that say about the state of females? Are they only attractive when they’re flashing a little skin or are helpless or dependent?
My hope is that every woman can feel beautiful and, if it is their desire, feminine. If they feel sexy and good being in skin-tight clothing, then by all means, they should go for it. But if they’re only doing it because they think it’ll get them attention, but they’d really feel more comfortable and like themselves in something less-revealing, then that should be sexy, too.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but I’m just putting it out for discussion. If it weren’t so late, perhaps I could be more articulate. Anyway, what do you guys think? I’d love to hear your comments below!