cute but not cute for you

Clothes

cute but not cute for you

Postby schiaparelli » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:01 pm

lately i've been fascinated with a hyperfeminine aesthetic—very girly, very pink, very youthful, very OTT kind of stuff that manages to avoid the male gaze and a sense of being lolita wear or young-cutesy-nubile-nymph shit just by having an exacting and overwhelming commitment to a girliness constructed by other women for other women

alternate aesthetic phrase—"cute but not cute for you"

  • 23

User avatar
schiaparelli
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:00 pm
Reputation: 2964

Re: Style flintstone

Postby khayandhi » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:37 pm

schiaparelli wrote:lately i've been fascinated with a hyperfeminine aesthetic—very girly, very pink, very youthful, very OTT kind of stuff that manages to avoid the male gaze and a sense of being lolita wear or young-cutesy-nubile-nymph shit just by having an exacting and overwhelming commitment to a girliness constructed by other women for other women

alternate aesthetic phrase—"cute but not cute for you"


(I wanted to fit this in2 a rep comment but that wasn't going to happen) i m o there's an extent to which aesthetic hyper/femininity without traditional sexiness makes 'men'/the male gaze REALLY ANGRY because seeing all that performativity going on w/o providing male access to it is very upsetting. the things women do that men call silly and pointless and frivolous, male anger w/ Excessive Makeup (my IDEAL, you know, says an angry gentleman commenter, is the NATURAL LOOK) or 2 much ornamentation (why bother because you're supposed 2 take all that off, hun)

why are those women doing a THING if they aren't doing it for ME

so this is cool, I want to see more femininity constructed in the ABSENCE of masculinity as counterpoint u no??? what is femininity when it's not a response to men because whatever that is is probably, like, chill
  • 39

Last edited by khayandhi on Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
khayandhi
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:17 am
Reputation: 1015

Re: Style flintstone

Postby schiaparelli » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:53 pm

yes yes yes! it's a topic that is super fascinating to me, the reclamation of the the feminine as territory that can be controlled and moderated by women, independent of certain heteronormative expectations of what women should be to men

i think i'm interested in this too bc my attitude about explicit femininity and womanhood has changed a lot lately—i've recognized that a lot of my preferences for androgyny and menswear-inspired womenswear are products of a society that pitches masculine norms as superior to feminine norms. so with that realization has come this need to renegotiate how i feel about femininity and celebrate it more and find the expressive qualities it has

love your example of "natural makeup" because this is something i was just discussing with a friend today! there is this odd interplay between a societal/masculine desire for women to be beautiful in a particular way, but also perform and attain that beauty in a low-key "natural" "not trying too hard" "effortless" "cool girl" way—the end goal is required but the work involved is denigrated

tl;dr i want to wear simone rocha garms
  • 20

Last edited by schiaparelli on Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: my post didn't have a heart icon IT NEEDS A HEART ICON
User avatar
schiaparelli
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:00 pm
Reputation: 2964

Re: Style flintstone

Postby khayandhi » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:23 pm

schiaparelli wrote:i think i'm interested in this too bc my attitude about explicit femininity and womanhood has changed a lot lately—i've recognized that a lot of my preferences for androgyny and menswear-inspired womenswear are products of a society that pitches masculine norms as superior to feminine norms. so with that realization has come this need to renegotiate how i feel about femininity and celebrate it more and find the expressive qualities it has


this is almost exactly what I was coming back to add ––– while I was writing my original post I felt this pretty strong compulsion to add some kind of aside about how the hyperfeminine thing isn't really my Look obv buttttt and then I was like dude seriously you don't have to justify/defend your engagement w femininity, wot r u doin ––– I def gravitate towards androgyny, 'menswear-inspired', literal menswear, and I think a lot of other women into fashion do as well, and this is cool and all but is that really Who I Am As A Person or is it Who I Am As A Person Modulo The Devaluation of Anything Associated With Women, u no? so I also want to think about how I feel about femininity, about the intersection of that and sexuality, about its relationship to me as an individual in a vacuum in which I can pretend that all #looks r created equal

the ideal woman is the woman who can just fling on any old thing and go, not do hair, not do makeup because she is already inherently + ineluctably perfect so of course this dovetails with Menswear and Androgyny and Sober Masculinity bc these r all things that are not traditionally 'flattering', don't make u look THINNER, don't naturally enhance ur male gaze rating –– so the woman who then rises above the handicaps of effortless and casual chill one of the bros style is obv the most attractive woman, 10/10 "cool girl"

ps sometimes I get drunk and wonder if awkward awkward Marni is the happy medium / universal answer. i can never decide how i feel about marni like emotionally

Image Image Image
  • 16

User avatar
khayandhi
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:17 am
Reputation: 1015

Re: Style flintstone

Postby schiaparelli » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:14 pm

khayandhi wrote:while I was writing my original post I felt this pretty strong compulsion to add some kind of aside about how the hyperfeminine thing isn't really my Look obv buttttt and then I was like dude seriously you don't have to justify/defend your engagement w femininity, wot r u doin ––– I def gravitate towards androgyny, 'menswear-inspired', literal menswear, and I think a lot of other women into fashion do as well, and this is cool and all but is that really Who I Am As A Person or is it Who I Am As A Person Modulo The Devaluation of Anything Associated With Women, u no? so I also want to think about how I feel about femininity, about the intersection of that and sexuality, about its relationship to me as an individual in a vacuum in which I can pretend that all #looks r created equal


i think this is also a crucially important question when navigating what it means to interact with womenswear in a forum with men and women, because (for reasons i am constantly interrogating and attempting to uncover and think about—that is a whole different conversation though!) lots of the most active fashion forums online are menswear fashion forums or are majority-men-minority-women. so trying to carve out what it means to be "feminine" without activating cultural concepts of the Cool Girl and relying on that as a method of identity (you as a woman who is not like other women) also leads to an oppositional relationship with femininity

one reason it took me a really long time to get into rick owens was that there were so many rick owens fanboys who articulated this admiration of rick owens girls as Cool Girls who by eschewing typical expressions of sartorial sexuality and beauty ended up becoming the ultimate internet fashion sex symbol anyway to those fanboys. and now when i think of the rick girl or the rick woman i think that immediately and intrinsically she should be someone who seeks appreciation and validation within herself first, before others…and i think that reframing who the rick girl can be has made me interact with his work much differently



re: marni i generally have decided that i love marni because it feels like the right kind of kooky off-kilter maybe-i-am-femme-maybe-i-am-not-maybe-this-is-meant-to-be-pretty-maybe-i'm-just-weird

Image
Image
  • 20

User avatar
schiaparelli
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:00 pm
Reputation: 2964

Re: Style flintstone

Postby khayandhi » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:25 am

schiaparelli wrote:because (for reasons i am constantly interrogating and attempting to uncover and think about—that is a whole different conversation though!) lots of the most active fashion forums online are menswear fashion forums or are majority-men-minority-women.


like haute cuisine (I've read a lot of articles about how miserable it is to be a woman breaking in2 ~fancy cooking~), classical music, or fine art, fashion is the men's-space artistic idealization of something that's expected to be, at a low level, labor for women. it's a GIVEN that women will cook within the home, will appear CALMING and DECORATIVE at all times, will learn frivolous little artistic skills (think about historically the expectation that well brought up young women be accomplished in the arts. also idk when I was in school there was the expectation that girls would just naturally get music and drawing and whatnot) – but when any of these things become in any way interesting, imaginative, or challenging, men must be responsible for the avant-garde cutting edge, and at best women's involvement is "the simple peasant dish that my mother always made inspired me to create this symphony of tastes, that will be $487.93 excluding tax thank you". this applies to both male producers (designers, artists) and male consumers in different ways imo

I always find a tension in the relationship of the male designer (how many of the designers that we on fashion forums get excited about aren't men? a few for sure but I think certainly a small minority) and the woman as body: no matter how urbane, empowered, likeable the designer's Intended Woman is, there's always implicitly an Intended Woman, there's an ideal of Woman haunting every collection in a way that can't happen for men. and I think we can't construct womenswear without there being a type of woman who, Platonically, wears it: the rick owens girl is a cool girl or she's a validated, self-reliant girl or she's –––– but she has to be the rick girl. the expressive aesthetic choices women make are always intertwined w capitalist (ho ho) choices, I think 'the rick owens man' exists but we care less about him and WHO HE IS

fashion forums online that are mostly women are always about the body (I'm fat, I'm thin, I'm oddly-shaped, my breasts are ______________, tell me how to flatter myself, tell me I'm ok), acceptability (if I wear this will I be frumpy, will I be scandalous, will I be behind the times, tell me I'm ok), desirability, appropriateness, PURCHASES (purseforum!!); fashion forums for men, while they do these things, don't have to endlessly endlessly dwell on these things / have the freedom 2 'rise above' that because society is constructed in a way that doesn't give men the fundamental insecurity of the female experience

fashion as personal adornment + decoration + camouflage is a women's game. fashion as thoughtful, expressive, experiential is for the people who we see as real people who have big ideas i. e. MEN

wow ok now I will shut up and chill


edit(ed a bit for clarity) @ramseames: nah more variety is available in retail women's stuff I don't think it's sane 2 argue anything else. I don't think I said womenswear is more basic or inherently/in itself less expressive anywhere in my post. I said women's expressive choices are constructed and responded 2 differently than men's are, the role of the woman is as consumer of these products + the user of these products 2 b decorative and appealing to the eye, and this influences the way we respond to womenswear and the way women and men end up discussing fashion on the inter net
  • 24

Last edited by khayandhi on Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
khayandhi
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:17 am
Reputation: 1015

Re: Style flintstone

Postby ramseames » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:23 am

can't say a lot in a rep comment but what I would add is that I think you're really underestimating the amount of dudes, participating in internet fashun and otherwise, that are dressing expressedly for women and then along with that the level to which men (especially those who come to fashion forums to learn how to dress in a way that will make them appealing to women) are insecure
  • 10

User avatar
ramseames
 
Posts: 2235
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:14 pm
Location: vancouver
Reputation: 6688

Re: Style flintstone

Postby p__ » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:06 am

I think it's really interesting that when we talk about feminine womenswear that we (women) want to wear, we look to brands designed by women like Prada, Marni, Celine, and Simone Rocha. Especially since there are plenty of men designing very feminine womenswear. I think that womenswear designed by a woman is better equipped to harness femininity in some way without turning the woman into an object. I came across this quote in the magazines thread by the creative director of ln-cc
The gay man’s extreme interpretation of womenswear comes out as too effeminate, whereas a straight man’s interpretation may not be feminine enough

and it pretty much sums it up and is why there's something really special about womenswear collections put out by women. They're more likely to hit that sweet spot and I think it's because they live it. They get that the "modern women" has shit to do so she probably doesn't want to look like a confection in a restrictive dress, but also may find some power in her femininity.
  • 21

p__
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:29 pm
Reputation: 21

Re: Style flintstone

Postby schiaparelli » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:00 pm

full of love rn, what an excellent conversation

khayandhi wrote:like haute cuisine (I've read a lot of articles about how miserable it is to be a woman breaking in2 ~fancy cooking~), classical music, or fine art, fashion is the men's-space artistic idealization of something that's expected to be, at a low level, labor for women. it's a GIVEN that women will cook within the home, will appear CALMING and DECORATIVE at all times, will learn frivolous little artistic skills…but when any of these things become in any way interesting, imaginative, or challenging, men must be responsible for the avant-garde cutting edge, and at best women's involvement is "the simple peasant dish that my mother always made inspired me to create this symphony of tastes, that will be $487.93 excluding tax thank you".


yes yes! loads has been written about this, i think—this default assumption that certain aesthetic roles are demanded of women, but their contributions are also marginalized as "women's work" bc it is so expected and typical and normative that yes, women have to cook and sew and be good with children. men are congratulated disproportionately for choosing to engage in a field that is considered non-normative for them, and lauded for achievements and given the full weight of male privilege in their efforts

(feel the need to sidebar here and note that there are certain ways in which this manifests in a deeply unfair way to men though—thinking specifically of men who want to be schoolteachers and the additional amount of suspicion and fear levelled at them for interacting with young girls, to a degree which is atypical for women schoolteachers to experience when teaching young men) (but this sidebar should in no way be construed as to minimize or suggest that there isn't still a pervasive and fundamental way of undervaluing the contributions of women which are seen as "according to nature")

fashion forums online that are mostly women are always about the body (I'm fat, I'm thin, I'm oddly-shaped, my breasts are ______________, tell me how to flatter myself, tell me I'm ok), acceptability (if I wear this will I be frumpy, will I be scandalous, will I be behind the times, tell me I'm ok), desirability, appropriateness, PURCHASES (purseforum!!); fashion forums for men, while they do these things, don't have to endlessly endlessly dwell on these things / have the freedom 2 'rise above' that because society is constructed in a way that doesn't give men the fundamental insecurity of the female experience


since i cut my teeth on women's fashion forums i am eternally fascinated by the different tenor of women's fashion discussions. there is this cult of "flatteringness" where women approach these broad theories of Body Type (are you a pear? banana? apple? mangosteen? dragonfruit?) and Color Season (are you a cool winter? bright winter? global-warming winter? melancholic spring?) and the language is around "maximizing your assets" (is your bust societally acceptable and capable of being beautiful? ok, wear a scoopneck) and "minimizing your flaws" (you had better keep an itemized list of every part of your body that does not measure up to our cultural ideals and find a way to pretend you are less ugly)

in some ways i find this fascinating bc womenswear style advice culture tends to lead to a more tactically specific way of dressing that focuses v little on brands and archetypes of styles that you need to fit into, and much more on developing an understanding of one's body and how to best work with that. but that is also wrapped up in layers and layers of bodily criticism and so for all the merits this approach has in making a style-curious woman on the internet suddenly extremely knowledgeable on the different cuts of pants and how they affect silhouette, i can't fully feel enthusiastic about it

but then again i do get IMMEDIATELY defensive when people criticize women's fashion forums as "basic" or "lame" or "prescriptive" bc i feel they fundamentally understand the vast differences between the culture of womenswear and the culture of menswear and the language of style and fashion and embodied experiences of clothing

Image

(editorial for vogue china, january 2016)

@p__ that is so interesting bc i am trying to think now what designers i genuinely love w/r/t their presentation of women. i feel particularly fond of the brands you mentioned + also roksanda, and comme. when it comes to male designers who i think are expanding the definition of femininity and the methods of manifesting feminine gender…rick owens i think is quite good, i also really love jw anderson. who else? i think there is absolutely a difference if you are designing fashion for women and you are intimately familiar with the ENTIRE context of what it means to be a woman societally and aesthetically, and the ten thousand coded messages (visual? verbal? other?) which instruct you in what Types of Women there are and what Types of Women you are allowed to be

and this also leads into the broader question i think of which designers are doing a genuinely good job of doing menswear and womenswear (with neither subordinate to the other—so many brands where the menswear is "for the boyfriend of the girl who wears x" or the womenswear is "for the girlfriend of the boy who wears x"—just terribly insipid and trivializing) and which designers are capable of developing out gendered expression or agendered expression that feels extensible to a man or a woman or any other gender identity? in a way that doesn't feel tokenizing or irreverently campy in a crude way???

love talking about fashion x gender

idk here's more simone rocha

Image

(simone rocha, s/s 2015

Image

(simone rocha, f/w 2015

(love these images bc they present the confectionary cuteness of simone rocha in a way that is a little grittier and messier and harsher)

@ramseames i think something important about womenswear and the male gaze is that it becomes an anxiety that is not for like attracting men in general or a specific man, but it becomes this overarching internalized framework of dissecting one's beauty or lack thereof, finding it inadequate, treating beauty and certain modes of "acceptable" feminine presentation as absolutely necessary and crucial to Being A Woman, and filtering that all through a lens that is oriented around traditional feminine desirability and beauty in the eyes of a heteronormative patriarchal society—dressing for the male gaze is different than dressing for a male, does that make any sense? one can still escape this idea of "dressing to be conventionally sexually attractive so i will look good for a date" but still be trapped in male-gaze-y sartorial norms anyway
  • 22

User avatar
schiaparelli
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:00 pm
Reputation: 2964

Re: Style flintstone

Postby fechner » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:08 pm

Absolutely loving this discussion!

I think these differences between men's and women's fashion are apparent on a "everyday-fashion" level as well (uncertain about that phrasing). A great example of the heightened level of scrutiny women's clothing and appearance are under is the prevalence of those "white girl uniform"/"girls on campus all dress the same" memes referencing uggs, north face jackets, yoga pants, han solo vests and boots etc. Also the "this is why I have trust issues" memes referencing contouring and makeup before and after pictures. I can think of no equivalently popular or widespread men's fashion/appearance memes.

It's kind of silly but it is indicative of the disparate expectations of presentation, effortlessness, and the aforementioned "natural beauty" that women face.
schiaparelli wrote:there is this cult of "flatteringness" where women approach these broad theories of Body Type (are you a pear? banana? apple? mangosteen? dragonfruit?) and Color Season (are you a cool winter? bright winter? global-warming winter? melancholic spring?) and the language is around "maximizing your assets" (is your bust societally acceptable and capable of being beautiful? ok, wear a scoopneck) and "minimizing your flaws" (you had better keep an itemized list of every part of your body that does not measure up to our cultural ideals and find a way to pretend you are less ugly)

With regards to bust and body type. Typically womenswear models fit into a "thin" body type category. Women with this body type, because of their less pronounced breasts, are in a sense "allowed" to wear low-cut or sheer/see-through shirts and blouses in a way that women with larger breasts are not. It's as if the flatness of their chest allows them to inherit a masculine trait and therefore desexualizes their breasts. The sexuality or even vulgarity of larger breasts is perceived precisely because they are inextricably and exclusively feminine in a way that a flatter chest is not. (This is certainly not meant to imply that women with smaller chests are somehow less feminine than those without. Only that the societal sexualization of women's breasts is more or less challenging to avoid depending on a woman's body type.)
  • 15

User avatar
fechner
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:41 am
Location: SL, UT
Reputation: 207

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby germinal » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:19 am

I split this conversation into its own thread so it has room to flourish uninterrupted by flintstone posts. Hope no one minds.
  • 15

User avatar
germinal
Garminlad
 
Posts: 1282
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:18 pm
Reputation: 5239

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby titkitten » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:41 pm

wonderful
i'm so glad i saw this conversation (because i don't look at the flintstone thread so thank you germ for separating this topic out)

in case people don't know about Cool Girl,
Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Cool girl is hot. Cool girl is game. Cool girl is fun. Cool girl never gets angry at her man. She only smiles in a chagrined, loving manner. And then presents her mouth for fucking.


which of course fits back into the whole theme of "I'm Not Like Other Girls": Other Girls like makeup and doing their hair for hours and talking about boys and saying "like" a lot and shopping at forever 21 and listening to taylor swift and looking at kim kardashian's selfies, but I am not like that. depending on who you're presenting to, you might instead like comics or science or hiking/camping, whatever. the whole thing just comes from a culture of reducing the activities and persona of a woman, so much so that women themselves try to distance themselves from the whole agenda.

i think it's really saddening that we dismiss the wonderfully genuine (and sometimes overwhelming) enthusiasm for certain activities/hobbies/whatevers because women do them. especially teenage girls. it's like the top #1 insult or way to tell that something isn't cool any more, if teenage girls get ahold of it and scream over it. honestly i find it really hard to understand what the problem is with teenage girls. why are people so worried that teenage girls might like the same things that they like??? (clearly it's because teenage girls are the worst. just culturally, we have accepted that teenage girls are the worst.) like we've all just written off justin bieber and one direction (because they only matter to hordes of screaming teenage girls, not Real Adults with Real Things To Do), but we are all still ok with call of duty?

i'm pretty sure basically every single girl or woman has been in the "I'm Not Like Other Girls" mindset at one point or the other. honestly i think most women/girls are in that mindset and never break out of it. i know i was constantly looking down on other girls, feeling superior because i didn't know how to paint my nails, feeling superior because i studied math but honestly what's wrong with being able to paint your nails? seems to me having an extra skill can only be a positive thing.

(oh and also: who exactly are these Other Girls? because honestly i've never met anyone who is the stereotypical Other Girl. the Other Girl is a construction intended to reduce women into two-dimensional objects. every girl i've met has been as dimensional and complex as you'd expect a human being to be, whether or not they engage in Other Girl activities.)

related:
"High maintenance" is Cool Girl code for percieved femininity. It's intended as an insult. It is insulting.

Many women think of themselves as the Cool Girl. One of the guys. Not like other girls. Not "high maintenance". Men and women alike perpetuate this with "I like you better without makeup" and "she seems so fake", "she just wants attention", or "she is shallow" whenever a woman is expressing a passion for something society perceives as feminine. Skincare, makeup, clothing, shopping, high heels, nail art.

Most people are saying there's nothing wrong with being "high maintenance" but to me it's very telling that men and women are rarely called such when they spend a great deal of money on weightlifting or putting on muscle (another physical appearance 'perfecting' hobby/lifestyle choice) and go through hours every day maintaining that through eating rituals, supplements, etc. Because that hobby is not feminine. They arent called high maintenance. My boyfriend spends hours a week shaving because he enjoys it, owns a number of razors and shave creams, and even has a station set up in the bathroom for it. But he is never side eyed by his friends and called "high maintenance".

It's cool to accept and embrace the High Maintenance label. But but you bet I recognize and call out women and men who use it as an insult. To me, I am not high maintenance. Maybe I'd consider myself that if I needed an oil change and spark plugs every month because I am a car. Or if I was a garden of delicate flowers that needed supplements and water every day from a tiny watering can.
from here.

as a culture, we don't appreciate feminine activities with it smacks us in the face. we don't appreciate girls who spend hours doing their makeup or thinking about how to dress in a flattering way or fussing with their hair/clothes/lipstick in public. we don't want to be reminded that women are just people too, we want to imagine that they are these naturally put together specimen. it's dehumanising. i think it's part of the reason why women are mocked when they do something "feminine" in order to take care of their appearance in a stereotypically feminine way. it's like showing how the sausage is made, it betrays the ~*effortless*~ illusion we want to believe. it shows that she (and, vitally, other women, all women) are not naturally the cool composed package that is presented. we expect women to be perfect and we don't like being reminded that they aren't.

Dressing For Yourself or "being cute but not for you", while thrown around flippantly and often, is actually very very hard to achieve, at least in my personal experience. it took me about 23 years before i even really understand what Dressing For Yourself actually meant, like really internalised the meaning of waking up, looking at my clothes, and choosing them not entirely on the basis of what other people might think when they look at me. like actually taking my own opinions of what i liked into account. previously i almost felt like i was wearing costumes that i was choosing in particular depending on who i was expecting to see that day.

one of my favourite things to do is to get my guy friends to do my makeup. i've had quite a few of them try. some of them get instruction from me, some of them guess what to do on their own. but without fail, every single one of them has said afterwards "wow that was a lot harder than i expected i have so much respect for girls who do their makeup every day now". every single one. (i don't expect them to do a good job because who does a good job with their makeup the first time they do it? but i expect them to understand that it isn't the frivolous ~*dumb girl thing*~ that it's portrayed as.)

what have i done oh no is this whole rant even related to fashion? probably not specifically but i think it's applicable to the broad strokes of the conversation.
  • 26

Image Image Image
User avatar
titkitten
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:02 pm
Reputation: 916

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby parastexis » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:29 pm

essential viewing about the male gaze, cut into 4 parts, but not cut for you

[youtube]m1GI8mNU5Sg&index=2&list=PLlhSx0L1hpaGKfq1qXe1vWUhG1EgIN9Yf[/youtube]
  • 12

User avatar
parastexis
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:39 pm
Location: DC
Reputation: 2259

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby schiaparelli » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:33 pm

titkitten wrote:i think it's really saddening that we dismiss the wonderfully genuine (and sometimes overwhelming) enthusiasm for certain activities/hobbies/whatevers because women do them. especially teenage girls. it's like the top #1 insult or way to tell that something isn't cool any more, if teenage girls get ahold of it and scream over it. honestly i find it really hard to understand what the problem is with teenage girls. why are people so worried that teenage girls might like the same things that they like??? (clearly it's because teenage girls are the worst. just culturally, we have accepted that teenage girls are the worst.) like we've all just written off justin bieber and one direction (because they only matter to hordes of screaming teenage girls, not Real Adults with Real Things To Do), but we are all still ok with call of duty?


i think it's a really important point that there is something legitimizing to the societally typical hobbies of teenage males (comic books, video games) especially in cool-nerd crowds and reformed-loners crowds that does not apply to the societally typical hobbies of teenage girls. comic books have been rehabilitated as a Cool Genre with Artistic Merit and you can proudly proclaim to be Into Comic Books and Into Video Games but there is less appreciation and cultural capital being sunk into the media landscape of girlhood

anyways i am very excited by this topic so now i present a SECOND "cute but not cute for you" album focused around the kitschy glittery crystalline romantic stickered-up toughness and wide-eyed fantasies of teenage girlhood



Dressing For Yourself or "being cute but not for you", while thrown around flippantly and often, is actually very very hard to achieve, at least in my personal experience. it took me about 23 years before i even really understand what Dressing For Yourself actually meant, like really internalised the meaning of waking up, looking at my clothes, and choosing them not entirely on the basis of what other people might think when they look at me. like actually taking my own opinions of what i liked into account. previously i almost felt like i was wearing costumes that i was choosing in particular depending on who i was expecting to see that day.


one concept i'm very into right now is this idea of deprogramming—we have spent years soaking up a culture that restricts and restrains women and closely prescribes femininity and its methods of expression (a program for enacting and performing "appropriate" femininity in your own life), and so the processing of "cute but not cute for you" requires a conscious and constant interrogation of every habit of sartorial expression. all kinds of advice and items and routines become suspect. what does it mean to perform society's version of feminine vs your own? how does one escape the societal feminine? what ideals are integral to your particular femininity? how do you be your own woman and not the media's woman?



@parastexis this is so incredible and i have never watched this before! pulling out some quotes ~

women constantly meet glances that act like mirrors, reminding them of how they look, and how they should look. behind every glance is a judgment. sometimes the glance they meet is their own [camera lingers on a woman holding a small mirror]


having your impression of yourself mediated through other distorting mechanisms—other people's impressions, the distortion of your image in the mirror, what you see and what society expects you to see, what society demands you observe, what society demands you dislike…

a woman is always accompanied except when quite alone—perhaps even then—by her own image of herself. while she is walking across a room, or weeping at the death of her father, she cannot avoid envisaging herself walking, or weeping. from earliest childhood she is taught and persuaded to surveil herself continually.


omg CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW THERE IS A CULTURAL CONCEPT OF "UGLY CRYING" as if there is a need for women to exercise aesthetic restraint when crying ??? the constant requirement that women enact a performance of womanhood, a performance of desirability, a performance of sexuality, a performance of demureness, a performance of sweetness. it's absurd but i am very self-conscious when i cry of the image of what it means to be a sad woman, a crying woman, an emotional woman (let's not even get started on the trope of emotional women…!!!)

to be naked is to be oneself. to be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognized for oneself. a nude has to be seen as an object in order to be a nude…

always, in the european tradition, the nude implies an awareness of being seen by the spectator. they are not naked as they are. they are naked as you see them


this distinction is fascinating. there is the body; and then there is the embodied experience of being in your skin and feeling your muscles and skin and bone and fat tense and bunch and flow in your motions; and then there is the cultural experience of what it means to be in your body, with your skin, with your eyes, with your hair. the cultural experience of the body often subsumes the embodied/intimate/individual/personal experience, unfortunately

i don't want to deny the crucial part that seeing plays in sexuality. but there's a great difference between being seen as oneself, naked, or seeing another in that way, and a body being put on display. to be naked is to be without disguise. to be on display is to have the surface of one's skin, the hairs of one's skin, turned into a disguise. a disguise which cannot be discarded. amongst the the tens of thousands of european oil paintings of nudes, there are perhaps twenty or thirty exceptions—paintings in which the artist has seen the woman, revealed as herself.


Image

the discussion of nudity is quite good actually because it touches on a concept i think is extraordinarily relevant to fashion advertising !!! there's a sociologist named erving goffman (who studied quite a bit on the social construction of the self) and he articulates two patterns of gendered behavior portrayed in advertising in his book gender advertisements

  • ritualization of subordination — women are portrayed as subordinate, with downcast eyes, a submissive or childlike stance. women lying down, languidly, perhaps in a pose suggestive of sexual availability. knees bent, head tilted. vulnerable.
  • licensed withdrawal — women are portrayed as psychologically removed from a situation, portrayed as dependent on others. concealed face, eyes averted, something left unrevealed. eyes closed, not alert.

despite prada being one of my great loves, and miuccia one of the few genuinely provocative feminist designers, i must sadly admit that the prada f/w 1998 campaign was an excellent example of these tropes

  • 23

User avatar
schiaparelli
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:00 pm
Reputation: 2964

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby une_impasse » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:12 am

this whole thread is amazing, and the various shades of pink resulting from up voting is absolutely killing me
  • 11

User avatar
une_impasse
 
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:38 pm
Reputation: 1048

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby mellownyellow » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:40 am

HI THIS IS GREAT I LOVE THIS

To tag on to the fashion advertising conversation -

There is no mistaking the fact that men and women are portrayed in very different problematic ways in (fashion) advertising - some of the imagery for Rudi Gernreich’s unisex clothing come to mind. Even though the clothing is the same, it's not exactly a gender neutral shoot:


And even more offensively, things like this fucking trash from D&G, the legendary kate moss & mark wahlberg CK campaign and most of the ads AA put out in Dov Charney’s time.

I looked a bit into gender advertising (it seems fascinating!) and was fascinated by the notion that advertising fuels gender relations - that seems very true. However, I find it extremely troubling (and aggravating) that in a book that deals this specific topic (Disclaimer: havent read it in its entirety, going off on Wikipedia here) the author seems to claim that portrayals of women in advertising (Touching self, Caressing an object, Lying on the floor, Sitting on a bed or chair, Eyes closed, Not alert, Confused, Vulnerable, Body contorted, Dressed like a child, Holding an object or a man for support, Sexy and sexually available, Seductive, Playful, Careless) are positions of submissiveness and powerlessness. These states of being are not problematic, nor are their portrayal, and in my eyes the issue is rather the societal construct surrounding these images.

After all, it is not these acts that are submissive and powerless, but rather that the fact they are acts traditionally done by women makes them to be perceived as such. I am convinced that there is immense power and empowerment in sexuality, nurturing, intimacy, caressing, playfulness, vulnerability (regardless of whether they are being done/posed as by women or men) and am not opposed to these acts being portrayed. After all, women (all people) are sometimes strong, sometimes not, sometimes sexual and sometimes not. I absolutely wont go as far as to say that an ad campaign that plays into these themes is problematic in and on its own - is that not just another way of prescribing should-be’s and shouldn’t be's to women?

I do really wish there was (and hope there will be) more diversity in fashion advertising. I am tired of being shown these tropes over and over again but rather than pick apart images that use them (a subset of which can still convey great power), like the Prada campaign, which I think is very lovely in its intimacy and vulnerability, I would like to celebrate and encourage the occasions on which we get to see more interesting advertising. An album of images that portray women in an interesting way:



And to add some images that portray men in a non-traditional way:
  • 23

User avatar
mellownyellow
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:25 pm
Location: NL
Reputation: 1649

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby schiaparelli » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:12 am

Image

(by michele bisaillon)

@thephfactor
what im slowly learning is that femininity can be a source of power for women in a way thats really big

@schiaparelli
ahh yeah
i am fascinated w/ the task of like reinventing/reframing femininity
bc i think typical/historical sources of feminine power are often actually degrading/limiting
e.g. women are assigned sexual power but it is presented as
woman-as-temptress, woman-as-immoral-seducer, woman-as-original-sinner
or women are seen as wise and compassionate but it is presented as
woman-as-nurturer, woman-as-submissive, woman-as-madonna
but then a lot of those traits i feel cannot be dispensed w/ and thrown away just bc the source of that support has misogynistic origins

@thephfactor
yeah like one of the things ppl always said in my circles growing up (extremist fundamentalist protestant)
"she had power thru child rearing"

@schiaparelli
yes! definitely
women have power within these v circumscribed areas

@thephfactor
the hand that rocks the cradle rocks the world >> so women are actually Super Powerful and don't need rights men enjoy!
so that sort of "power within/thru femininity" is bad


Image

(by ashley armitage)

@schiaparelli
i guess i kind of see this as like
there was this like
second-wave feminist/anti-femininity reaction potentially
ahh i think it also relates to this kind of neoliberal lean-in mentality where women are encouraged to believe that they are weak bc they engage in feminine practices
and they need to adopt masculinity
and masculine patterns of assertive conversation and so on
in order to have power
which conveniently excuses patriarchal systemic limitations placed on women and hides them away
so you place responsibility on women for being limited, and suggest that the method of improvement is via becoming more masculine
so rn it just feels like it is very radical politically and aesthetically to fully embrace THE FEMININE

@thephfactor
there's a real sense of reclaiming something
or scratch that
redeeming rather
redeeming an area that has been colonized by patriarchy
  • 9

User avatar
schiaparelli
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:00 pm
Reputation: 2964

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby bels » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:44 am

I always "liked" (Obviously it's not actually possible to take advertising seriously) this jdub shot:

Image

and this Prada one:

Image

(x post to advertising thread viewtopic.php?f=2&t=221&hilit=advert#p6000)
  • 15

Image
User avatar
bels
Yung Winona
 
Posts: 5056
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:43 pm
Reputation: 18754

Re: Style flintstone

Postby wolflarsen » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:44 pm

khayandhi wrote:like haute cuisine (I've read a lot of articles about how miserable it is to be a woman breaking in2 ~fancy cooking~), classical music, or fine art, fashion is the men's-space artistic idealization of something that's expected to be, at a low level, labor for women.



This thread is changing my life. The men's world of fashion AS a fine art projecting expectations concept reminds me of something I read in a self-help book my Marshal Rosenberg recently:

"Women, in particular, are susceptible to criticism. For centuries, the image of the loving woman has been associated with sacrifice and the denial of her own needs to take care of others. Because women are socialized to view the care taking of others as their highest duty, they have often learned to ignore their own needs."


This is also the approach to dressing/looking that my dear ex girlfriend has taken for a while now. It's phenomenal to see it in action - especially when men (myself included) NEED to express finding it appealing or frustrating.
  • 0

User avatar
wolflarsen
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:40 pm
Location: PHL via BOS
Reputation: 156

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby khayandhi » Thu Feb 04, 2016 1:59 pm

schiaparelli wrote:full of love rn, what an excellent conversation


I LOVE THIS, I LOVE YOU ALL, LET'S BE FRIENDS. THANKS

––––––––––

the cross-cultural embodiment of women

have you ever noticed that it is always women who are the torchbearers slash sacrifices for 'maintaining our traditions thru clothing'? practice: women tend to wear more traditional/culturally-specific/specified clothing than men, who are more prone to default to a 'global' (i. e. Western) norm. perception: we see 'the _______ man' and 'the _______ woman' this way, we (or, those setting cultural norms) promote & encourage this, in many societies there are double standards for acceptable clothing for men and women that perpetuate the divide.

Image
Image
(FIGURE ONE: I WOKE UP LOOKING LIKE THIS)

who's we? The world doesn't see Indian women as wearers of 'non-Indian' clothing because Indian women are expected to be the ornamental reflection of 'Indian culture' (whatever that is). Indian men would like you to know that jeans misguide women, go against Indian culture, apparently prevent you from learning? the culture-internal opinion: women, who are ornamental, who exist to be gazed upon, must reflect our 'traditions' at all times. the culture-external opinion: the comportment of a culture's women, who are ornamental and who exist solely to be gazed upon, must be an accurate reflection of the practices of the culture. meanwhile there are 23 men on the Delhi Metro today wearing t-shirts that say FUCK on

Image
Image
(FIGURE TWO: IN CORNER A THE FEZZES, IN CORNER B THE WOMEN WEARING THINGS YOU'D NEVER SEE IN THE STREET)

  • how many culturally-specific items of clothing can you think of that are primarily or exclusively worn by men? by women?
  • if you imagine a PROTOTYPICAL PERSON from ____________________ what do you think they look like and are wearing?

Image Image
Image Image
(FIGURE THREE: AIRLINE ADVERTISEMENTS IN UNIFORM AKA "WOMEN, SERVING YOU, SMILING, DRESSED IN THE TRADITIONAL DRESS OF THEIR PEOPLE")

there is nothing wrong with any of these lovely items of clothing but let's question why it is that only women are tasked w the upkeep of HERITAGE. why is Orientalism centered around the female body. why it is that it is only women who are strategically placed, wearing decorative costumes, 2 look Appealing and Ornamental when a country (airlines are generally under the aegis of/fairly wrapped up in the national identity of countries, not hugely important but everpresent) needs them 2, thank U

  • ok khayandhi chill chill is a shit concept, imaginary interlocutor
  • dude what about the idea of femininity well there's something to be said for interrogating the way yr own culture handles femininity vs the way others do + how that may differ depending on relative dominance/nondominance + WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
  • ok humor me what can I do about it whatever the fuck u want, I am not your boss and the only people who need to make decisions about what women wear are those women, that's the point

Image
(FIGURE FOUR: I HOPE THIS MAKES YOU SAD AND ANGRY)
(note in small letters on the right: 'our clothing reflects pride in our heritage')

––––––––––

titkitten wrote:as a culture, we don't appreciate feminine activities with it smacks us in the face. we don't appreciate girls who spend hours doing their makeup or thinking about how to dress in a flattering way or fussing with their hair/clothes/lipstick in public. we don't want to be reminded that women are just people too, we want to imagine that they are these naturally put together specimen. it's dehumanising. i think it's part of the reason why women are mocked when they do something "feminine" in order to take care of their appearance in a stereotypically feminine way. it's like showing how the sausage is made, it betrays the ~*effortless*~ illusion we want to believe. it shows that she (and, vitally, other women, all women) are not naturally the cool composed package that is presented. we expect women to be perfect and we don't like being reminded that they aren't.


YES

PS: women are to be looked at, men are to look, and thus women must 1. achieve their to-be-looked-at status inherently, because decorative functionality ought 2 b an innate property of a Woman lest she not be a Woman; 2. represent the enterprises of men to men; ; ; and this is why any situation in which men are gazed at, objectified, cast as objects of attraction / sexual desire is automatically assumed to involve a male gazer
  • 32

Last edited by khayandhi on Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
khayandhi
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:17 am
Reputation: 1015

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby Cowboy » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:09 pm

As a clarification is this a feminism (as a whole) thread or feminism (in regards to solely aesthetics) thread?
  • 1

User avatar
Cowboy
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:11 pm
Location: Austin
Reputation: 2341

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby titkitten » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:45 pm

i wanted to make a post about ~*critically thinking*~ and ~*deconstruction*~ in the context of these issues. apologies ahead of time for my noneloquence.

here is an example: a girl with lots of makeup or loud clothing or super dressed up? "oh she just wants attention."
but ok. "she just wants attention" is usually a way to throw shade, it's said from a place of superiority, it's supposed to be negative. an insult. but why????
like really. WHY??? think about it. WHY IS THAT AN INSULT? WHAT IS WRONG WITH WANTING ATTENTION?
  • the first idea is like ok it's insecure to want attention, ~*grown adults*~ who are ~*confident*~ shouldn't need to look for validation from outside sources. right, fine. but then again what is INHERENTLY NEGATIVE about needing validation from outside now and again? what's wrong with being insecure? everyone is human. everyone feels insecure. everyone likes feeling validated by other people. it is a basic human need (humans are social creatures etc etc) so HOW IS IT INSULTING TO POINT OUT A BASIC TRUTH?? just leave them alone. or better yet...
  • if someone is insecure man like dude buddy I FEEL YOU SO HARD. we have all been in that place before. no one can deny it. so why not use it as a chance to empathise? why is it necessary to look down on someone struggling? that's clearly unproductive. you don't help someone's struggle by looking down on it.
  • MORE FUNDAMENTALLY, women in particular are TAUGHT TO DRESS FOR THE PUBLIC (MALE) EYE. she is just doing what she has been (explicitly or not) told to do. (don't lie. if you say "oh that person is just looking for attention" then 99/100 times you're talking about a woman.) if a woman dresses sloppily or frumpily or looks ugly, the public will hate her for it too. so why are you mocking her for caring about her appearance, something that is clearly societally required of her anyway?
  • i think at the heart of this issue is the notion that women must dress for the public in a pleasing way, specifically in a way that the Male Gaze approves of. a woman who dresses out of these boundaries (too much makeup, too loud, too whatever) is a woman who has clearly put effort into her appearance without hitting that goal (whether on purpose or not) and it is angering. as @khayandhi said
    i m o there's an extent to which aesthetic hyper/femininity without traditional sexiness makes 'men'/the male gaze REALLY ANGRY because seeing all that performativity going on w/o providing male access to it is very upsetting. the things women do that men call silly and pointless and frivolous, male anger w/ Excessive Makeup (my IDEAL, you know, says an angry gentleman commenter, is the NATURAL LOOK) or 2 much ornamentation (why bother because you're supposed 2 take all that off, hun)

    why are those women doing a THING if they aren't doing it for ME

    women are above all else NOT ALLOWED TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES!!! all these tropes of "beautiful women who don't know they're beautiful and are still insecure" (LOOKING AT YOU, ONE DIRECTION) just reflect that: men want to be the final word or judgement on a woman's value (specifically through their appearance). a woman who is Dressing For Herself, or otherwise not adhering to The Code, or otherwise is obviously Personally Content with the Way They Look takes this power away from men. and that is unacceptable.

like really -- the problem with systemic societal biases is that they are so ingrained it's hard to see they're even there. a fish in water etc. whenever a kneejerk reaction occurs, i try really hard to think about where it's coming from. why am i looking down on women who "just want attention"? honestly no good reason at all, so i just stopped. what's the point of perpetuating toxic environments for people who are just trying to live their lives, who are struggling like every one of us.

here is another example: "men have less variety/freedom with clothing, women have so much more!!! i cry"
i want to be clear here that i am not attacking anyone who has had or expressed this sentiment. i recognise it is probably a kneejerk reaction that precisely comes from all this systemic and societal conditioning. i don't hate people who express naive/uninteresting ideas, i hate the naive/uninteresting ideas.
ok back to the topic at hand.
  • women have more variety in clothing but do they have more choice? because the default for women IS TO KEEP UP WITH THE TRENDS, to be well dressed and well ornamented, and that huge variety of clothing is there for us to accomplish/achieve this REQUIREMENT. it is not like we wake up in the morning feeling happy that we have 198329 different shirts, we wake up feeling overwhelmed that we don't have enough shirts because there are always more shirts and more ways to dress well and oh my god has the trend left me already? I NEED TO GO BUY MORE CLOTHING AGAIN???
  • IT IS NOT A RACE TO SEE WHO IS MORE MARGINALISED i am sorry you have less clothing but here is the difference -- men don't need to care about clothing choice (really). unless you are a man interested in clothing, this problem has no effect on your life. women? doesn't matter if you think clothing is interesting, you fundamentally must care about clothing and you MUST MAINTAIN A WELL STOCKED WARDROBE TO COVER ALL CONTINGENCIES IN LIFE -- how can you be pretty in every circumstance and every dress code and adhere to all societal minutia/subtleties no matter what is going on if you don't?
  • #thepatriarchyhurtsmentoo and here is a symptom. dressing is feminine and thus men have less range of motion to dress, which is unfortunate if you would really like it SO YOU SHOULD SUPPORT FEMINISM ANYWAY but in the grand scheme of things still the PATRIARCHY hurts women more like ok you can't pursue your hobby as well but WOMEN ARE FORCED SOCIETALLY TO ADHERE TO GUIDELINES AND DRESS not because of hobby/interest but JUST BECAUSE so you know

here is my motto: DECONSTRUCT EVERYTHING really think about fundamentals
  • 17

Last edited by schiaparelli on Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed a username tag!
Image Image Image
User avatar
titkitten
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:02 pm
Reputation: 916

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby Cowboy » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:47 pm

http://aaaaarg.fail/upload/jennifer-m-j ... ance-1.pdf

a book worth skimming through

prior post oopsie sorry schia etc
  • -1

User avatar
Cowboy
 
Posts: 579
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:11 pm
Location: Austin
Reputation: 2341

Re: cute but not cute for you

Postby schiaparelli » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:11 pm

THIS IS extremely CUTE BUT NOT CUTE FOR YOU



  • bubblegum pink
  • actual bubblegum
  • girl gang being cutesy together
  • celebration of female friendships
  • gauzy shimmery slip-like dresses
  • intersectional feminism fan favorite AMANDLA STENBERG
  • musical commentator on gender relations and the patriarchy GRIMES
  • 8

User avatar
schiaparelli
 
Posts: 447
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:00 pm
Reputation: 2964


Return to Tags

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests