Body Image Representations
The phenomenon of dress and bodily adornment has always been a matter of conflict. It seems that society is constantly trying to repress the notion of aesthetics being a priority in any sense. Generally speaking, we are taught from a young age that looks are not important and we should not use them to make judgements of people. This is then contradicted by the notion of a doting mother always concerned about their child’s appearance, a nervous girl on a first date spending hours attempting to find something to wear, beauty pageants, wearing your best for a job interview even if the job’s uniform consists of a store shirt and khaki pants, and the like. This discord between what we say and how we actually feel creates some problems in the
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One day she came in to meet someone for a third date that her friend had dressed her for. Before she told me this, I watched her awkwardly walk into the bar, constantly pulling at the miniskirt riding up her legs. She walked with her back hunched over as if she were trying to hide any assets her friend thought was a good idea to put on display. She also walked quickly to her normal bar stool and kept to herself until I approached her to ask her how she was and what I could get for her. What she was wearing was not a reflection of who she seemed to be on a personal level. The lack of consistency from personal self to social self can be very unnerving.Turner references a quote by Oscar Wilde that I feel sums this up quite nicely: “The feeling of being in harmony with the fashion gives a man a measure of security that he rarely derives from his religion.” That measure of security did not exist for her whatsoever. There are also the people who enter the bar who are trying to identify or meld with the younger culture. They acknowledge the fact that their body is aging and that they’re getting older, but they try to supplement their inner youth with youthful adornments. Many a man has come to spill the goings on of his midlife crisis to me over a drink. These men are usually wearing clothes that are not targeted to their demographic, but it makes them feel young and it sends a message of the desire for youthfulness again. Women are the same.