Fashion – For Your Appraise or The Male Gaze?
For centuries, the utilization of fashion and its ultimate purpose has changed over time. Believe it or not – the beautiful “peacocks” were once the men. Dressed with prestige, men used to dress elaborately to demonstrate their wealth, and it was the women who were more obscure in taste.
With the rise of the Industrial Revolution during the 18th century came the work-wear of the man. Blue-collar work was at an all-time high, and it became impractical for the male to wear ornate clothing. The man’s garb became simpler and reversed in eloquence, whereas the woman’s hour-glass figure started to become more prominent. For the woman, sleeves shortened in length and the bodice was cut extremely low with exposed shoulders. Gradually, the woman’s body was becoming unveiled for everyone to see, stitch by stitch.
Gold mining was a pastime and many were rich. However, that shiny gold was simply not enough for a man. He supplemented his riches and boasted about his wealth through the façade of his wife. With more money in his pockets, he adorned his wife with lavish dresses in order to show her off to rest of the world. Tables turned, and the woman grew to be the icon of fashion whilst being at the gaze of the male, starting from her very own husband.
So, fast forward to today: who are the ladies dressing for today? I don’t know if I can speak for everyone, but I can state my own opinion here. Although I am happily taken, I do find myself sometimes dressing for the male gaze. There are days where my shirt is a little tighter so I can show off my small waist and larger hips, hoping to emulate a Coca-Cola bottle. There are days where my blouse will dip to the surface of my breasts, which are supported by a push-up bra. There are days where I wear tighter pants to show off the buns I work so hard for at the gym. There are days where I absolutely do not want to wear a dress or a skirt, but I do, because I know men will look, and it will make me feel good. Empowered. Sexy.
I think to feel desired is absolutely normal. To feel wanted by others allows me to think that I have done something right about my life choices. I created my own confidence right then and there. And who doesn’t want to feel like they’re on top of the world? If I want attention (with class, of course), then I will do that, because that is my choice. No harm, no foul.
Not the answer you want to hear? Don’t worry – I will inform you that I also dress for women. What? Oh yes, we are all guilty of it. And it’s not because I love girls and wish to grab their sexual attention. But, to win the approval of a woman who can understand the effort that is necessary to get through her clothing struggle every morning…that is an even greater confidence booster. Kind of kicks the men’s compliment to the curb.
A man will like anything I wear as long as he can see a tiny bit of my silhouette. A woman who likes my outfit compliments me because she is saying that I have taste and style. That the way I put myself together today was worth the effort. Essentially, the way I have chosen to carry myself today was beautiful.
The woman compliment to another woman on fashion is one that is informed. I prefer this one over a man’s approval. And when that other woman giving the compliment is the one in the mirror… she restores the greatest confidence of all.
What are your thoughts? Who do you dress for? Let me know your thoughts by leaving comments below or by email askStyleWright@gmail.com!
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