Do Appearances Matter?

In this article, Ellie Williams says New York police have started warning girls with too-short skirts that they could attract sexual predators. Williams is annoyed, because she feels the police are blaming the (potential) victims.

 

I agree with her that we shouldn't assume sexual assault is the fault of the victim, but I do think people don't always think about what their clothing says about them. Like the underwear models in the picture. Maybe I'm old, but I don't get what the girls in the thong panties are trying to say. Any ideas?

 

We love laughing at the "People of Walmart" pictures, and HR people always have a half-dozen funny stories about people who come to an interview in appalling outfits. Appearance matters.

This prom dress to the left got a lot of attention a few years ago. She was maybe too young to have figured things out.

 

Believe me, I rebelled against this appearances thing, as a young woman in the 60s and 70s. I thought it was superficial to judge people based on appearances. I'd go into a nice clothing store in faded jeans and feel offended when the clerks treated me like an unserious customer, which I was, in view of the fact that I was poor, but I thought they were snotty and elitist.

 

In my thirties, I was waiting for a guy to come by the house and pick me up for our first date. I saw his car from the bathroom window. It was an old, faded, Fiat with torn upholstery and bald tires.

 

I should have stayed in the bathroom. Instead I ended up marrying and supporting that man. We divorced seven years later. The first impression I got from his car said everything, but I had been taught not to judge by appearances. Now that I'm older, I realize that humans really don't have any other way to draw first impressions.

 

We humans respond to visual cues. While dressing like a streetwalker - or going naked - doesn't entitle a criminal to use your body, at the same time it's wrong to say that people don't look at what you're wearing and draw conclusions. Those conclusions might turn out to be wrong, but the chance to demonstrate that fact may never come.

 

 

What do you think the young woman in the cowboy hat is saying with her choice of clothing? To me, it says I'm sexy and fun. Let's play. That's her decision - she's a grown woman - but I'm hoping she's also a martial arts expert.

 

Ah, well, she'll probably change as she gets older. When I was a teenager, I applied for a job. The prospective employer called my current boss and asked for a reference. Vick praised me to the hilt. The prospect kept pushing. "Come on, she can't be perfect. Tell me one single flaw."

 

Finally Vic relented. "I had to be honest," he said later. "I told him your skirts are too short."


More Like This

Recent Posts by Lynne Spreen

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.