Sunday, April 25, 2010

How far will you go to fit in?

In A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue by Wendy Shalit, Mike Royko describes a scene he witnessed one windy day while walking across the plaza. He says he noticed a woman walking hunched over and bent to one side. Wondering what would make her walk this way he continued watching her until she arrived inside the building at which point she straightened up and walked normally. Royko then realized that she had a slit dress on and was trying to prevent the wind from showing her thighs. Royko wanted to know why women would buy clothes that were made to reveal their thighs and then go to such great efforts to hide them. When he interviewed them their answer was, “it’s the fashion” (122). Why do young women go to such great lengths to be fashionable? Because they want to feel like they fit in. Why do young women feel a need to fit in? Sharon Lamb and Lyn Brown, the authors of Packaging Girlhood, blame it on the media. They claim that young women grow up watching shows that supposedly show the perfect female model. These models are often stick thin and nearly naked! Since most young women are not able to attain the ideal stick thin image, they try to promote their image by wearing very revealing clothes. Their friends at school also have an influence on them. By the time girls are seven or eight in first or second grade they are begging their parents to buy them the outfits their friends are wearing. By the time they turn sixteen they are trying to get their own job to pay for their wardrobe. Oftentimes this consists of the most similar clothes they could find to match the celebrities they idolize on TV. I encourage you to be different. Don't buy clothes just because a celebrity is wearing them!

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