I was walking down the street with Elisa on Saturday night, and we noticed that the girls seemed to be really, reeeeally bare – like hardly wearing anything at all.
They all had on super tight, super short skirts or shorts – more like panties, really, and tops which were basically bras, and they all seemed terribly excited.
I don’t have to remind you that it was below 20°F: I think we’ve already established on this blog that the city of New York has returned to the ice age.
Anyway, we were freezing, even with our coats on. We couldn’t believe our eyes.
Obviously, for a second there, I wondered if we had turned into disapproving grandmas, to which Elisa replied: “Grandma yourself!”
The more we walked, the colder we got, and the flock of half-naked girls just kept on coming.
So we went on theorizing:
“Noooo, we’re just shocked because it’s cold out. In the summer, everyone in New York is dressed like that and no one gives it a second thought!!!”
“Yeah, it’s true – I’ve noticed the shorts in New York are really really short.”*
That’s when we arrived at Webster Hall and realized that was the final destination of all the skin-tight shorts. (I mean, not final FINAL destination, of course – the butts accompanying them would have to get back home one day, right?)(I hope?)
“Pfffff, that’s the Miley Cyrus influence – this is wrong”* I said, with a disapproving look (but not a disapproving grandma look – just disapproving!!!)
The crowd was there to see a group of DJs I hadn’t heard of*, the Bassjackers (is it just me or do I not know anything anymore*?) (have you heard of them?) – and everything would have been fine in the world of butt showing, except that as soon as I saw the crowd, this is what I noticed: the girls were half-naked, but the guys were all dressed totally normally.
“I mean, in the 70s, clothes were super tight*, but it was the same for guys. I have photos of my dad in bell bottom jeans to prove it!”
Honestly, I’ve always been pretty relaxed about half-nakedness. A little less so when it comes to vulgarity, but I guess vulgarity is a matter of perspective.
Side note: Don’t Fear the Nipple
Did you see what happened to Anja Rubik when she published a photo of herself wearing a sheer top (Not vulgar – beautiful, very sexy – but not vulgar) and Instagram literally shut down her page? I thought that was pretty unbelievable.
It’s fashion, it’s artistic!!! Some people might have said.
Yes, but breasts are breasts, it’s nudity – zero tolerance or it’s all doors opened to pornography!!! The People of Instagram might have responded (I don’t think they responded at all, actually. She just had to open another account), completely freaked out by the downward spiral into porno on Tumblr.
As for Anja, she opened a new account and made “Don’t Fear the Nipple” t-shirts, and I thought that was cool. Even if I don’t necessarily want to free my nipple right this minute.
Honestly, all of this is difficult – there aren’t really any clear lines.
That night in front of Webster Hall, the thing that bothered me was of course the trashiness of it all, but also the fact that only the girls were half-naked – that they thought to be fun and cool as a young girl, they had to show as much skin as possible, look as drunk / sexy / ready for anything as possible.
I don’t know what guys go through as teenagers (I’m sure they have other difficult things to deal with) but anyway, I’m sure they don’t have the same pressure to exhibit themselves and to oversexualize their bodies. Good for them.
Now, what’s the dynamic between them and the crazy, half-naked girls?
No idea. But I don’t think boys “ask” girls to dress like that or that it’s a problem of inequality between boys and girls at all.
I just think that girls imagine that’s what they have to do to be cool and rebellious.
And frankly, it’s easy to judge – I had some big moments of stupidity when I was about 20. It wasn’t always glorious, but I learned from it.
So, all of this is just to say – I’m not really sure what to think. Do you think next time I should tell them to go put some clothes on* or should we just let kids be kids…?
* Oh la la, I sound like such a grandma! G, SERIOUSLY!!!
Translated by Andrea Perdue.