Category Archives: Body Image, Body Acceptance, and Beauty

I can’t believe I wore a dress for this

I know. I have no one to blame but myself.

Exhibit A:

social media post about a dress

Let me back up…

When I first took my musings public this blog was called How I Learned to Wear a Dress. I could pretend I gave that title deep thought and that my intention was a thorough delving into the social constructs of the feminine and the feminist, but really I just pulled the name out of my ass the day before I hit publish.

It’s not that I wasn’t a feminist or that I wasn’t genuinely interested in how all the expectations of being a women in the twenty-first century came together, but I wasn’t writing a dissertation either. The blog was a lark that happened to morph into a hodgepodge of essays on serious matters of feminist theory with a hint of pop culture and political antics thrown in for good measure.

Still, I DID put it out there that I hated dresses and stated quite publicly that the only two dresses found in my closet were a prom dress from 1985 and a wedding dress that has been in a box since my wedding day. I may have even suggested that all dresses were a form of costume since most of the dresses of my life came with an event attached—High Holy Days dress, Bat Mitzvah dress, Homecoming dance dress, the aforementioned prom and wedding dresses. Any other dresses I once wore were costumes for work—both literally as an actress and semi-figuratively as a dress code expectation at my job.

Oh, I did toy with casual skirt wearing back in the early 90s, but I didn’t inhale.

And then came the blog.

Friends took no time to challenge me into a dress. They appeared well-meaning, but I suspect they were really just using me for a benign distraction. A dress couldn’t possibly be THAT important.

I acquiesced. I wore a dress once or twice over the last few years for the benefit of my pushy friends readers—once as part of a Halloween costume so I’m not sure that counts. But dresses became unimportant to my cause and I eventually changed the name of the blog.

What my friends and readers may not realize is that I found room in my heart for dresses and I have actually worn dresses here and there over the last few years. In fact, I now have a handful of real and wearable and special-occasion-not-required dresses hanging in my closet right now. SHOCKER!

So yesterday when I posted Exhibit A above I thought I was being mildly funny. That’s it. I often post things for my own amusement and expect them to quickly disappear into the ether of the endless news feeds. Little did I expect the outpouring (okay, minor outpouring) of reactions.

Most people wanted reasoning and/or proof:

What’s the occasion? You’re already married.
I will need a picture to confirm said event happened.
What? What! I have to sit – feeling faint
Need to see the photo.
Photos please.

There will be no photos but a witness did chime in with:

I can confirm. A dress is being worn.

Some offered actual sitting advice:

Keep knees together and all should be well.
Hold an aspirin between your knees. (the sarcasm was implied)
Close them.
Very carefully.
Sit however you damn well please. (by far, my favorite answer)

Two friends stood (sat?) in solidarity for dress-less-ness:

I’ve worn one twice in the past 20 years, once for each of my daughter’s weddings. Now I’m done.
Yeah that would be me too! I only wear a skirt once a year, if that! Ugghh

I t was a thing.

Like I said, I have no one to blame but myself.

I am grateful for the guidance from my wise dress wearing friends. It’s nice to know I’ve got people looking out for my ass and thighs and whatever lies between my legs. But truth be told, wearing a dress, sitting in a dress, standing in a dress, twirling in a dress (one MUST twirl when in a dress), and generally functioning in a dress isn’t that hard. I think I can handle it now. So I ask your forgiveness for my previous and possibly melodramatic protestations. We can move on now. Dress fanfare is no longer needed.

Finally, while I do appreciate the leg position suggestions, part of me kind of likes the idea of rebelling against ladylike behavior so you may find the next time I wear a dress I just won’t really give a damn whether my little lady legs are gently pushed together or not.

P.S. I am currently wearing yoga pants which means I can put my legs in any position I damn well please, right? I’m eagerly awaiting your advice.

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Filed under Body Image, Body Acceptance, and Beauty, Feminism, Sexism, and Equality