In an essay in the February issue of Bazaar, Derek Blasberg tries valiantly to explain the phenomenon he calls "The Sexification of Fashion."
What is this "sexification," and how do we know it's occurring? I've read his article three times and I'm not exactly certain. But it has something to do with Megan Fox earning a lot of money as the face of Emporio Armani Underwear, Jenna Jameson wearing a tasteful blue frock on Oprah, and pop stars like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Shakira merely existing.
Blasberg's theory rests on two things: a catalog of strange ideas about how women should express their sexuality, and—you guessed it!—the economy. He writes:
A woman tarting up her lifestyle, according to many, can be traced back to a very familiar recent event: the Great Recession.
Riiiight. Like Lady Gaga doesn’t wear pants because she can’t afford them.
“Maybe you can’t afford a new condo or a couture blouse,” [Simon Doonan] teases, “but hanky panky is free!”
Spoken like someone who’s never paid for birth control!
New York’s Upper East Side novelist Jill Kargman argues that a woman feeling a renewed sense of sexual energy and power in the light of the recession shouldn’t be surprising. “Since men’s egos are so wrapped up in their bank accounts, maybe their sex drive mirrors the Dow?” she wonders. “Perhaps women are trying to play into their fantasies more to lift spirits and electroshock them back from the dead?”
Maybe so! I mean, it is our responsibility as women to use our bodies to ensure men feel good about themselves at all times.
“Why dress meekly when things look bleak?” the designer Antonio Berardi asks.
Excellent point! So I assume Berardi wore a see-through singlet and hot pants during this interview. Men are also subject to the new dress code, right?
He agrees with Kargman that in this economy, it’s all about a sexual woman and says, “Every once in a while fashion is dictated not by trends but by the need to feel sexy, to be adored, and to be wanted. Now more so than ever it’s about playing the female card.”
And every once in a while, fashion is dictated by men who justify objectifying women by claiming to know how women feel.
By the way, what constitutes “playing the female card”? Possessing ovaries?
Still, the midst of all this trenchant socio-economic analysis, there is some ever-so-helpful fashion advice. For instance:
…why not try an over-the-knee boot? It’s official: they’re not just for prostitutes anymore!
And, to close the article, this charming reminder:
But [Berardi] warns novices…: “Slutty is just too much and totally wrong.” In other words, ladies, wear underwear!
What a coincidence! “Just too much and totally wrong”—much like this article.