Thursday, June 22, 2006

on torture and fashion and couture and fasting...

I may have been a bit hasty in my comment to Thursday's post, responding to my post, about fasting... even though I meant everything I wrote.

But, shortly after posting my comment, I followed a link from Broadsheet to this MSNBC story about the link between couture and torture. There's even a website called coutorture. Really.

Diane Mapes writes:

First, it was the corset. Now, the fashion industry has brought back skin-tight jeans, disco leotards and 7-inch platforms. And for accessories? Look for corns, bunions, sprained ankles, bruises, yeast infections and chafing.

Yes, for many of us, beauty and pain often walk hand in hand. But how far are we willing to go for fashion? For some, it’s all the way to the emergency room.

She continues with a litany of broken bones in feet and ankles and torn ligaments, and concludes with this:

What can be done? For some women, like Renee Sedliar, a 35-year-old San Francisco editor who blames a pair of 4-inch red leather sandals for her sprained ankle, it’s a matter of making the tough choice.

“After years of heels, I’ve become almost exclusively dedicated to flats,” she says. “Let’s face it, there’s nothing like walking around in really sexy, fabulous shoes, but if you can’t hide the grimace of pain or oozing blood or swelling toes…”

Although I rarely wear high heels and may not even own a reasonably fashionable pair as of this moment, and I abhor the idea of wearing a thong, or anything restrictive around my mid-section, including tank tops that are "too-tight," (forget about corsets!), I recognize there is a least a grain of truth in the article's comparison of our relationship with clothing to Stockholm Syndrome. Whether I like it or not.

Following that line of reasoning, one must then really question the value of a site like Lyssa Strada, where we exhort women to quit shaving their armpits and legs as a protest against the war, to withhold their uteruses from men--another war protest-- even if they cannot bear to give up sex themselves, and yet-- really stretching the envelope here-- to breastfeed in public as often as, and wherever, they can, if they should prove equally unsuccessful in withholding their uteruses-- just to keep mothers from becoming so invisible, and therefore, less powerful.

Perhaps Aristophanes' play had some effect on that war he was criticizing, but it really did not do much to advance the cause of women when he equated our fair sex with his society's lower creatures in order to make his point. So! Must that mean that a site like Lyssa Strada really cannot hope to be more effective in challenging the current status of women in the world than its ancient counterpart was?

Nooo waaaay!!!

We shall continue to suggest that women really can have fun and be subversive, that we would merely be following the lead of such impressive women as Dorothy Parker, Molly Ivins, Roseanne Barr, Katharine Hepburn, Tina Fey, Gilda Radnor, Joy Behar, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Arianna Huffington, Jane D. Schaberg, Pippi Longstocking, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Penny Marshall, Marge Simpson, Ellen Degeneres, Phyllis Diller, Paula Poundstone, Kate Clinton, Wendy Wasserstein, Helen Thomas...

[tick-tock, tick-tock-- still adding more names-- check back later]

[stiletto heel boot: wikipedia]


Blogger Thursday Next said...

I have been a big fan of flats (sneakers really) and comfortable clothing for many years now.

I don't mind getting dressed up for dinner every now and then but only for a few hours and then off come the heels (which are short anyway), followed quickly by the pantyhose and the underwires.

Good thing Spec Ops doesn't expect me to wear any of those torture devices while performing the duties of my job.

8:27 PM  

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