Forums The Will to Adorn Sexual/Erotic Style and Imagery

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    • #925

      I was given a card for a 4th of July event that had images of women in very “sexual/erotic” clothing. I am not sure what to do with it. For now I am looking at representations in cards, photographs, et cetera and comparing with what I see on the streets and in particular venues (church/mosque, school, clubs, outings in the park). However,  I have not quite figured how to manage these “sexually-charged/erotic” styles that are present. Has anyone else encountered this issue?

    • #927

      I’m not quite sure what you mean. Was the card in question an advertisement for an event–for example, at a club (or something similar)? The women were likely paid models chosen with the intent of luring business to the venue. As the cliche goes: sex sells. I suspect that with advertisements and in media, we need to question perception–how the individual perceives his/herself, how others view the individual, even our own interpretation.

      Moreover, who decides what determines whether someone’s dress is “sexual” or “erotic”? What might seem merely scanty to one person might be quite tame by another individual’s standards–and might be taboo to another’s. For example, a bathing costume from the Victorian era would be extremely modest to someone living in California in the 1990s, but a modern woman in Brazil might find a one-piece tame compared to a string bikini–which she regards as perfectly acceptable. Meanwhile, her contemporary in France is wondering what the issue with bathing suits is; in her experience, most people don’t bother wearing anything to the beach.

    • #929

      That’s exactly right. These are marketing tools. I am simply attempting to figure out how or if it should be incorporated. I am wondering whether it influences styles of dress or if it is simply understood that these cards/images are just put out there and that they do not influence clothing styles/dress at these venues.

    • #931

      From the days of the “pin-up” girls, images of women in sexually provocative clothing (or lack of clothing) have been a part of the visual culture of the US. Are they representations of a “community of style?” probably, but the cards as artifacts of culture are probably not intended to document a style so much as to arouse. Interesting but I don’t know how central I’d make it to this particular research—maybe interview the models or people who adopt the dress? Is it an occupational uniform? Hmm!

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