This week has been a difficult one. Lots and lots of work with clashing deadlines combined with a bad cold = Body coming to a grinding halt mid week.
So, whilst I was tucked up in bed, voiceless and grimy, I set about watching a selection of appalling films that you watch and then pretend you have never seen in your life (‘I’m Talking About You’, ‘It’s a Boy/Girl Thing’…) and a few old-time classics to cheer me up.
One such film was the fabulous Grease. There I was, with my lemsip, revelling in what a great film it is when something struck me…
And it wasn’t Danny’s furious hip thrusts…
The basic story line for the movie is incredibly negative. When you remove the fabulous outfits, Frenchy’s incredible hair, and the beauties that are Kenickie and Danny (in that order) you are left with a script that reads: A girl and a boy fall for each other, but the boy is too stubborn to appreciate the girl’s personality. Therefore the girl is forced to change and reinvent herself as a more vampish, slurred version of who she really is to ensure she gets her man. I was annoyed at this being the core message of the movie; the implication that it’s necessary to change your personality and wrap yourself in skin tight leather if you want to ensure male attention. It struck me as ridiculous; as I certainly pursue the reverse and assumed that most girls probably did the same.
However, looking around it’s occured to me just how many people employ Sandy tactics to ensure the following eyes of a boy. Any social event where it can be deemed acceptable, out come the strapless bandage dresses, the bodycon skirt and the towering heels. Total peacock dressing, a desperate & shameless attempt to catch the eye of a male and make them do a double take. Perhaps I am being too harsh if I liken it to a very watered down form of prostitution; girls barely covering their bodies with thin pieces of elastic and cotton to outline their silhouette. (Editor note: In some cases, perhaps not harsh enough…)
Maybe I am too much of a prude for the modern ventures of my peers; the ‘dancing’, the excessive amounts of flesh on show, the willingness of girls to do anything boys ask just to ensure they don’t look at all independent or single minded. Heaven forbid you should be mistaken for an old romantic.
I personally cannot understand the appeal in wearing the obligatory ‘girl’s night out’ uniform of short, tight dresses, platform heels and all over tans. In fact, I find my method of wearing what I enjoy (and often through this, rebelling against the uniform) to be more self satisfactory. Whilst my fashion choices may not appeal to all men, it acts as a perfect filter – separating those who are interested in you for who you are, and those who see you as a challenge to conquer. I find it maddening how many of my friends dress in takes of the ‘uniform’ and struggle along, teetering in their shoes and yanking at their hemlines in the hope of being talked about.
Friday evening I attended a social event where my theories were proven unutterably correct. Girls arrived dressed up to the nines with their barely there bandages, and the boys surveyed the expanse of bare flesh & picked their next conquest. I must admit, I considered putting on a short, tight skirt – but could not bring myself to do it. Instead I wore a peter pan collared blouse, rolled up jeans, a tweed blazer and a pair of heeled clog sandal hybrids (which are just as beautifully disgusting as they sound). Each to their own, but I find my confidence shines through when I am not worried about whether you can see my knickers if I move too much and sometimes I wish a few more ladies would feel the same way. I don’t believe myself to be a feminist, believing only in equality for all, but I do find it frustrating watching girls dress solely for boys and allowing themselves to become objects of lust rather than admired for any real talents or quirks. It is of course a rather mood enhancing moment when you discover that someone has been admiring your figure in a particular outfit, but it is far more satisfactory when this outfit happens to be a jumper and jeans, or a vintage maxi dress.
Ahh, well. Perhaps I am too much of a Patty Simcox at heart to be tempted by the boys to change my style. But as much as I love
Sandy in her all black figure hugging outfit, muttering ‘tell me about it stud’ to a startled Danny Zuko, I can’t help feeling a sense of sadness at the loss of her original poodle skirted self. I will still be able to enjoy Grease as much as I do but it I am forced to admire the accuracy of the storyline even to this day, as opposed to what it signifies.