The Eroticism of Prim and Proper Dressing (update: July15, 2010)

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I absolutely adore this line from Ginia Bellafante’s article in the New York Times on June 1 2004 “Dressing the Post-Feminist Stepford Wife”


That the affluent homemaker’s uniform remains so compelling may have something to do with its undercurrent of eroticism, one that stems from a sense that the woman wearing it is a woman owned. ”Inside that presexual-looking girl in her lime-green twin set is that fully grown woman to whom only her husband has access,” said Eric Mendelsohn, a filmmaker, former costumer and professor of film at Columbia. ”When do these women look like fully realized sexual beings? When they are in private with their husbands.”

It should be noted that in Japanese culture, the presence of a prohibitive barrier only adds to the erotic charge. Many outsiders will view the black disk of censorship (currently pixellated screen) which is placed over the private parts in photographs as am unwelcomed nuisance. Not so for the Japanese.

That which is shielded actually adds to the erotic imagination. This makes sense when you look at the history of kimono design. To cover is to add to the sexual mystery.

In these modern times, when people go to the supermarket in Daisy dukes and a wet-t-shirt, that which is available to the imagination is a rare and precious item.

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3 Responses to “The Eroticism of Prim and Proper Dressing (update: July15, 2010)”

  1. johnsgirls Says:

    I love going to vintage clothing stores & finding clothes from the ’40s & ’50s. My husband paticularly likes a pencil skirt with a silk blouse & some patent leather heels.
    How nice is it for him to come home from a long day at the office to his wife dressed so lovely with his favorite drink in hand along with dinner that’s been kept warm?
    I very much enjoyed this article because it shows that just because a woman is proper in pubic, it doesn’t mean that she can never be sexual. A lady has plenty of time to be sexual in private with her husband!!!

  2. mrs caveman Says:

    In the Revenge of the Stepford Wives, Kaye says “I been in every store in this town and I can’t …” then the town bell sounds off.

    What if she meant “I can’t find any pants for women” Wouldn’t that solve our society’s problems if a strict dress code was in place to reinforce our femininity and our proper place in the home.

    I believe in women being aproned at all times, to properly reinforce our domestic role and to remind men that there role is to be the breadwinner and not some deadbeat.

    Imagine our husband’s delight if pajama pants and boy shorts and other unfeminine clothing was not available, men and women would be better off.

    Jane

  3. Prim is good | Julian O'Dea Says:

    […] In any case, I wrote on this topic recently (Women'slegs: less is more) and this article from the perhaps partly tongue-in-cheek Stepford Wives organisation makes a good point about The Eroticism of Prim and Proper Dressing. […]

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