Thursday, July 17, 2008

bare shoulders.

Bared shoulders.
They are taboo... not allowed growing up; I still only feel comfortable baring them in my own home, and never when I will be around most of my friends or family.
My skin, something to be hidden, it's exposure guaranteed to bring the wrath of God or the unwanted attention of man. (Taught as a young child; anecdotal stories of women raped because of what they wore... "and let that be a lesson to you...")

The stigma of sluttiness. The shame of nakedess. The reality of using one's provocatively shown skin to gain favor in a male-dominated culture where sex sells flipflops and rotisserie chicken and can buy promotions and fame.
All the messages bare shoulders can say; sexually available, secure in my sexuality, desperate for love, I love my body. I want your body, I am trying to get some sun, it's a hot day... or for me, most obviously to my peers; I'm not wearing garments.

(Of course, not all tank tops are equal, the sporty bright blue thing I am wearing in this pic with black Victoria's Secret bra straps showing is not saying the same thing as the militant feminist bra-less look in a faded gray tank. Just saying...)

Better cover up.


Katy said...

You have nice shoulders girl! Time to show them off!!!!

G said...

at least at your house! :)

mr. pink's mom said...

they are really lovely shoulders. i'm totally jealous. no matter how hard i trained, i could never get that kind of definition.

oh...and i for sure have a crush on you now.

G said...

thanks mpm... I like my shoulders too.

*blushes*... and I have a crush on you too! there's no accounting for taste, now is there! :)

sarah k. said...

Oh yeah. The trauma of the tank top. I got spotted by a friend from church the other day, and I tried to act natural, but came out as a blathering idiot.

But my, oh my, was it worth it. It's been so long (11 years?) since I've been swaddled in that extra layer that I didn't realize what a difference it made in the heat of summer. Even so, it's a big step. I know how you feel.

(I'm pretty sure I've commented here before, maybe under my secret identity. And I have almost the same haircut as you!)

Lessie said...

Lookin' good, G! It took me forever to get up the nerve to go public with my shoulders as well. I'm slowly getting to the point where I don't feel as self conscious. What's really funny is that no one else seems to care. All my life I'd been made to feel that everyone would stare at me if I wore a tank top. You know what? No one does.

G said...

hey sarah k! oooooh... secred identities, love it (and your blogs are cool too)

Hi Lessie! ya, it's funny how much of the stigma is in our mind. Though last week, a friend from the ward stopped by and I was wearing a tank. All sorts of thoughts went through my head: should I not open the door, should I go run throw on a tshirt...
I decided not to do either, to just act normal and say 'hi'.
she wouldn't make eye contact or look at me... but hasn't mentioned it since, and acts normal towards me now. we're still friends.
just one of those things.

adam said...

Haha, really, bare shoulders are dangerous... even if one isn't raped they'll surely make young men think bad thoughts... I don't know what shoulders have over elbows or knee caps, frankly, when it comes to what we should hide.

Nice blog!

chandelle said...

whoa, you are one hot mama!

i'm still not comfortable with bared-skin clothing but it's more because of body image problems than because i worry that people will judge my apostasy. i grew up wearing tank tops and real shorts in AZ because that's what every sane human being wore in 115 weather, men included, so it was just normal for me, but i had a different body shape then (and i shaved :).

G said...

thanks for stopping by adam! shoulders, elbows, kneecaps... didn't it used to be a tiny glimpse of ankle that would expose a woman to unsavory attention?

(side note... just today I found my self ogling a chest; this GUY with the most unbelievable pecs- these high rounded shelves of muscle and flesh, I had to fight really hard to keep from staring. And yes, I really did want to touch them, just to see what they felt like.)

Thanks chandelle... ya, when I don't shave, I don't wear tank tops. I'm not so gutsy yet. (though Ani Difranco pulled it off really great at her concert. maybe someday.)

angryyoungwoman said...

I wore a tank top the other day--and spent the day terrified someone would see me. When someone actually did, he just commented on how healthy I looked. I still don't have the guts to wear one in front of my family. I know they'd freak out.

You do have the most gorgeous shoulders, though, g.

flygirl said...

You look good in tank tops! And it IS the middle of summer. Good for you!

I just spent this past weekend at my family reunion in tank tops and short shorts (it was 100 degrees). I went back and forth on deciding what to wear, and finally decided it should be about what I want to wear, not what I think people might judge me for. And the whole weekend no one said a thing, or acted strange. I think a lot of people don't care and don't even notice, and it's a bigger deal to us, the one worrying about it.

G said...

thanks flygirl!
glad you had a good experience at your family reunion. :)