The young lady in the above video is very stylish, poised and pretty. She was chosen as Miss Vintage 2014, which as far as I can tell (and I didn’t put much time into researching it) is exactly what it sounds like, a contest to choose the best dressed and maybe best looking Miss. I like her style, with her prim pink cardigans, midi length skirts and French twists, what I don’t like is the message she sends to women.
Her message, in a nutshell, is “to be respected, a woman needs to dress prim and proper” and if you don’t, prepare to get disrespected by men.
Really? So unless you dress like you’re from the 1950s, you are might be (and might deserve to be) disrespected by men. That’s kind of like saying if a woman is wearing a short skirt, it’s ok to harass her or if a woman was wearing revealing clothing she deserved to be raped.
Ok. So, that would be a very large section of the USA’s (or the UK’s where she lives) who does not dress vintage should prepare for some disrespect.
This provoked me on a couple of levels.
First off, one of the great things about living today is that individuality in one’s fashion chooses is not only accepted but celebrated, especially if that their fashion sense is something to be admired by the general public. Most of the population has become mindless when it comes to fashion and putting together and outfit. The average person tends to take whatever fast fashion is doled out by Old Navy and Forever 21 and not really think about much else. It is those who dress differently who get noticed, and often in a good way. A prime example of this is on those ” Best and Worst” dressed lists from (insert an awards show here) the celebrities who generally make the best and worst list have tended to use their own brain (or at least their stylist used their brain) and it lands them on either the best or the worst list; Either way, its good because its gets their name into the news.
If we backtrack to the decade she loves (which looks like the 1940s and 1950s) individuality was NOT celebrated. If you did not dress as part of the norm, people would think you were weird, eccentric, un-American… maybe even a communist. In the 1950s, originality was not celebrated especially not in fashion. I would say this was very true of the 1940s and 1930s as well.
Ironically, a woman who choose to wear dead people’s clothes (what they basically were before people came up with terms like “retro” and “vintage”) you were seen as poor, odd or eccentric. Back in the day, no one wore second-hand clothes, unless they were weird or had their financial situation forced them to.
Today the same clothing that people shunned is now sold on online, often for hundreds of dollars.
This brings up a misconception many people have about the past. That people were better people back then. Those women acted like ladies and those men like gentlemen. That life “back then” was better than it was today. It might have been in some ways, but in many ways, it definitely was not.
I wonder, have these people read up on their history or are they just looking at the past through the rosy lens of too many Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire movies. People seem to forget that we went through something called The Great Depression that was wedged in between two of the worst wars in our Nation’s history.
So back to this girl’s assertion that if “more women dressed as ladies, more women would be respected” Yeah… that’s a great concept… maybe 50 years ago. Hey, I love vintage clothing, I don’t know why else I would be writing this blog; But to those who don’t like vintage clothing or want no part of it, I have absolutely no problem. How someone else wants to dress is irrelevant to me.
The point of living today is that we have the freedom to wear whatever the hell you want. Today in our hyper-politically correct society, you can dress how you wish those who would criticize you because if they do, they will be severely castigated themselves and maybe even have a lawsuit land in their lap.
So, no matter how you want to dress, whatever gender you are, you should be respected… and you also respect others back.