Stuff’s awesome, non-judgemental, completely empowering and not at all consumerism-pushing body-policing article on swimsuits has inspired me, dear readers, to impart my own equally-qualified opinions on the matter!
These singlet-style tops are perfect for the more casual look or the lazier bather who can’t be bothered actually getting changed when they get to the beach – and as a bonus, they hide your precious tickly-belly from the evil daystar!
The solution for all those women who worry that they don’t have enough ruched one-pieces in their live.
Triangle bikinis / side-tie bottoms
Triangle bikinis are triangle-shaped which means they’re great for those of us with dodecahedronal figures.
Side-tie bikinis are unfortunately tarred by generations of douchebags making “durr easy access” comments, but fuck those wankers, tie a double bow and give patriarchy the finger while wearing bows.
Prints or colour-blocking?
This is an area where lots of women make mistakes. The trick is to stick your tongue out one side of your mouth while looking in a mirror and popping one hip forward and thinking, “Do I prefer prints or colour-blocking?” When you get an answer, choose that one.
What colours go with what bodies/skin tones?
Bright colours look great on people who want to wear bright colours. Dark colours look great on people who like to wear dark colours.
I know it’s a really hard time of year, sistren, what with every fucking patriarchy-mag screaming about Getting Your Beach Body For Summer! AND the forthcoming Lose Weight Before/During/After Christmas panic,* but just follow my advice, eat and exercise according to your ability and preference, and you will totally be the most self-confident sheila on the beach this summer. Who gives a fuck about anything else?
*The only reason I hate having a summer Christmas.
A Newlands College dean told a 14-year-old young woman that her short skirt made her look like a slut.
There’s a conversation going on at frogblog on the topic, with the usual suspects coming out to play – “she didn’t call the girl a slut, she just said she looked like a slut!” “I see heaps of girls dressed like hookers!” and there’s even a bonus “doing Gender Studies at university is useless because it doesn’t get you a job” bit of fail!
But let’s not get distracted by the kinds of comments that are obviously misogynist – there’s a little tidbit in the Stuff article which makes it clear this is just the bit of the iceberg that’s above water:
The school’s guidelines require girls’ skirts to touch the ground when they kneel
I would delight in the quaint Victorian-ness of it all if it weren’t so infuriating. In an article about school authority figures policing young women using gendered, sex-shaming slurs, this sentence is just dropped in as though it’s completely insignificant.
But this is where it all starts.
A commenter at frogblog tries to argue that boys face “sexist” uniform regulations too, in regards to hair length. And yes, this goes to issues about masculinity and the basic premise of high school, molding us all into nice little homogeneous GDP-generating units … but no cigar. Men’s hair is simply not routinely used as a tool to control and police their actions and lives the way sexuality, and “looking” sexual, is used against women.
But QoT, they just want everyone to look uniform and neat!
Nope. The school’s regulation on skirt length is summed up as “must touch the ground when kneeling”. So are below-knee, at-knee, above-knee, mid-calf skirts permitted? What about the girls who get larger skirts which go down to their ankles to grow into in Year 9, or the poor girl who hits 5’10 sometime in the middle of Year 12 and simply cannot find a skirt to fit from the (horribly overpriced) uniform shop that goes anywhere near her knees?
Come on, QoT, the girl must be freezing in a skirt that short!
And she can take the hem down. Or wear stockings. Or maybe she’s one of those bizarre people (like many Cantabrian classmates in my past who rocked shorts and t-shirts year-round) who just doesn’t get cold as easily.
But what if the notorious Wellington wind blows it up and people see her underwear!
Only a problem if you think young women’s underwear is an inherently immoral thing. You aren’t … slut-shaming women in short skirts, are you, invisible questioner?
No! I’m just … concerned for her privacy! What if some pervert takes an upskirt photo of her???
Then that pervert is a pervert and the fault of a pervert’s actions fall … on the pervert. And probably a society that simultaneously tells young women not to look like sluts while massively hyper-sexualising The Naughty Catholic Schoolgirl archetype and idolizing youth/”innocence”.
I just want young women to look like ladies/nicely dressed/dignified!
And as soon as “ladies”, “nice” and “dignified” are set up in opposition to “sexual” … congratulations, you’re a slut-shamer using sexuality to control women’s choices!
Look, I just don’t think young women should go around dressed like hookers!
How precisely do “hookers” dress? What is inherently wrong with dressing like women who work in the sex industry? Isn’t “dressed like hookers” just a nice, anti-sex-work shorthand for “dressed in a way which is read as sexual”? So … isn’t that just slut-shaming?
Well, um … fuck you! Dogs and raw meat analogy! You are no lady! Asking for it! Childhood time of innocence! Sex bad!
The prosecution rests.
Skirt length regulations are first and foremost about making schoolgirls look “like ladies” or “respectable”, two concepts which are rooted in hiding and denying women’s sexual agency and sexual feelings. The dean at Newlands College shouldn’t be punished; she should be praised for at least being honest about their priorities.
I always look for ways to make righteous fury fun dull the pain of existing in a misogynist world stop myself going postal too often. Bingo cards, drinking games, with such tools do we activists spike the bullshit that infests our daily lives.
Example: when Amanda at Pickled Think links me to this abomination of “style”-page chaff, I channel my immediate instinct to scream FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU at the top of my voice into imagining just how horrendously pissed I and a select group of friends would get if we did a shot every time they mention:
- Teenage girls with boobs! ZOMG THE SEXUALISATION OF OUR YOUTH SIGN OF DOWNFALL OF MORALITY
- Men in lingerie! PROBABLY GAY AMIRITE?
- “Men dressed as women” because it’s not like we could actually ask people how they identify. And even given the massive problems of gender-defined-by-external-genitalia I’m pretty sure they’d have stopped fitting “men” at the counter if there was any cock on display.
- Old women! With gross underwear! Because they’re old! And gross! And they forget to put on underwear because they’re senile LOL!!!
- Women’s posture is worse because we’re no longer obliged to strap ourselves into horrifically uncomfortable, nay painful, undergarments in order to conform to accepted body shapes! OH BUT I’M JUST WORRIED ABOUT YOUR HEALTH!
- For a chaser, of course, don’t forget that the only alternative to 1960s girdles is LETTING IT ALL HANG OUT like a filthy fucking strumpet.
- And mastectomies! Because once you’ve lost your boobs you are Unwoman but at least you can reclaim some of your natural object-to-be-gazed-upon status with sexy knickers, right? God, do you think they pat their customers on the head for being So Brave while they’re at it?
I think the answer “pretty darn pissed” about cuts it.
I love Stuff articles, I must say. It just wouldn’t be a Stuff “article” without a … completely random tailing-off at the end with no actual conclusion or even investigation into, e.g., why more younger women may be having mastectomies. I guess that would have involved Sarah Young actually doing more than chatting to store personnel on her lunchbreak.
My conclusion? Given how much I’d hate to fill one of the few funny-anecdote niches they appear to have missed – seriously, no “And these days you get a lot more fatties thinking they’re hot”? – I think I’ll avoid ever buying knickers at Kirks ever again. The sounds you can hear are my wallet and class consciousness throwing a party.