2015年考研暑假必读文章：Girls Going Mild(er)
Girls Going Mild(er)
Consider the following style tips for girls: skirts and dresses should fall no more than four fingers above the knee. No tank tops without a sweater or jacket over them. Choose a bra that has a little padding to help disguise when you are cold. These fashion hints may sound like the prim mandates of a 1950s "health" film.
But they are from the Web site of Pure Fashion, a modeling and etiquette program for teen girls whose goal is "to show the public it is possible to be cute, stylish and modest." Pure Fashion has put on 13 shows in 2007 featuring 600 models. National director Brenda Sharman estimates there will be 25 shows in 2008. It is not the only newfangled outlet for old-school ideas about how girls should dress: ModestAPParelUSA.com, ModestByDesign. com and DressModestly.com all advocate a return to styles that leave almost everything to the imagination. They cater to what writer Wendy Shalit claims is a growing movement of "girls gone mild"--teens and young women who are rejecting promiscuous "bad girl" roles embodied by Britney Spears, Bratz Dolls and the nameless. shirtless thousands in “Girls Gone Wild" videos. Instead, these girls cover up, insist on enforced curfews on college campuses, bring their moms on their dates and pledge to stay virgins until married. And they spread the word: in Pennsylvania, a group of high-school girls "girlcotted" Abercrombie & Fitch for selling T shirts with suggestive slogans (who needs brains when you have these?). Newly launched Eliza magazine bills itself as a "modest fashion" magazine for the 17- to 34-year-old demographic. Macy's has begun carrying garments by Shade Clothing, which was founded by two Mormon women wanting trendy, but not-revealing, clothes. And Miss Utah strode the runway of the 2007 Miss America pageant in a modestly cut one-piece swimsuit. (She didn't win the crown.) According to Shalit, this "youth-led rebellion" is a welcome corrective to our licentious, oversexed times. But is the new modesty truly a revolution, or is it merely an inevitable reaction to a culture of increased female sexual empowerment, similar to the backlash against flappers in the 1920s and second-wave feminists in the 1970s?
Shalit has made a career of cataloging the degradations of our culture while championing crusades of virtue. Her first book, "A Return to Modesty," argued that chastity was hot--and informed readers she intended to remain a virgin until her wedding night. Shalit says she was inundated with letters and e-mail from girls dismayed by cultural pressure to be "bad." She began a Web site, ModestyZone.net--there are at least a dozen similar ones toddy—and started collecting information from 3,000 e-mail exchanges between 1999 and 2006. "There's a dawning awareness that maybe not everyone participating in these behaviors is happy with them, so let's not assume everyone doing this is empowered," she says. She blames the usual suspects: media, misguided feminist professors, overly permissive parents. Sharman also points a finger at Moms Cone Wild. "It used to be that moms would control the way their daughters dressed. But now we have this 'Desperate Housewives' culture, and the moms are as influenced by the media as the kids," she says. "They've lost the sense of encouraging their daughters to be ladylike." Pure Fashion, which is affiliated with the Roman Catholic organization Regnum Chrisri, aims to "help young ladies make better choices," say Sharman.
This not the first time women have been asked to make these choices. During a century of tumult over the roles and rights of women, fashion and sexual expression have remained lightning rods for controversy. The forward-thinking women of the 1920s who cut their hair, threw out their corsets and dared to smoke in public were the Britney Spearses and Paris Hiltons of their day, says Joshua Zeitz, author of "Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex,Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern". "Everything is relative—girls weren't wearing thongs or getting bikini waxes, but they were coming to school in knee-length skirts, wearing lipstick and smoking," Zeitz says. "The concern at the time was that the culture was sexualizing young girls. The backlash came during the Great Depression, when you see a movement to get women back into the home, in part to correct this culture of licentiousness."
The most recent attempt to turn back the clock may be a reaction to yet another sexual revolution: "Gays and lesbians are becoming mainstreamed, women make up more than half of college populations, they're becoming full partners in the workplace and there's a general cultural deconstruction of what gender means," Zeitz says. "We go through waves of progress and reaction, but you can never bottle these things back up for real."
Another explanation may be the mainstreaming of conservative religious values. Just as what would Jesus do, bracelets enjoyed a cultural moment on par with rubber live strong bands, faith-based programs like Pure Fashion (which theoretically answers the question "What Would Mary Wear?") are gaining acceptance in the culture at large. Most modest-clothing Web sites have religious underpinnings, from Mormon to Christian to Muslim, but attract nonreligious customers as well. Shalit is an Orthodox Jew, now married to a rabbi, and many girls she profiles see religion as motivating. "Since the good girl today is often socially ostracized, a lot of girl naturally find solace in their faith in God," she says.
What makes the movement unique, according to Shalit, is that it's the adults who are often pushing sexual boundaries, and the kids who are slamming on the brakes. "Well-meaning experts and parents say that they understand kids ’wanting to be ‘bad’ instead of ‘good’," she writes in her book. "Yet this reversal of adults’ expectations is often experienced not as a gift of freedom but a new Kind of oppression." which just may prove that rebelling against Mom and Dad is one trend that will never go out of style.
【大纲全义】n.出路，出口; 销路，市场;发泄 方法; 电源插座
insist / in'sist/
【大纲全义】n.处女 adj.处女的; 纯洁的;原
prim adj.整洁的，古板的 mandate n.要求
etiquette n.礼节 newfangled adj.街奇的
promiscuous adj.混杂的 curfew n.宵禁令(时间)
girlcott v.使受妇女的联合抵制 demographic adj.人口统计的
thong n.皮带 backlash n.后冲力; 反撞
不过，它们可是来自“纯粹时尚”网站，该网站上的模特礼仪活动针对以“向公众展示可爱时髦、温文尔雅的女孩形象”为目标的少女。“纯粹时尚”已经在2007年组织600名模特儿演出了13场服装秀。该项目负责人布伦达·莎莱曼估计2008年还将推出25场这样的服装秀。这并非守旧派关于女孩子该如何穿衣等保守思想的唯一一条新奇的出路:ModestApparelUSA.com, ModestByDesign.com以及DresaModestly.com等时尚网站均倡导保守着装风格的回归——把一切留给想象。这与呼吁少女们“变淑女”的女作家温蒂·沙利特不谋而合一一女孩和少妇们开始拒绝像布兰妮、Bratz娃娃以及《美女也疯狂》视频中数千名衣着暴露的无名女子那样的“坏女孩”。与之相反，她们穿着保守，坚持大学校园的强制熄灯制度，约会时会带上妈妈，并且承诺婚前不发生性行为。而且她们此类言行已经传播开来:在宾夕法尼亚，一群高校女生集体抵制著名服饰品牌“阿贝克隆比·费奇”，就因为该牌子一款T恤衫上印有挑逗性的标语—“当你有这些(暗喻女性胸部)，还要头脑做什么?”。新发行的时尚杂志《伊丽莎白》自我标榜为“淑女时尚”，主攻17岁到34岁的读者群。Macy's公司已经开始出售由Shade Clothing公司生产的服装。此公司是由两个渴望服饰流行但不暴露的摩门教徒女性创立的。在2007年“美国小姐”竞选中，犹他州小姐穿着一件剪裁保守的连身泳衣欣然登场(她没有赢得桂冠)。在沙利特看来，这股“由年轻人引领的时尚逆流”是对放荡、滥交成风的社会现状的一种矫正。不过，这种“淑女”路线到底是一场革命，还是仅仅作为一次女权主义复兴背景下的必然回归?就如同20世纪20年代的“反时髦少女”和70年代的“第二次浪潮”女权主义者一样?