10.16.2014

Perception = Projection


Perception = Projection
The way you view/filter people is the way you will treat them.
Trudy Vesotsky

This topic has been in my head for a few weeks now. It all began one Friday afternoon when my husband and I were strolling through our areas outdoor shopping and entertainment center. A young woman passed us by who was dressed rather provocatively. You know the drill - low cut, skin tight mini dress that left nothing to the imagination; sky-high platform shoes; lots of bold makeup; and really big hair. We watched as other couples noticed the woman too. Some men discreetly looked back as she passed by, while others paid her no attention. She was walking alone and stood out like a very attention grabbing thumb.

While my husband and I stopped to enjoy a snack of chips and guacamole, I asked the question, "Did you think that young lady was sexy?" Of course, his response was, "What young lady?" Cool move for the husband...trying to pretend like he had forgotten. But alas, maybe he did. After bringing her back to his memory, he said, "Well, she didn't look sexy to me, but I'm not into that type...obviously. I guess to some guys that's a big turn-on."  I went on to say, "Do you call that type as being sexy or sexual?" He stopped to ponder the proposed question and then said, "She was clearly being sexual in my opinion. Sexy to me is a nice looking woman who carries herself with respect and is smart. A woman who is confident in herself doesn't need all that."

After having the discussion with my husband, I was then left to wonder why so many women dress in such a way that provokes a sexual response, rather than a response that's respectful? Though I've been married for over 20 years, there have been times when gentlemen have asked if I'm available. I'm not offended by their quest, but, if I was met with whistles, cat-calls and dirty remarks, I would be concerned to what made the man think I was that type of woman. Sure, you may come across someone who is just downright disrespectful, but more than likely, if you carry yourself with class and dignity, those type of men won't try to approach you. It's interesting how our fashion choices make such a huge difference in how we're perceived by others, even though that perception may not be reality. I like to think that the way I present myself to the world is truly who I am. Why send mix messages? When my husband first became attracted to me, I was wearing a red, wool crepe, trapeze dress with a great pair of heels. We all know that trapeze dresses do not hug any part of the body, so I was happy to know that it wasn't THAT part of me he was drawn too. He said that the dress made me look unique and confident. He also stated that I was wearing the dress and it wasn't wearing me. It was my persona that grabbed his attention.

Please, help me to understand this...Do women who dress sexually feel that this type of attention is what they need to make them feel good about themselves, or do they not dress this way to get the attention at all? Do people have the right to wear what they choose without being perceived in any particular way, or, is fashion the first clue into who we are? {wink}

I love to read your views, please, leave your comments below.

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All Photographs by Freddy Harrison

37 comments:

  1. First of all let me say that your husband is a gem! Lucky You! Lucky Him!! ---- I wonder about this, too. I have friend who is very smart and funny. She is a terrific mother and friend. But she dresses in the most inappropriate manner. Short skirts, low cut tops, way way way too much make-up. It's confusing but I feel like she does it because she wants to feel attractive and this style gets her a lot of attention. Face it. As women we are often invisible. Especially as we get older. We work behind the scenes without much fanfare. If we want to be noticed we have to make some extra noise. These women have chosen these overtly sexy styles because they get results. I used to teach an exercise class and if I decided to travel outside of the gym in my leggings and sports tops I got lots of unwanted attention. I had to throw on a baggy sweatsuit just to go home.

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    1. Hmm, that's interesting. I would be afraid to receive that type of attention. The signal is a bad one if sex isn't what you want.

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  2. I feel that those are mixed signals and women create this by leaving nothing to the imagination. A little cleavage now and then is not as loud as short skirts showing thongs or no underwear and some will turn up their nose at that. The men I speak to, want to see at it all parading down the street but they say she is quickly erased from the memory the minute another profile appears. In other words Ms Show it all is only sexy for a minute! Being confident exudes sexiness and not just for that minute. Thanks for this post!

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    1. I fully agree with the men who say it's short lived. As a matter of fact, the men were laughing at the young woman I saw. I felt sorry for her.

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  3. Hi, Glenda:

    I think that some women who dress provocatively do so in order to get validation of their sexiness from the opposite sex. Dressing in an overtly sexual manner, however, does not usually attract the right sort of attention.

    Sharon

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    1. I suppose if you're starving for attention then even this type is good enough.

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  4. Glenda, I wonder the same thing! I'm not sure why women choose to dress that way, I'm guessing it's for the attention. Thank you for posting this. You look beautiful in that sweater by the way!
    -Stephanie
    http://positivelystephanie.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you Stephanie for your input. That photo above is from a post I did last year called Rebellious. That's why my hair is a different color.

      I suppose to some, any type of attention is what is needed. This saddens me.

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  5. Great post as always!! Very interesting topic.... Its like the Law of Attraction. I do agree that the way we dress and the energy that we put out into the Universe is what we will attract back to us...At the same time, I have also learned that no matter how we dress or carry ourselves, people will always form their own opinion and have something to say regardless. I just say be yourself and do what makes you happy in the long run. At the end of the day we all have to answer to God for our own actions and no one elses.... :)

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    1. Thank you for your input, Tab! I agree with you about the Law of Attraction, most definitely! I just wonder why these women want to attract this type of attention... Perhaps some feel like that is all they have to offer. If so, that is very sad.

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  6. I believe its all about adornment, and the mixed messages women recieve through media about the true power of personal adornment. Dressing provactively is a misuse of creating an initial impression that some women abdicate for person attention of any kind.

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    1. Girls need to be taught that there is much more to them than sex. And boys need to be taught that there is more to women than the sex. Somehow this message isn't coming across clear.

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  7. Great post. I like to think that the way we dress, or how provocatively we dress, is a great indication of our intelligence. I just think women, or girls, who choose to dress that way have an insecurity in general. Hopefully when that woman matures more she'll come to her senses. Cause that ain't perty in the upper years especially! haha!

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    1. Wow Joni, that is really deep! I never thought to bring intelligence level into the mix. Now I wonder....

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  8. I think that dressing that way is sexual, not sexy. I tend to give young people a pass for some of their fashion choices, EXCLUDING pants hanging off the backside!..LOL

    I always hope with age that the young lady will make more appropriate choices. I was a teenager in the 70's and I'm pretty sure that my hot pants and platform shoes and sky high afro invoked a negative response from a few adults. LOL
    :-)

    Pam

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    1. Hi Pam! I was always modest in my taste of clothing and never found it appealing to put my goods on display. I hope the young women do mature beyond this point. If not, they made be saddened by the results.

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  9. I believe most people who are "sexy" are that way naturally and don't really have to try so hard. There is definitely a difference between provocative and sexy (IMO) Besides my Mama taught me that you'll usually get the kind of attention you seek to attract.

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    1. Hi Cookie! Your mom is a very wise woman, and it's good you followed her wisdom. Thanks for commenting!

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  10. Hi Glenda, I think some of these women dress in a sexual manner because they don't know any better. For example most of us have probably come across the woman dressed provacatively for a job interview but she looks like she just came from the club. An image that comes to mind is Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Granted she was a woman of the night but not deep down.

    I have a friend who dressed like this because she felt poorly about herself and even negative attention from men was good in her eyes.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Steph! Isn't it strange how women who dress is this manner are perceived as "sure of themselves" when in actuality, many are suffering from low self esteem.

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  11. Hi Glenda,
    I think some of them look in the mirror and think.. OMG I´m SO pretty! because it´s their own personal taste and every longer skirt (for example) would be a very ugly thing to wear. And other women want to get the attention of a special kind of men and this she only can do in this kind of outfits. And other women are addicted to attention, so they must wear clothes other people around them don´t do!
    I'm not sure, I have advised! ;)

    have a wonderful weekend
    Dana
    http://danalovesfashionandmusic.blogspot.de/

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    1. Thank you for commenting Dana! The 'addicted to attention' is an interesting point and one I didn't consider. Society as a whole has placed such an emphasis on getting attention. Hasn't it? Now, we are all stars of our own world with the ability to promote ourselves via social media. One thing for sure, the overt display of sex is an interesting topic and one I'm going to explore.

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  12. I think these women do it for various reasons. Some for attention, some for validation, some to show off, maybe some even just for themselves or their partner.

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    1. Thank you Melissa! I find it interesting that their partner would like them to put the goods on display. But hey, there are some out there. Interesting, indeed.

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  13. So happy to have discovered your blog!
    Linda C.

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  14. I really believe that many, many times overly provocative dressing is a cry for help. Some are hurting and feel rejection and just do not know any other way to get attention from men. In reality, they go about it the worse way possible. Media feeds this on so many levels. I would love to see women like you, Glenda, working with younger women to build their self esteem to help them become women of substance and confidence. Until they accept themselves and grow in confidence, they will continue to put themselves out there like a meal ticket and not attract men such as your husband, but often abusive men who pass by quickly to grab and go. Is this too direct? This is what I honestly believe. It is a cry for help.

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    1. Thank you Pam, and no, you weren't being too direct. It's a perfect way for stating the obvious. This past Friday evening I attended my son's football game and I saw a few girls dressed this way. Often times the young girls are taught this behavior by their single mothers, who themselves dress in this manner to attract men. It's an unfortunate cycle that needs to be broken.

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  15. Well.. the way you dress is the way people will perceive you. Whatever you wear should reflect your inner being. But not everybody knows how to do this. Especially young women look at TV and movies and think that this is the way they should dress. I think most of them have no clue what they evoke. I remember that I dressed in mini skirts so, so short when I was a teenager up to 22 (I think). It was fashion back then (early seventies) and I thought I was looking terrific. In reality I must have looked rather ridiculous haha. No clue.
    Greetje

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    1. I think often young girls think that evoking sex is being grown-up. Unfortunately, many of these girls don't have someone in their lives who can instruct them that sex doesn't equate to maturity. A sign of maturity is when you consider the needs of others besides your own.

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  16. Amen Glenda, I am shouting preach it sister as I type. Wise words I say, very wise words. Sometimes if you try to say something to people dressed in such a provocative way they feel offended. Its a touchy subject really.

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    1. Ha ha, thank you Elsie! It's a subject that has been on my mind for some time. I just wanted to read others perspective on the matter. It is touchy.

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  17. First time reader here and I loved reading this post, so eloquently written and thought provoking. The overriding feeling I was left with after reading this was sadness. I was taught that leaving more to the imagination was a lot sexier than flaunting it. It seems that a lot of young ladies get there validation from the amount of male attention they receive and dressing like this gives them that attention. I do ponder quite a lot about the sexualisation of everything in our media. I was watching a commercial for yogurt the other day where the women is in a bath with hardly anything on was having an 'orgasmic' experience eating it. Is it this constant barrage of scantily clad women being overtly sexual that is making our young women think that this is the only way to be? Sorry more questions than answers.

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    1. Welcome Lotty and thank you so very much for commenting on this subject. I think many of us have more questions than answers. It is a difficult subject to understand. I can relate to your response with the yogurt commercial. One day my family went to dinner at a local restaurant that showed sports on the many televisions. One of the commercials was for burgers. I was so embarrassed and ashamed that my sons witnessed the overtly sexual scene of a woman in a bikini, sitting on stop of a sports car while eating a huge burger and licking her lips. It was horrible...to say the least. Sure, the advertisers would say they were targeting men, but everyone watches sports. It truly makes me feel embarrassed as a mother with sons. I have to constantly debunk what they see on television so that they don't grow up treating women in a disrespectful manner.

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  18. Glenda,
    There you are asking asking the pithy old question: sexual vs. sexy? Relevant!!
    I agree there is something base and borderline desperate about dressing in an overtly sexual style.
    Short skits are cool with tights, but not with cleavage. A bit of cleavage is fine with baggy boyfriend jeans, not so cool with skin tight sevens, and hair that looks undone.. Balance is alluring, confidence is alluring. No doubt in that red dress, you were alluring, and sexy, not sexual.
    When i was in my 20s, i was very thin, slightly curvy, with cut glass cheek bones... what did i wear?
    Clothes that bordered on Matronly... Annie Hall was my style icon. I was waifish and young enough to wear a paper sack, but i choose mid length pleated dresses, and grey trousers with oversized sweaters. Sexual, was not the image I wanted to shout. I was confidant that way, There was more than met the eye, rather than the other way around,
    I suspect you felt like this?
    Brava for excellent writing and asking timely questions..
    xx, Elle
    http://mydailycostume.com/

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    1. Funny that you should mention Annie Hall. When my husband and I dated, I wore the baggie trousers, button up top with a men's tie. He thought I looked incredible. And yes, I had the same thought process. I have been told by men that I'm an onion...a woman of many layers. I never considered sexy a top layer, but one that had to be peeled away, underneath all the other great qualities.

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  19. Well I don't know what is athe purpose of a sexy dressed woman, probably she is lookind for confiming to herself that she is ..."wow"! In any case I totally agree with your very intelligent husband!!!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment, it really means a great deal for me to connect with my So What to Twenty friends. I hope you subscribed via email or by social media - I wouldn't want you to miss anything on our True Style journey. Stay True, Glenda