My Short Dress

October 6, 2016 — 99 Comments

my-short-dress-2

 

My short dress is not an invitation. It’s not a political statement. it’s not feminist; it’s not slutty.

I’m not even sure it’s fashionable.

My short dress is one of the only dresses I own. I’m not a ‘dresses’ kind of girl. I prefer jeans and rock tees and clothes that align my outside with my inside. My clothes are wearable art.

My short dress is perfectly comfy. It’s made of the softest fabric ever. It’s loose and flowy and billows out in a way that allows me to eat and drink whatever I want and never feel constricted. My short dress feels like FREEDOM.

My short dress is black, like most of my clothing. It’s not body conscious enough to be considered sexy nor frou frou enough to be considered a sundress. It’s kind of rock and roll and kind of funky and hard to categorize. Like me.

My short dress has a black lace trim all around the bottom. I love wearing it with combat boots; the juxtaposition of the lacy hem with rugged boots. Feminine and tough, all at the same time. Rarely do I get to be both simultaneously.

My short dress shows off my legs. They’re almost always covered up in jeans. So it’s an occasion when I show them in a dress – “THERE they are!”

 

My short dress does not say “come fuck me.” The clothes I wear in public do not communicate a desire for sex. Or a reason for you to expect it from me. It doesn’t mean I am “asking for it.” My short dress is not the reason why women get raped.

While we’re on the subject, women don’t get raped because of clothing. Or lack of it. Or flirtatious behavior. Or alcohol.

Women GET RAPED BECAUSE OF RAPISTS.

 

 

My short dress is not meant to stir uncontrollable lust in a man, creating in him an overpowering urge to yank it up and slam me against a wall. To suggest that is demeaning to men.

It’s also a flaw-ridden concept. How can we possess this inescapable power over men, wielded primarily through our bodies, and yet find ourselves subjugated through most of history?

 

My short dress was not worn to flaunt my body in a sexual way. I have moved beyond the desire to show you my tits and ass.

It’s easy to show you my tits and ass. I want to show you my intelligence, my wit, my courage, my compassion, my vulnerability. I am worth infinitely more than the sum of my body parts.

My short dress is not worn in the hopes that you will find me desirable. I won’t self-objectify, simply because the media has lied to me about what TRUE beauty is. I will not spend my days fixating on how sexually attractive I am. This leaves me with far less mental and physical energy to pursue what really brings me happiness.

My short dress is not an easier way to reach my pussy, although you said that while you pawed at me. You groped at my crotch through my tights and told me that was why I REALLY wore that dress, wasn’t it?

 

My short dress was not a reason for you to slut-shame me on Facebook, although you most certainly did.

slut-shaming

 

My short dress is not a means to an end, but an end in itself. It’s a choice I make.

My short dress is not attention seeking. My short dress is about comfort, visual appeal, mobility, my emotional state, the fabric, the cut. It’s an homage to my icons and an expression of whatever I was feeling when I reached into my closet.

My short dress does NOT say, “I’ll wear what I want, whenever I want, where I want.” That’s as extreme a viewpoint as “she was dressed provocatively, and that’s why she was attacked.” Both ends of the spectrum oversimplify a complicated issue.

My short dress was not meant to weigh in on that issue. It’s just a dress I feel good in.

 

My short dress does show my body, but it should not lead to judgement, pain or dehumanization.

It shows the line of my calves and the strength of my shoulders and the soft skin of my chest, but don’t overcomplicate my motives.

My short dress is a simple celebration; a reminder that I was blessed with one life, and in that life, a perfectly functioning body.

My short dress is not for YOU. It is for ME.

 

Have you ever been shamed because of what you were wearing?
Talk to me. I’m listening. 

 

Come hang out with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, so I can have friends without leaving the house. 

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99 responses to My Short Dress

  1. 

    Samara, I love you so much. You are a badass, strong mama. I wear dresses and skirts very often (and with rugged boots!!). The only time I can truly recall being shamed for what I was wearing was at a college Halloween party years and years ago. I was dressed as Little Red Riding Hood (of course the ‘sexy’ version, although no body parts were hanging out), and some drunk chick shouted from a passing car: “YOU’RE TOO FAT FOR THAT OUTFIT”.

  2. 

    I remember that comment on facebook, and I remember everyone losing their shit on her. Good times.

  3. 

    This reminds me so much of my slut shaming. A girl I knew told me she was tired of seeing my boobs and there were more appropriate clothes to wear. I was proud of some of my body and confident in the way I dressed. It took attention away from my belly, which muffin topped over my jeans. It had nothing to do her or men or anyone else but me.

    http://www.quirkychrissy.com/2012/07/20/my-favorite-piece-of-hate-mail/

  4. 

    There were a few years in my 20s I worked at a summer theater festival. There were nights when it was 110 in that amphitheater. I had a collection of short sundresses that I loved. I was in great shape and I felt powerful and in charge, directing people around with their picnic baskets and lawn chairs. It may be that people judged me, and that I was too oblivious to notice, but now when I think of youth and power, I think of those little slips of fabric I chose to wear because they didn’t show sweat marks or constrict me in any way, and helped me feel like I looked great even though I was wilting.

    This post makes me miss those dresses. And combat boots.

    • 

      You dressed for comfort, for temperature, for the ability to move around, for empowerment.
      You weren’t trying to screw every person you saw. You were being practical.
      I doubt you were being judged if you were in your 20’s. Maybe? I don’t know. People have even MORE judgements about older women wearing this stuff. Screw them.
      And thanks for reading!!

  5. 

    This is good. I find I have trouble expressing what I think about stuff like this without it turning into a giant, angry, wordy post that no one will finish, but this cuts right to the core. I am always astonished at how otherwise rational people will claim that a person’s clothing is related to their right to decide who touches them. Well done.

    • 

      First, HEY YOU!!! I’M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU!!

      Yeah, I had to wait almost 2 weeks before I could write something that wasn’t just me ranting and cursing. Thank you!!!

  6. 

    What a little Neanderthal dick. What you wrote is right on. Seriously, what an ignorant jackass.

    • 

      He was really an idiot, for sure. The sad part is, I had high hopes for him. He’s a talented and published writer with a book deal with Random House.
      Doesn’t preclude him from being a jerk off, I guess.

  7. 

    Maybe I’m weird – no, scratch that, I know I’m weird – Anyway, on this particular subject, I figure that whether a woman is wearing a burka, nothing, or anywhere between, if she decides she wants sex she will say so, preferably in no uncertain terms. Otherwise, she gets to wear whatever make HER happy. Its a funny thing, “Your mother wears combat boots.” used to be an insult, and now its a compliment to her badassery – I guess that’s progress. Wonderful post, Samara.

  8. 

    Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
    Samara speaks truth about her short dress.

  9. 

    Well, I love the way you dress. You had me with The Rolling Stones shirt on Instagram.
    The only time I hear “you’re asking for it” is from my mother. I refuse to say these words to my daughters (or anyone).
    I’m wearing a form-fitting blue dress with a cut-out showing a sliver of stomach later this month for a family wedding. My husband (who loves the dress) said he’s proud I’m getting braver in front of my mother.

    • 

      It’s amazing how much our mothers’ opinions still mean to us, as grown women. It never ends, does it?
      ugh.
      Thank you for reading, for understanding, and make sure you post pictures of you in that dress on facebook!!!

  10. 

    well said! f*ck the haters

  11. 

    My daughters tell me I look like a dorky dad every time I leave the house.

  12. 

    I once read that too many women hurt themselves by dressing for each other and dressing like they hate their bodies. Amen to knowing and loving your body and dressing for yourself.

  13. 

    I’ve been shamed for wearing jeans and t-shirts. Maybe I should try a short dress.

  14. 

    Didn’t their moms ever teach them to look but not touch without an invitation? Guys are attracted visually first, it’s like the tides or the seasons. But putting their hands on someone without an invitation is crossing the line from a natural response to being an asshole. It’s a pretty simple concept.

    Dan

  15. 

    It’s hard to love your writing more than I already do. But every time you spill words I tend to become more endeared than before. You kick ass. All the asses.

  16. 

    First let me get gushy and say I really love the way you write and what you write. As to your question, no have never felt shamed by what I was wearing but I have felt underdressed many many times because my go to outfit on most days is jeans and a white T shirt. I have 1 dress in my closet that I’ve worn twice; one to a wedding and once to a funeral. Anyway to your point women getting raped has absolutely nothing to do with what they wear. I think if some psycho wants to rape he is going to do it even if he has to plough through a suit of armor.

    • 

      Yes, that’s the truth. Rapists rape.

      I LOVE a white tee and jeans! You can dress that up with accessories and make it look however you want, or leave it plain. It’s a classic look.

  17. 

    Thank you for being the middle ground in a sea of idiots.

  18. 

    Love!
    Love!
    Love!
    Empowering!
    You are a fucking Rock Star.
    PS. if I saw you in your short dress, the only thing I’d say is…. I hate you for being so damn beautiful! Damn you!
    And you’re nice, too!

    xxxxxx FROM MN.

  19. 

    I might be ashamed of having x-rated thoughts when seeing lovely dressed ladies. Guilty!
    But am man enough to know that a dress does not say anything more than her expressing her self in her own way and me not having anything else to say about it.

    You rock that dress.

  20. 

    A very pretty dress, by the way.
    I do feel that women will dress sexily not just for themselves, but also for their boyfriend (or girlfriend). And of course there’s nothing wrong with that. And really, any guy with decent manners and sense, who sees said woman, will glance, hate himself for not being with such a pretty girl, and go about his business. But, then again, he can do that when he sees the pretty face of a girl dressed in the frumpiest clothes imaginable.
    Of course, if a public figure like, say, Kate Beckinsale or Halle Berry walks by in a sexy outfit for a movie role (something which happens all the time here in small-town mid-America, haha), I’m probably gonna stare as if it’s the first time I’ve ever left the farm.

  21. 

    This, is fucking fantastic. Thank you for writing it .

  22. 

    I love that pic and the dress. You rock it. The comment about you wearing the beanie cracked me up. I could totally see you doing something like that.

  23. 

    I don’t think it’s really shocking that guys think a woman is asking for sex if she wears a short dress. After all, anything a guy wears means he’s asking for sex.

  24. 

    Big bloggy love, my friend.
    Far funnier and wittyer comments have already been left than I can muster at the moment, so I’ll just say, rock on.

  25. 

    I guess I’m confused as to actual short dresses. I’m obviously no fashion expert, and am taking your word for it, but I suppose I’ve seen… shorter? I don’t know. There’s bars not too far from here and I’ve seen women in far less. I don’t know. I’m lost on this issue.

    With that bit of awkwardness over (hey, “be yourself” right? Ah, right? Ahem.). My friend and I have talked about my lack of fashion sense. Apparently women avoid guys in sensible cotton polos with jeans and tennis shoes? Something about thinking I’m a married guy looking for an affair on the cheap, I guess? I don’t know anymore. I’m just going to go have a drink and be baffled with the world.

    • 

      I’m just as baffled by the world as you. People mystify me.

      Ah yes, the sensible married guy polo shirt. I believe if you’re single, you’re supposed to wear a ludicrous non-cotton one.

      Thanks for what you said about the dress. Not that it matters, but it has an uneven hem, and parts of it are crotch length, but it also is longer is spots. I wear tights under it, only because I’m not comfortable showing my underwear in public, but to each their own. Right?

  26. 

    What the…? (About her comment on fb, not about anything you said!). I have been slut-shamed about clothes in the past, but not by anybody that matters to me.

    • 

      She doesn’t matter to me! We have a few hundred friends in common, but I don’t know her and don’t want to. She got quite a bit of heat for that remark.
      I’m sorry you were slut-shamed. Rock on with your bad self!

      • 

        Actually I didn’t imagine that she was someone that mattered to you, even though I know it sounded like I was implying that in my comment! I’m not surprised she got a lot of heat for that, quite right too.

  27. 

    You know I try to explain to people that I dress how I ‘feel’ and they don’t get that buh somehow this post is home…bless you

  28. 
    Gretchen Kellaway October 7, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Samara! This all of it. I was ashamed of my selfies recently. “What’s the obsessiom? You looking for attention? Are you taking them so you can show off yourself to other men?”

    No one understands that my selfies are for me. Because I need to see me. I need to look at myself and love myself a little bit more. I need to find myself beautiful. Me. Me. Me. That other people have the desire or want to tell me I am beautiful or gorgeous, just is a self validation for me that I am seeing clearly. I don’t ask for the compliment, but I am not turning it away. And the fact that the majority of those comments come from other women, is validating in itself. Those strong, beautiful women, are confirming my opinion of myself as I shared that image. It’s not for other people.

    When I get dressed up, it’s for me. When I pull out my heels or put on make up. It’s for me. It’s not for my husband, who finds me sexy in my jeans and band tees or my sweats and messy hair. Or in that short dress that makes me feel a little bit freer that I don’t always wear. My clothes don’t define me. Okay maybe they do. Maybe you don’t know which Gretchen you are going to get today. Maybe you will get the mom or the cub scout leader or the insecure one dressed in layers covering up all of me or the excitable, kitchen karaoke queen or the rock concert or the lazy day or the I feel pretty me-

    They are an invitation to no one. Not even my husband. Unless I do it on purpose just for him. Unless I say, this is for you. And believe me, it’s not the clothes. If I want it, it’s an attitude that is clearly read.

    And it’s not a, I will wear what I want.

    I thought maybe I was irrational. Getting angry for my sons, that boy mom syndrome that lights up every time I read, “I will wear what I want, learn to control your boys!” Maybe it’s not irrational. Maybe we need to stop giving clothing so much power and not have to opposite extermes. I don’t know. I can only do my best to make sure my kids don’t see short skirts as an invitation and that they understand that stop means stop and no means no and when I say, “personal space” or keep your bodies to yourself, one day they see the bigger picture.

    • 

      You should write a blog post on this topic!

      Clothes are not an invitation. Nothing I wear gives anyone permission to touch me, but we also have to be responsible for what we project. Not in the matter of sexual attack; that has NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT WE PROJECT. Let me just be clear on that.

      I mean, that if a man chooses to walk down the street in Manhattan without a shirt on in the summer, he looks tacky! Even if it’s hot, shirtless on a city street looks out of place.

      I don’t want to wear beach clothes on the street; I’m not comfortable in tiny booty shirts and a crop top. I might wear that on a boardwalk, but I’m not going to wear that to a PTO meeting. I don’t want to project that image in that setting. That’s what I mean by, I can’t just wear whatever the hell I want, when I want. I have my standards of what looks tacky, and I don’t want to look tacky.

      Well, maybe a little…

  29. 

    Reblogged this on West Coast Review and commented:
    I love your short dress with lace at the bottom. I love my tight shirt. We’re women. We can wear this stuff. We rock. Period.

  30. 

    I’m so glad I’m an overweight middle aged guy so I can safely go about life assuming that nobody wants to have the sex with me at this point. Lol. You’re a doll though and I love your spirit. I am appalled at what many men think/say about women. You can imagine some of what is said inside a police station, I’m sure…

  31. 

    Hey, I am also a middle-aged guy… and my khaki cargo shorts are all sorts of invitation…

  32. 

    This is a wonderful post and I’m so glad you have this attitude. It’s inspiring. It makes me hope one day I might have that kind of outlook. And maybe feel able to wear that kind of dress.

    As to being shamed for what I was wearing? Not since I was a kid, I don’t think. I stay far enough out of fashion for it to not matter too much. People laugh at my rain hat, but I think mostly in a nice way.

  33. 

    Every time I dress for a date, and wear a short skirt… I wonder. And I hate it
    I live in Texas. It’s hot. I’m not sure if I want sex… But I am sure I want to be cool. And cute.

    • 

      Wear to feel comfortable and look good. Show your body or not. Dress how you feel.

      I am tired of people making assumptions based on clothing. That date I had was horrific, because of the way he pawed at me and the things he said. If I wear sexy clothing, it’s because I feel good in it. If I want to have sex, I’ll make that clear enough. I go on enough dates to know how to communicate that perfectly well.

      LOTS of dates. We should talk soon. 🙂

  34. 

    I’ve seen some provocative pictures posted by my grand daughters and worry. Worry about the ass hole that’s going to read more into them than there is.
    Having been violated as a child/teen, I’m ultra sensitive about it. But, I’ve been crotch grabbed in the past while a flight attendant, I’ve had guys make nasty remarks and presumptions on how I was dressed, even if my dress wasn’t raunchy, just short. I’ve had elders in the church counsel me against my above the knee skirts. There have been times that I wonder if I didn’t have a sign across my forehead, saying “I’m easy”. Yes, guys sometimes have no clue what we are subjected to. I’m 70 too and I can be a down to earth or sexy grandma too and I don’t give a flip! I do what I damn well please.

  35. 

    Amen sister. Seriously, amen.

  36. 

    Your short dress says what you want it to say, not what someone else thinks it says. Even if it has words on it, like my shirt that says, “The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.”
    Some people get it and some need to have it explained to them.
    And the ones who don’t get it even when it’s explained are assholes.

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