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The Look: 'Sexy' Versus 'Slutty'

Our columnist offers her thoughts on this age-old sartorial debate


Our clothing is the first thing people notice about us, and like it or not, they build ideas and notions about who we are as individuals based off of what we wear. This is an especially touchy topic when we're navigating the fine line between dressing sexy versus "slutty" (for lack of a better term).


I'm over articles implying that the way we dress gives others, men specifically, the right to assume. Women are not "asking for it," regardless if the general (and unwelcomed) consensus outlines that women shouldn't be surprised if they attract attention when they dress in a certain manner. Attracting attention does not qualify as permission for unwanted advances.


We shouldn't need to explain our wardrobe choices. Maybe dressing sexier gives you an ego boost. Maybe it empowers you and makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Or maybe you're simply following the club dress code. Whatever the case may be, we have the right to wear whatever it is that feels good to us.


That being said, there is a clear difference between dressing in a sexy way and acting in a "slutty" manner. I won't sit here and tell you it's okay to show up at a pre-school in a crop top, mini skirt and five-inch heels. That's just not appropriate. I will, however, agree that you should dress in whatever makes you feel confident and beautiful, as long as it's suited for the occasion.


We also need to keep in mind that we do not live in a judgment-free zone. How we dress will always be up for public debate the moment we step out of the confines of our dressing room, and along with that, people will form snap judgements. It's the unfortunate way of the world. So if you do find yourself garnering unwanted advances consistently, small wardrobe adjustments might be able to help solve this without you needing to give up the right to be "sexy."


There isn't any one-size-fits-all in sexiness, so it's important to experiment with different styles for something that works. Perhaps you gravitate towards showing off your back or a bit of side-boob, or maybe accentuating your derrière and legs is more your style. It's when we try to shine the spotlight on everything at once that we may find ourselves being perceived in a less favorable light.


I am by no means preaching to cover up. Rather, we should be aware and realistic about perception and judgment. If you look like you've stepped off the pages of Playboy, then you're likely going to be thought of as such. But then again, if you're cool with that, more power to you, sister!


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