among other things, is the line that goes something like this: “Modesty doesn’t mean looking frumpy! In fact, it’s really important to look attractive and your best! You shouldn’t cover up all the way! It’s a fine line!”
Oh great. Because that’s exactly what I wanted in my life, another fine line. To recap: I’m supposed to be sexy but not sexual, or alluring but not sexy; I’m allowed to be smart but not too obvious about it, competent as long I’m sweet; I can be slightly unconventional (it’s really kind of cute, actually!) as long as I don’t deviate in any major ways from the norms of femininity.
And now, I am informed that even that though the same gendered sartorial standards that dictate a more decorative, display-oriented wardrobe for women are responsible for the slightly-too-high hemlines and slightly-too-low necklines that someone always finds problematic, women are still held accountable on both ends.
We’re responsible for any slippage, any showing, any failure to meet someone’s standards of coverage, and we are not allowed to simply chuck it, forget about looking pretty or fashionable, and focus on other things. We will be policed on whatever side of this invisible tightrope we wobble on.
So basically, what I’m hearing is “We’re not going to challenge this cultural fixation on your decorative role, but we will give you a MEEEELION more ways to obsess over it!”