2012 09 Trash Dress Christine Jasons Sizzling

Using their own argument, something striking emerges about the representation of women’s bodies: The representation is heavily censored. Because we see many versions of the naked Iron Maiden, we are asked to believe that our culture promotes the display of female sexuality. It actually shows almost none. It censors representations of women’s bodies, so that only the official versions are visible. Rather than seeing images of female desire or that cater to female desire, we see mock-ups of living mannequins, made to contort and grimace, immobilized and uncomfortable under hot lights, professional set-pieces that reveal little about female sexuality.


In the United States and Great Britain, which have no tradition of public nakedness, women rarely—and almost never outside a competitive context—see what other women look like naked; we see only identical humanoid products based loosely on women’s bodies. Beauty pornography and sadomasochism are not explicit, but dishonest. The former claims that women’s “beauty” is our sexuality, when the truth goes the other way around. The latter claims that women like to be forced and raped, and that sexual violence and rape are stylish, elegant, and beautiful.


Midway through the 1970s, the punk-rock scene began to glorify S and M: High school girls put safety pins through their ears, painted their lips bruise-blue, and ripped their clothing to suggest sexual battle. By the end of the decade, S and M had ascended from street fashion to high fashion in the form of studded black leather, wrist-cuffs, and spikes.