Is the world ready to see nipples?

05/07/2023 at 10:52


Models, actresses and singers go for ‘barely-there’ clothes, but ‘the street’ doesn’t feel so safe

The model Kendall Jenner, the penultimate of the Kardashian clan, has been wearing transparencies for months now, but lately it seems that there is not a week that does not show her chest. The night of last Friday, April 28, she appeared with a Chanel blue color made with transparent fabric and feathers at an event in New York that was focused on a retrospective of the late Karl Lagerfeld. For the MET Gala after party, designer Nensi Dojaka recreated for her a look from the ‘Spring Ready To Wear’ collection from Chanel 1994, consisting of a transparent sequin bodysuit with a black harness and underwear details.

Just a few days earlier, an agency photographed Jenner in another see-through top that revealed her breasts. She did it in one of her outings with the Puerto Rican singer Bad Bunny, not in an official act. And it was just that image, along with another similar one of the model Bella Hadid, the one that seemed to leave for granted in the networks that transparencies are a trend. At least among the famous, because not even many of the women who would like to go out with clothes that reveal their breasts would do so. The reason was not so much shame, or a lack of confidence in her own body, or any other mental obstacle. The reason is mainly men, the same one that has led to fewer and fewer young girls doing topless on the beaches.

“I would go like this every day of my life if it weren’t for the small inconvenience that men exist“, wrote a tweeter. “We have all thought when we saw this tweet how much we would like to wear this and the only impediment are men,” replied another. Thousands and thousands of women agreed with them.

endemic bullying

The compliments, whistles and leering stares They are part of street harassment and it is difficult to find a single woman who has not suffered it. The report Unsafe on the streets: experiences of group street harassment in girls and young women, prepared by the NGO International plan, showed that, for 49% of the study participants, these situations in public spaces “happen so frequently & rdquor; that they are used to. The work included the testimony of 750 people from Delhi, Kampala, Lima, Sydney and Madrid, where four out of five girls and young women said they had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces, despite being a form of sexist violence that condemns the Penal Code.

Therefore, do transparencies fit in cities and towns where fear is assumed and harassment is endemic? Many doubt it.

The censorship of the nipples

Because not even the famous are saved. The ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ star’s nipples, Florence Pugh, were a trending topic after appearing in a transparent dress. Many disapproving comments did not judge her nudity so much as the fact that she was comfortable with her “small breasts”, as indicated by the actress herself, who anticipated the backlash. “When I put on that amazing Valentino dress, I knew there was no way there wouldn’t be a comment about it,” she wrote in an Instagram post two days later. “What’s been interesting to see and witness is how easy it is for the men totally destroy a woman’s body, in public, with pride, for all to see“, he continued.

“The women’s bodies are continually being sexualized. Even with breastfeeding, even the act of feeding your child, someone could be looking at your nipple. It’s almost a crime [mostrar los senos en público]. Florence knew this was going to happen, that it was going to cause controversy… The fact that I had to respond to what was said about it shows that, as much as we think we are liberated, we are still very much bound by restrictive social norms, & rdquor ;, said Shakaila Forbes-Bell, a London-based fashion psychologist and author of ‘Big Dress Energy’.

it’s trend

Meanwhile it is Friday, May 5, and a notification from the Zara app indicates that there are news in the Inditex chain. One more week, the catalog includes totally transparent skirts, dresses and tops. According to the biannual report by Clearpay, a payment platform and sponsor of London Fashion Week, clothing barely-there (almost imperceptible) has been making an impact for at least a year, driven by influencers like singer and businesswoman Rihanna.

They explain that this trend of dressing in a sexy silhouette emerged at the beginning of the pandemic. First came the bralettes, corsets and bodysuits and, now, the transparencies. With everything, Alexandra Lores, fashion editor at Vogue, remembers that the ‘naked dress’ was already seen in the 90s, with Kate Moss at the helm and that heroin chic (or extreme thinness). The difference now is that “all types of bodies are accepted”.

“Maybe you see Kendall Jenner and think that you wouldn’t dare because you don’t have those measurements, or that physiognomy, or you’re so hot. All the rest is behind theme of modesty and complexes, which always accompany us. But I also think that these kinds of dresses or aesthetics are going to get better and better. Even if they don’t do it from the beginning, they will sink in,” she predicts. She says it because of fashion, but also because “much of feminism and the new generations have internalized that harassment is not related to what you wear“. The lack of use of the bra, and the liberation that it supposes, affirms it.

A change according to its time

Ivan Maneroplastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon and CEO of IM CLINIC, explained in EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA that These types of trends arise in parallel to economic cycles.. It was just after the Great Depression when the industry stylized the female figure to lay the foundations of a beauty canon that continues to be too demanding (and seems to be getting worse).

For this reason, if the visibility of the human body was celebrated at that time of the global financial crisis, it does not seem strange that now more flesh is shown, even more so when different feminist movements defend the idea that women can do whatever they want with their bodies. and when movements like Free the nipple (free the nipple) claim the right to show their tits. Other experts, by contrast, think that all this see-through clothing is not so much about feminism as about marketing, as Kirsty Fairclough of Manchester Metropolitan University told The Guardian. “It’s a desperate attempt by celebrities to revive their brands“, he pointed out. Even Mango, as Lores remembers, created a transparent dress in his collection with Camille Charriere last Christmas.

Be it marketing, be it fashion, be it looking gorgeous in front of the mirror, the truth is that everything indicates that it will take us, at least a while, to see as many female nipples as we see cleavage now. At least until street harassment is history.