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A sexual slave. And this is not just the maximum that she can do, but also the maximum that she desires.
We may be living in a patriarchal society and the picture which I have just described might be true, but women do have a brain and they do use it. Not to mention that the intelligence factor is one of the most important when it comes to the selection of a long-term partner (this is valid for both men and women). While it is true that fashion tends to impose this trend, it is also true that had this tendency not existed, fashion would have had a harder time in its attempt.
Fetishist sexual practices have existed for long, it was only normal for them to manifest out in the open as part of people's identity. The popular culture has turned these elements into icons of its own. Sexual chic is a fundamental part of fashion nowadays and in a certain way, things have always been this way with clothes reflecting one's status and being used in order to create a more desirable image of ourselves.
Fetish fashion played an important role within the social construction of gender, but also of sexuality. Leaving aside the speech regarding the sexual identity of the woman, we can bring into the spotlight the issue of sexuality alone.
People wanted to manifest their sexuality, even in its darker sides, to let out their fantasies. Fetish was one of them. And the more the controversy, the bigger the fuss. The bigger the fuss, the bigger the visibility. And the bigger the visibility, the higher the popularity.
Fashion is an art, a manifestation of the "century's spirit." The truth is that it rarely invents something new. What it rather does is take elements which have been already used and reinvent them or present them in a different manner. The corset for example is a key element for the fetish fashion, yet it was invented a long time ago and it had its powerful charm right from the beginning.
The fetish fashion succeeded into bringing a dark side of the human sexuality out in the open. Fashion, but not only, it was more about an attitude than about unusual fabrics. While it managed to influence the social process of constructing sexuality, it has also played an important part in imposing a feminine gender construction pattern- the dominatrix woman who is in fact a slave of her male slave.
Fetish is not only about sex, but also about power. Sex is power, so power becomes a fetish. Or is it sex the fetish? No matter the case, the important thing is for us to acknowledge the immense power which fashion has. And through fashion I mean not the clothes, but the ideas behind them. The practical utility of clothes has been left behind its decorative purpose. And beyond its decorative dimension, what we need to understand is its power in helping us create an identity for ourselves and transmit to the others.
I don't need to say that image is everything. Its already enough if I say that image is almost everything and that a single second is enough for you to be perceived and judged by the others. Under these circumstances it can be easily understood why fashion (clothes, accessories) is so important. Because it creates and sells identities.
Butler, Tina, 2005, "The counterfeit body: Fashion photography and the deceptions of femininity, Sexuality, Authenticity and Self in the 1950s, 60s and 70s," Mongabay.com, [online] Available at http://news.mongabay.com/2005/0507-tina_butler.html
Hadley, Freeman, 2007, "Fetish fashion, Leather gloves, latex armour and spiky heels... how this season's clothes got kinky," the Guardian, [online] Available at http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/fashion/story/0,2149612,00.html#article_continue
Steele, Valerie, 1997, Fetish: Fashion, Sex and Power, Oxford University Press, USA
Leather gloves, latex armour and spiky heels... how this season's clothes got kinky.
Thursday August 16, 2007.[continue]
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