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A modern lady

Published: Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07

The look of the lady returns at the Grammys

Aside from Rihanna's naval-bearing gown, and perhaps Fergie's see-through get-up, there wasn't much skin on the Red Carpet at the Grammys this past Sunday.

Katy Perry, famous for her California-Gurl-cupcake-breasts, dazzled in a floor length gown complete with sleeves and minimal cleavage that left more than enough to the imagination. (She also made blue hair look positively elegant, a feat only few can achieve).

Nicki Minaj, despite her blasphemous performance, chose to don an equally long gown with moderate cleavage – a swift turn around, compared to her usual spandex garb.

Carrie Underwood, the country cutie with the most sought after pair of legs in the world, chose to (gasp) cover them up, along with her arms, leaving only her face, hands and two patches of back for viewing.

Lady Gaga was not in a thong. I applaud her for that, and I applaud her for keeping her eccentric, break-through style while sparing us the cheek. Bravo, Madam.

And who could forget Adele's 60s throwback dresses that accentuated her shape and hid just enough of her breasts and legs? She looked absolutely breathtaking! The trend of fluid femininity continued all along the red carpet, from Taylor Swift to Jessie J. Makeup was also minimal, putting more emphasis on the woman's natural features.

What does this mean?

One of two things: 1. It's what's in style and next year we'll be back to seeing breasts and thighs galore, or 2. Women are beginning to realize that there has never been a better time to be a lady than now.

Defining ‘Lady'

What exactly is ‘being a lady'? In times past, it meant accepting chivalry in exchange for being patriarchy's doormat. It meant covering up because you had to and speaking softly and keeping all comments to yourself, because what's more obnoxious than a woman who stirs the pot?

That's not the ‘lady' I encourage, nor the one I aspire to be.

Being a lady in today's environment is more about strength than anything. Yes, it involves covering up, but this time it's about guarding oneself from becoming an object. Wearing clothes that show off the body take away from the woman ­­­­­­—­­ all focus is directed towards her physical attributes and not her as a person.

I completely understand the argument that women should wear what they want. In fact, I support it. Every woman has the right to wear what she pleases and for some, ­­that means showing excessive cleavage and leg. These women are exhibiting control of their own bodies; they are actively challenging the norm and redefining womanhood. If you are one of them, then get it, girl. I admire your confidence. Self-expression is a wonderful thing.

But think about this

Is there really a man out there that looks at a half-clothed woman and thinks to himself, ‘Wow, that girl is challenging convention and I admire her strength'? I haven't found one yet, but I'm sure he would be a pretty cool guy. 

This is why it's just better to be a lady.

You're valuable, so be choosy about who gets to see what and don't make it a free-for-all. By doing this, you're fighting the whole ‘women-as-sex-objects' dilemma. It's also a great way to weed out the d-bags who like you for your body.

Jennifer is a senior English major. She has been interested in women's issues and promoting women's equality since reading the charmingly oppressive Little House On The Prairie in sixth grade.

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