Hi there- I know, it’s been a while…😅
I hope this post finds you all safe and healthy and “socially distant.” These are some strange and scary times, and I for one (although extremely introverted and typically quite comfortable alone) have been struggling with the chaos enveloping the world right now, and am in desperate need of a creative project.
So, never at a loss to entertain myself, I’ve decided to start a series of photos (each accompanied with a mini essay or perhaps other inspirational literature/poetry) to explore and challenge the various contradictory expectations women must face in their lives- particularly when it comes to dating/sexual situations.
(*No, I will not be posting nudes. Relax. I will always be covered. Don’t worry. The world isn’t FULLY ending😝).
I have deemed it the “STRIPPED” series.💋
“Kaleigh, WHY TF are you doing this??” Well, if you want the polished, empowering, feminist answer, I’m doing it because the sexual expectations placed on women absolutely fascinate and infuriate me, and I want to try and shed some light on the absurdity of it all, while also exploring my own experiences with the standards/desires placed on me by society and the men I’ve encountered; but if you want the answer of a frustrated, heartbroken, exhausted, insecure, (slightly bored/stir-crazy from the pandemic quarantine) 26 year old, I’m doing it because I want to regain control over my experiences and my body, and, if I’m being completely honest, I’m terrified of the high probability of dying alone and never going on another date (so these outfits are basically for all the dates that “could have been” lmao RIP please enjoy🙈🤣😭).
Therefore, a few goals of mine during this “apocalyptic” project include:
1. Maintaining my mental health.🙌🏻
2. Shattering the forever-loathed “Madonna/Whore Complex” that so many people have with women- particularly in regards to my supposedly “innocent” personality vs. how I dress (that is just my personal experience with it, but I’m sure other women have dealt with this in one way or another).
3. Feeling good in my own skin and in my soul. Now that I finally have the time to focus on myself, I don’t intend on wasting it.
So, without further ado, allow me to introduce the very first installment of STRIPPED:
Anyone who knows me is aware that I have “high standards.”
Total strangers may even know.
F*ckboys definitely know. 🤣
But wanting to wear leather & lace, etc. doesn’t diminish those standards or make them any less true. And the same goes for other women with different standards and styles- no woman can be simplified into either a “Madonna” or a “Whore”- especially by how she dresses. I wear what I wear because it empowers me and makes me feel like a badass (& maybe also a bit of a supervillain 🙈😈).
My usual “look” typically involves a combination of leather and lace, something harsh and something soft; I think it shows strength in vulnerability, and that has always been a core part of my personality. I call it “classy with an edge.” My best friend coined it as “sweetness with a bite.” Either way, you get the gist. (And yes, I’m well aware of my “Persephone Complex,” we will discuss that some other time 🙈😅🤣🌷💀🥀).
That all being said, I’ve always been fascinated by the psychological aspects of different individual styles, and it infuriates me that what women wear is typically just associated with how much sexual attention they want, and how “good” of a person they are based on that amount. I also DESPISE the idea that certain clothing is supposed to determine how a woman should be treated.
The clothes- or lack thereof- are not an invitation.
CONSENT is the invitation.
“Be pure, but be sexy” is the ultimate unspoken/spoken mantra that we are taught as women (from a VERY young age), and it’s what men are taught to expect of us.
Needless to say, I’m tired of it.
Tired of seeing it in the media, tired of witnessing it in professional opportunities, and 100% EXHAUSTED from experiencing it in my social/dating life.
In this series, I’m going to explore those experiences through my writing, as well as reflecting them in my clothing (or lack thereof😝💋).
I hope this empowers you in some way, or at the very least gives you some sort of positive/goofy distraction in the midst of the chaos going on in the world right now. Bonus points if it gives you some fun fashion inspiration. 💋🖋🥀🖤
*Inspirational Song of Choice: “Invitation” by Ashnikko