If we look at other cultures or eras women's attire didn't look much different from girls attire (other than being longer and more elaborate) and it definitely wasn't more masculine. If you notice in the photos below the children actually look like mini versions of women and their clothing and the only thing that makes the clothes "childish" is the size ( however, maybe in those cultures or eras there are subtle differences that make it easy for people in those cultures/eras to tell the differences that I am unable to see). I wonder if it's because in some countries today and in past eras young girls were actually eligible for marriage so they were actually prospects for older men? Were girls dressed to be attractive for men or was the idea of dressing girls differently unnecessary to them?
From Pride and Prejudice. The mother is dressed more elaborately than her daughters but they all look very feminine and all but the one on the right are in pastel colours.
Why is it now that women are expected to look so much different from girls and if women dress in a younger fashion some people will actually say "that's sick"? On some women's websites I've heard criticism that women should not dress like girls because it "infantalizes them" because it makes them appear young, childlike and I suppose naive, innocent, powerless and incapable as women. I guess they think you can only be taken seriously if you are of a certain age...isn't that ageism? Should all girls wear pantsuits so that they will be taken seriously? The problem isn't the women wearing pretty dresses it's that people (including feminist women) are prejudiced and associate that with a lack of intelligence and worth. Some women work with mostly other women or in a more casual atmosphere so they can wear flower dresses it wouldn't matter. I need to see studies that say women who dress in a feminine manner are overlooked for promotions, jobs, and opportunities and more prone to negative life outcomes before I believe it is harmful.
Another argument is that it appeals to a pedophillic nature in men and confuses them!? I really don't know but is there proof of this? I hear this argument on feminist blogs but why are they so certain that the average man can't tell the difference between a girl and a woman? I think they are assuming that clothing or childish behaviour somehow triggers pedophilia but I need scientific proof of that. I think if a man is a pedophile then it won't matter what a girl is wearing (lingerie is different though because it is meant to be sexy and only women ever wear that so I don't think little girls should wear garters or thongs.). If you're a man turned on by child pageants then you are a pedophile and it's not because the girls are wearing makeup and big hair! If a man thinks he's pursuing a woman, finds out she's a girl, and doesn't stop then that is a pedophile. However, I don't think men are perverts for finding teenaged girls to be attractive...it's just biology and it's not a crime to have thoughts only to act on them. If a man is attracted to a women dressed like she is younger I don't think that makes him a pedophile either because he is still with a GROWN WOMAN and he chose a woman! But if a woman is actually "pretending to be a child" then it may cross the line (i.e., speaking improperly like a 3 year old, calling him daddy, thumb sucking etc.). I mean really though, should women even be considering pedophiles at all when they go shopping and get dressed in the morning???
I think that pretending to be a girl is the big difference...women who wear pastels and flirty dresses are not actually pretending to be girls, they are just dressing in a style that is more common for younger women or girls. 28 year old women do not want to be mistaken for 13 year olds (maybe someone 22 though). Some girls actually look older like women because of their height, development, weight, and style of dress. So sometimes it's hard to tell a female person's age but that's just life. Black and Asian women often look younger than their age anyway and women between 16-35 can all appear to be 23!
Last of all, some women are angry because society places pressure on them to look young and beautiful. Well you can play the game or sit out and accept the consequences. You won't convince anyone to choose a bran muffin over chocolate cake when they really want chocolate cake and it's available. Your Jedi mind trick will not change men's preferences. You don't have to make yourself look good if you don't want to but you are not better than the rest of us because of that. If we want to be fair then women should place more pressure on men to look good and spend more time making themselves look attractive! Only date guys who have nice hair (or Hairclub for men, I don't mind it lol), work out, don't have pot bellies, shave their faces and body hair, wear sunscreen and wrinkle cream, have clean, neat fingernails, and smell good (lol those are my preferences!). I'd prefer it if men raised their appearance standards rather than women lowering theirs. People who don't care for appearance can find each other and be happy!
Take a look at the photos below. I love most of these fashions but some people think it's wrong for a grown woman to dress like this. What do you think?
The infantalization of women (disagree with this greatly)
Infantalizing women, sexualizing girlishness (disagree again...seriously women can't eat fruit or ice cream or wear frilly socks now!?)
Gothic Lolitas (interesting)
Femininity and infantalization