Sexy Style: Harmful or Helpful?

I love it when people who dress provocatively get all pissy and say things like “I’m not hurting anybody, mind your business!” when people question their appearance.

Turns out, dress overly sexy can and does hurt ,and it does the most harm to the wearer. Ouch!

For starters, provocatively dressed women are judged as being less competent than those who cover up. Now that doesn’t mean they are less competent or does it?

Enter the bikini test!

This study is fascinating. A group of men and women were asked to take a math test while wearing swimsuits. The men passed their tests with flying colors, but the women failed miserably. But why?

Researchers concluded that women are so used to internalizing the male gazes (aka we’re always being judged on our bodies) that all of that self-objectification uses up our mental resources and we can’t successfully perform intellectual tasks – like a simple math test.

Another interesting factoid I picked up is that women who developed their bodies earlier (not me, late bloomer over here) are accustomed to getting lots of attention by exposing. Even if that attention is negative – think about girls getting mocked for having big boobs, getting their bras snapped, etc. This sends the message early on that being sexy is all they are good for. This tends to decrease their academic performance and screws with their social adjusting skills and self-esteem.

Finally, women feel more qualified for their jobs if they dress less sexy. It could make us act more qualified as well because women who wear more masculine clothing advance in their careers.

This isn’t to say that we all have to cover up like a mummy. I suggest asking yourself if your clothes are coming from a place or liberation or power? Why are you showing skin and are you willing to do it strategically given the facts?

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