The Dressed Body Response

“Dress is a basic fact of social life and this, according to anthropologists, is true of all human cultures that we know about: all cultures ‘dress’ the body in some way, be it through clothing, tattooing, or other forms of body painting.”

What I take from this, is that we as humans are linked by our needing/wanting to adorn our bodies in some way. Does this mean that clothing and body adornments are a fundamental element of the human race?

The author states that when we dress, we do so to make our bodies acceptable to a social situation, and being dressed inappropriately  we are uncomfortable and we feel ourselves open to social condemnation. I feel that the author is correct in that way of thinking by just applying what she’s written to my own life experiences.
I can say that I’ve definitely had more than one moment in my life where I’ve felt extremely out of place or uncomfortable because of the way I was dressed, or by something happening to my clothing, to make me overly self-conscious. For example, during my second quarter here at Cal State LA, I was in my painting class and after getting up from my work stool a class mate told me I had red on my pants. What an understatement. My entire rear end was covered in red paint. Needless to say my pants were ruined and I suffered from embarrassment every time I had to walk around campus.
The book states that the importance of a physical body to dress has so much importance that when we have encounters with dress away from the body it’s alienating and kind of creepy. This is explained in a better way by the author describing the unease we feel when were in the presence of mannequins in a costume exhibit. This unease is most likely generated by the belief that the person who once owned that specific suit are now haunting the garment.

Here is a link that explains pediophobia (fear of mannequins)

One thing that really bothered me about this reading was the way they thought about women in offices. Especially how they think women are so concerned about putting on their jacket to hide their breasts every time they leave the room. But isn’t putting your jacket on when you leave the office what professionals do anyways?

must’ve forgot her jacket.


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