Thursday, June 5, 2014

Trend Alert: Baring it All

The newest and most controversial trend in fashion is leaving little to nothing to the imagination. Rihanna stirred up shock and awe when she arrived at the CFDA's in New York City earlier this week to receive the Fashion Icon award. The singer wore an Adam Selman see-through dress accessorized with a head scarf,gloves, and a pink fur stole that star draped over her arms and coquettishly held in place over her nude-colored thong. Her entire outfit (minus the stole) was covered in over 216,000 Swarovski crystals, lending a dazzling, star-studded effect to the barely-there ensemble.

The reaction, largely positive from the fashion community, still included some detractors--some fans saw the dress as being vulgar and over-the-top. This isn't the first time Rihanna has come under criticism for being too revealing. Just last month, Instagram flagged Rihanna's account because of a picture the songtress had posted from her shoot for French men's magazine, LUI. The Lui photo featured Badgirl Riri's pierced nipples. In retaliation for being flagged, the singer deleted her Instagram account.

Rihanna isn't the only one coming under fire for baring her breasts. Scout Willis, daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis had her Instagram account deleted because Willis posted a picture of herself in a sheer shirt and posted another picture of a couple of her topless female friends. Willis protested Instagram's prohibitive Terms of Use that does not allow pictures of female breasts, by walking the streets of New York topless. Willis posted the topless NYC pictures to her Twitter account and tweeted "Legal in NYC but not @Instagram." and "What @Instagram won't let you see #FREETHENIPPLE". Instagram responded to Willis' Twitter protest by saying they have a responsibility to a global community and the varying sensitivities of that community. 

Outside of the celeb world, Canadian teen Lindsay Stocker was threatened with suspension last month when she wore jean shorts that were deemed too short by administrators at her high school. In response, Stocker posted flyers around her school that read 'Don't humiliate her because she's wearing shorts. It's hot outside. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects.'

Charlotte Gainsbourg in Louis Vuitton Cruise 2015 at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival

Is the showing of female body empowering, exploitive, or just bad taste? Opinions may vary, but I would say that the continuation of the sheer trend is an indication of a new  social climate that calls for less restrictive and demure clothing, giving women the empowering choice to choose how much, or how little, to show of their bodies. The female body is becoming an accessory when dressing instead of a passive object to be clothed in the latest dictated hem-lines and fashion trends. When designer of Rihanna's CFDA dress, Adam Selman, was asked about his barely-there creation by, he responded,"The dress is just fish net and crystals and a couple of fingers crossed. But fashion is about beauty and the [female] body is a part of that."


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