After the Screen Actors Guild awards (SAG) on Saturday, a curious controversy seems to have caught the attention of the fun-filled world of cyber criticism and cruelty, the issue: “What was Susan Sarandon thinking?” Or, “You go, girl!”
I’m wondering which side of the debate you affection.
Before I launch into my opinion — can you still your beating heart(?) — let me begin with a qualifier or two.
1.) Susan Sarandon probably doesn’t care what anyone thinks, and good for her.
2.) Whether we hated her choice of a black bandeau-like bra exposing lots and lots of bosom (no one seems to use that word anymore), and a glimpse of midriff under her white jacket, one can’t help but wonder whether she set out to stir-up such a maelstrom of comments. She has never been one to avoid controversy, but as far as I know she has not provoked such polemics with her vestment choices.
Let’s be frank, admitting that certain items of clothing are or are not age appropriate is not an assault on political correctness. At the same time, every woman can decide what she feels is appropriate for her and if she thinks she’s got great legs and wants to flaunt them at 75, well… no one will stop her, but chances are she will hold herself up to some unkind remarks.
There is a difference between the sublime and the ridiculous.
My criteria for dressing tends to be constructed upon four basic foundations:
1.) Is what I’m choosing age appropriate?
2.) Is what I want to wear flattering?
3.) Is my choice pretty?
4.) Do I feel confident and comfortable? (Meaning, can I forget about what I’m wearing and have a good time confident in the fact I look attractive.)
When I meet my standards, I’m quite certain I can leave the house in a good mood.
Now, back on subject. I think Susan Sarandon’s choice was neither pretty nor flattering. Both she and Helen Mirren — they are about the same age — were apparently widely celebrated for their beautiful busts, but you will note the difference in the way they dressed for the SAG awards.
I can imagine the same white tuxedo with a deeply dipping top beneath the jacket, exposing cleavage without plunging to the depths of the bra. Also, that slight peek of midriff, flat as it was, was rather strange and “off” making me feel as if she really meant to wear something over the bra, but couldn’t find it and it was time to head out to the awards ceremony.
I’m asking myself if I am being anti-femme, anti freedom, ageist and unfair. Maybe I’m being anti freedom and a little unfair, but my feeling is that I am a huge supporter of women of all ages and I hope after a certain age that our main goal in getting dressed and getting out there is not to shock our audience, but maybe, on occasion, to dazzle. Why not? What’s age got to do with that?
Let me be perfectly clear, I don’t particularly like massive displays of up and out or down and over displays of breasts on young women. I think a gorgeous décolletage is sublime, but enough already. Really, when one looks at a Kardashian the only question one can ask is, “What’s left to put on public display?” Actually, I guess they, particularly Kim, have already answered that question.
It’s not as if full frontal cleavage is something new, from the 13th through much of the 18th centuries women were pushing up their bosoms and framing them in confections of silks and lace. Historians tell us that Joséphine de Beauharnais Bonaparte, wife of Napoleon I, and thus the first Empress of France, had an exquisite bust which was magnificently exhibited in the empire dresses of her epoch.
When writing this post I decided to see if I could find French actresses of a certain age wearing extremely bare dresses. I could not. Perhaps some have, but I couldn’t find them. Frenchwomen tend to tease with glimpses of skin, which I find extremely appealing. They believe imagination is a sort of aphrodisiac.
Sensuality as opposed to sexuality is partially intellectual. Seduction from their points of view is more subtle and refined.
What do you think?