You'd Be So Pretty If...

How to teach your daughter to love her body—even when you don't love your own.

A Dress Is Just a Dress...Or Is It?

Ironic statement about body image or just icky?

I'll confess that I have a fairly offbeat sense of humor. And though I firmly believe that some things just shouldn't be joked about, I'm able to find the funny in many situations.

Last week, I stopped into a small boutique near my office. It's got an unusual inventory of dresses and I thought maybe I'd find something for myself or, in this case, more likely for my daughter. As I surveyed the racks, I spotted a white dress with a bold graphic pattern and black words all over it. It looked fun, so intrigued, I made my way over to it.

When I got close, I realized that the graphic pattern was actually an outline of various cuts of meat - "rack," "rib," "shank," etc. The back featured more backside "cuts," including a circle drawn over the behind with the word "rump" stamped across it. And all I could think was -- Ick.

For me, there's something unsettling about a young woman wearing a dress that encourages people to literally picture her as a piece of meat.

Concerned that maybe I'm just getting old, I told my daughter about the dress. I was gratified when she didn't find it particularly funny, either.

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I suppose it could be construed as an ironic statement about body image and the way women are seen in our society. Instead, it reminded me of sexy Halloween costumes (read more about my thoughts on those here). But I've always felt that when a cause is important to you, it's vital not to become humorless. People tend to tune out fanatics, and I never want to get to that point.

So what do you think? Is the meat dress a cute and funny commentary? How would you feel if your daughter wore it?


Dara Chadwick is the author of You'd Be So Pretty If… :Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies—Even When We Don't Love Our Own.


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