by guest blogger, BroKen
Have you ever heard of Jessica Rey? She is an actress and entrepreneur with a line of swimwear. My daughter introduced me to a youtube video of hers called “The Evolution of the Swimsuit.” She begins with a line from a hit novelty song from the 60s called “Itsy Bitsy, Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.” The line is, “She was afraid to come out of the locker” (the locker in which she had put on the little piece of swimwear.) Ms. Rey asks why she was afraid to come out in public wearing an itsy bitsy bikini.
Ms. Rey then runs quickly back in time showing the changes in swimwear for women all the way back to the turn of the century when women’s swimwear was not the least bit revealing yet there were still mobile changing rooms which would follow women almost all the way to the water. Ms. Rey asks how we have come so far from wearing houses to wearing almost nothing.
The answer is, of course, the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the “empowerment” of women to be free from the least hint of sexual repression. Ms. Rey wonders if the “power” granted women has been worth the cost.
The cost is the way men look at women who dress so immodestly. She cites a study in which men are shown pictures of women in bikinis while their brains are scanned. The parts of the brain which light up during the use of tools, become active when viewing the scantily clad women. The parts of the brain responsible for higher activities, some might even say the spiritual activities like compassion and empathy, shut down completely. The researchers say those parts of the brain responsible for compassion and empathy almost never go inactive like they did during the study.
The human male’s brain seems to be almost hardwired to objectify women who expose their bodies. Clearly, an ability to turn men into beasts is a kind of power. But, like Ms. Rey, I don’t think it was that kind of power being sought by the sexual revolutionaries. But many warned that turning human beings into animals would be the result of such sexual liberation. Sexual license results in slavery, not freedom.
Ms. Rey describes looking for modest swimwear for herself. When she couldn’t find it, designed some of her own using Audrey Hepburn as inspiration. Many people asked her where she found her swimwear and her fashion line was born.
If you think her designs are a throwback to the pantaloons of the turn of the century or the burkas of the Middle East, you’ll be surprised. Audrey Hepburn was no prude. Neither is Ms. Rey. As another actress once said, “Your clothes should be tight enough to show you’re a woman but loose enough to show you’re a lady.”
Here is hoping her fashion line is highly successful and generates a new trend overshadowing the itsy bitsy teenie weenie bikini.
The video of Ms. Rey’s presentation:
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