Laura's comment really stood out for me in today's comments:

"Not everyone wants to look sexy/flattered/attractive all the time. There are ways to claim your power using fashion that don’t involve prettiness or sex appeal and, in my opinion, COS is hitting some of them with this line."

Laura's thought, combined with Lyn Slater/Accidental Icon's posting (below), have got me pondering our instinctive reaction to view clothes which "disrupt" the feminine hourglass shape as ugly and unwearable.

"Conceptual Fashion uses the body as a site for communication. Postmodern philosophers like Foucault maintain that the body is inscribed with cultural and gender meanings and becomes a text that tells the story of the social context that the body is constructed in. This process not only shapes the body but in many cases disciplines it as well, for example, what bodies are considered to be objects of beauty. Some conceptual designers have understood this and use fashion and clothes to disrupt dominant discourses and narratives about the female body."

As my aging body grows ever further away from the cultural ideal of the beautiful hourglass with a firm, high bosom, small waist, and shapely (but slim!) hips, I'm wondering if I ought to readjust my feelings about dressing for flattery. What struck me about the COS images this morning was how I focused on the model's face, instead of her shape, in those "unflattering" outfits.

Is working towards flattery the enemy, or the salvation, for those of us who aren't tall, young, slim woman with hourglass shapes. Can a woman "disrupt" the dominant ideal of the female shape and still be seen as feminine and attractive? Why is dressing to focus on the face instead of the female shape seem so revolutionary? And, finally, to build on Laura's thought: Given the majority of women are not model worthy, what do we risk if we decide to NOT use fashion to project prettiness and sex appeal?

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts.