chapter two of Body Dressing

In the second chapter, “The Dressed Body” of Body Dressing by Joanne Entwistle and Elizabeth Wilsonthere are many profound concepts and ideas that are being brought out on the theory of the dressed body as a physical operation. An interesting concept or idea that was brought in this chapter is that every human uses dress in their daily activity to turn their flesh into something more accepting than a nude depiction of them. Society finds the naked or nude body horrifying and ridiculous though it is only the natural form of whom we are as people. Societies uncomfortable reaction to nudity is a clear indicator that humans are confined to rules that result in our expressive actions, especially the way we cover our flesh. We are taught to dress a certain way for every event, occasion, or circumstance. For example the to professional or ceremonial events we are taught to dress with class and sophistication, whereas to the gym and athletic routines we are advised to dress comfortably in gear that will correspond to our body temperature and perspiration. If we are found in a situation where we surprisingly are not in proper attire, we immediately feel embarrassment because we fear our attire is not socially accepted. It is clear that if we are not comfortable with our outside appearance then our mental state is also affected. As Sheila Dicks emphasized in her article Dress with Confidence – How Dressing Affects Your Attitude and Confidence “If we change the way we dress the way we feel will change. When we are dressed well and look good we automatically feel better”. Another idea brought out in this chapter is that the way we dress is a form of our identity. Both male and female genders are identified by dress. Men dress in masculine attire and women dress in more feminine manner. This can also connect with the power struggle in society. Entwistle discusses how the corporation can see uniforms in a workplace as control mechanism over their employees. She also describes how Kunzle(1982) suggest women in the early 1900’s wore tight corsets as a way to “climb the social ladder with their sexuality”. It is further discussed later in the chapter that the habitus (set of socially learned dispositions) navigates the way we dress as well. Our social often reflects in our choices of dress and material. For example, middle class people look for quality instead of quantity by buying more expensive fabrics that made better.


2 thoughts on “chapter two of Body Dressing

    • The work out gear and formal dress represents the different forms of dress in which we are advised to wear. the corset is a symbol of ways in which women used their bodies to climb the social ladder in the early 1900’s

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