Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Definition of Terms

in which there are sex tapes and petticoats

What to do when someone walks in on you in your underwear?

The classic options are to either feign shock and dismay, attempt to conceal your shock and dismay with politesse or take off said underwear and waggle your eyebrows (or other anatomy) suggestively.

Lately, though, the popular response seems to be record a sex video while tweeting your boredom with the whole situation. That a video still is thereafter your profile pic on half your social networking sites is another matter entirely.

There exists a middle way: pretend you lived in seventeenth century Europe.

As dangerous as it is to ever suggest that (spoiler- you have the pox and don't bathe), indulge me.
When the first popular prints of women in only their dressing gowns and the barest traces of makeup began making the rounds, many were outraged at how lewd they were. Even more, though, were enthralled seeing the highly stylized and culturally constructed women of the day slightly less than perfect. The popularity stemmed from the touch of personhood restored to the subject by showing that they, too, had to have their servants help them into their petticoats one leg at a time.

The breach of etiquette the artist, subject and viewer shared let them each have a little naughty moment together without any of them risking embarrassment; everyone was in on it. You could be coy and innocent while simultaneously standing there in your frilly underthings.

Ever since, deshabille has been a constant part of western visual culture, and parallel trends can be found around the world because it's appealing and enjoyable to let the mask slip. After all, the fun thing about the virgin/whore dichotomy is the tension in the middle.

When someone walks in on you in your underwear, do endeavor to provide a better option (nsfw).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rule #1

You are in public.

In this fallen world of constant exposure each of us is being viewed. Whether it's friends who only think the best, prospective employers looking for the one drunk photo or exes looking for the fat picture to excoriate, we are all nigh-constantly under a microscope.

This is not entirely a bad thing.

We all have regrettable moments that make us approachable and human, and the occasional foible (provided it is either innocuous or so scandalous that others are overwhelmed with envy) makes us relatable. Too often, however, we mistake the momentary zest of grossly inappropriate conduct for being interesting and later act surprised at how immature all of our friends are or cause others social suffering by spending the night apologizing because we "aren't always like this." There's little balance between the rendered artifice of our profiles and the actuality of people who have bad days and off moments.

Let's learn how to behave ourselves, shall we?


Deshabille contains thoughts and musings on how to comport oneself approachably with a bit of artistry and class.

Away we go.