The Dressed Body

Did you know that all cultures “dress” the body in some form of clothing (Entwistle and Wilson 33)?  Some mediums (but not limited to) include tattooing, cosmetics and body paint.

Zombie Boy used tattooing as his medium of “dress”…

Isn’t it interesting that dress is not confined to clothing but rather things that embellish the body?  This reminded me of a segment I saw on the National Geographic channel called Taboo.  This episode in particular struck out to me because the women from the Thai-Burmese border stretch their neck.  These women wear heavy brass rings around their necks as a symbol of beauty; I will refer to them as the long necks.  As alienating as it might seem to us, it’s a part of the long necks culture.  In comparison, the Western culture has comparable practices such as braces.  We wear them for what seems like forever, they hurt (sometimes more than they need to – I’m speaking from experience), and in the end we have what “we” consider beautiful…Super straight teeth.  Watch an interesting segment on the long neck women here.

 

Long neck woman from the Thai-Burmese border…

Have you ever noticed how dress (in a sense of clothing) is very much alive and fleshy (Entwistle and Wilson 35)?  I’m sure most you reading this have been to a museum that featured some sort of clothing (costumes) from that era.  Did you feel the unease of the mannequins?  To look at something that was once worn but it doesn’t feel real because it’s sitting on a lifeless, dusty, and silent mannequin.  I felt this when I visited a castle converted into a museum in Rhode Island.  The ground floor was filled with artwork from that period and suits of armor, LOTS of suits of armor.  I kept my distance in fear that one of these suits would come to life and attack me.  It’s silly to think that until one of the curators tells you strange sounds have been heard at night in the very room I was in ::shivers::  Read more about the castle I visited here.

 

How eerie it is to see a bodiless suit of armor fully erect…

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