Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scary fact: Paris Hilton and I are basically the same age.

Hugo Schwyzer contends that modern girls are trapped in a "Paris paradox," in which they feel pressured to be sexy without being authentically sexual. I'm not sure that this is a new phenomenon, or even new in the 2000s. When I was in high school (fifteen years ago! wowsers), a clique of the high achieving girls started some club called the Temptresses, which apparently involved sexy Temptress names, sleepovers with videos of them eating strawberries and whipped cream, and public recounting of said exploits, but no actual sexual activity. A friend and I quipped that we ought to start a parallel Seductresses society, the motto being "we get results," and oriented toward, you know, hooking up with boys we liked, not homosocial performance art.*

It never occurred to me before now to connect the high academic achievement level of the Temptresses with their embrace of the sexy-but-not-sexual, but in retrospect it seems obvious that most of them probably felt familial and internalized pressure to devote their time and energy toward Amy-Chua-approved pursuits instead of teenage romance, but still wanted a social stamp of approval on their femininity and desirability.

Or maybe they just really liked whipped cream. Shrug.

* Bonus: I already had the trashy Seductress name.
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