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Kymberly Clem – Too Sexy for the Richmond Mall

Gah.  At what point does it become not okay to force your neuroses on other people?

In Richmond Kentucky, Kymberly Clem purchased a dress in the local mall.  The following day, the twenty year old Eastern Kentucky University student wore that same dress back to the mall.  Ten minutes later, a mall rent-a-cop approached her, made her turn in a circle while he “inspected” her, and then escorted her from the premises.

From the Richmond Register:

“He made me turn all the way around while he stared me up and down,” Kymberly said. “The only thing he said was that other people didn’t like the way I looked, so he wanted me to leave.”

The guard also said several women had complained because their husbands were staring at her, she said.

That’s right.  If you turn the head of some prudish old church lady’s husband, you’re too sexy for the Richmond Mall.

Even the people coming to her defense are just not getting it, though.

Her sister Kendra is quoted in the article, thus:

“It’s discrimination and she has the right to wear what she wants. We’re just trying to make people understand that you can’t (discriminate). I think as Americans, we have the right to wear what we would like as long as we are not showing any private body parts.”

Why the final caveat?  Why is there the presumption that showing “private” body parts in our society is inherently negative?

Similarly, a local blogger comments with the presumption that the body is to be hidden away, that nudity is intrinsically bad:

“It was short, but showed nothing that is illegal to show. Personally, I’ve seen worse on Eastern’s campus than what this young lady was wearing.”

“Worse”?  Define “worse” for me.  And why is your definition of “worse” any better than mine, or Kate’s, or Kymberly’s or Lenny’s Pizza Delivery Guy’s?

Some days, I just want to scream.

UPDATE: Elizabeth does a wonderful job of articulating exactly what’s wrong with this picture.  Don’t miss Michael’s comment, immediately following.

Filed under: Censorship, Equality, Fashion, Fundies, Rants, Religion, , , , ,

14 Responses

  1. Rystefn says:

    Interesting, just yesterday, I was sayi9ng how the only dress code I could really support would be to prohibit clothing altogether. Crap like this makes me want to get that same dress and wear to that mall just to make a point.

  2. Stephanie Z says:

    Rystefn, I suspect the dress would be somewhat shorter on you. That’s not a complaint, just a statement to help others get the full image.

    I can’t really get behind your no-dress code, though. There are some pieces of clothing that are really there for comfort. If you can get the engineers to make transparent, functional bras, I’d accept that as a compromise, at least in summer. We get warnings about unprotected skin up here in the winter.

    And can we sell assertiveness training with this clothing? The proper response to this kind of thing is a very loud, “I’m sorry. I don’t understand. Please point to the offending uncovered body part and tell me, in detail, why it interferes with your job of allowing customers like me to shop in peace.” The addition of “you prurient twit” is entirely optional. Continuing to make lots of noise is not, especially if they’re throwing you out anyway.

  3. Rystefn says:

    …in fairness, I was talking about schools, which are climate controlled and out of the sun, and was mainly making a point about how utterly against dress codes I am, not that I think everyone should necessarily go to school in the nude.

  4. JanieBelle says:

    I dunno, Rys. The occasional “Go to school/work/shopping nude day” might go a long way toward mitigating the distinctly American antrophobia.

  5. Am I the only one here who feels that it’s impossible to pass judgment on this until after I see a photograph of Ms. Clem in the offending outfit?

  6. JanieBelle says:

    Yes, Javier, for two reasons.

    1) We’ve all seen the outfit on Faux News’ website, and just refuse to link there.

    2) It’s irrelevant. Elizabeth does a wonderful job of explaining why.

    Do read her article, and don’t skip Michael’s comment immediately following.

  7. Musicguy says:

    The puritans left england a couple hundred years ago. perhaps all the crazy prudish fundies should pack up and move to Antarctica. I hear there’s plenty of availabe real estate there.

  8. Stiletto says:

    I really think it depends on who the dress is on that will make people complain. If you already look sexy that dress will look different on you than someone unassuming.

    And trust me, it ain’t fair. Now I’m paranoid about what I wear on the airlines.

  9. Blaidd Drwg says:

    Stiletto, you are exactly right. In my experience, if a woman is sexy to begin with, she could be wearing a potato sack, and get ogled. Contrariwise, there are some women who really SHOULD be dressed in burkahs…

    The difference, IMHO, is (in large measure) how the woman views herself. Who was it, who said “The sexiest piece of clothing is one with a confident, self-assured woman in it”?

    Musicguy, you are right, too. The puritans did leave Europe a couple of hundred years ago – – they came here, and we’re still trying to outlaw sex.

  10. Rystefn says:

    It doesn’t much matter what she looked like, or how many people complained. “You’re too pretty and bitchy prudes are complaining that their husbands are looking at you” is never a good enough reason to give someone the boot

  11. PTET says:

    There’s an argument that the security guard was guilty of sexual assault for “inspecting” her.

    What a horrid story.

    Nice representative of whack-a-loon Fundamentalist Christianity though.

    What they should really do, of course, is check whether women are menstruating before they’re allowed to enter the mall. That would be *truly* Biblical…

  12. JanieBelle says:

    This whole Victorian American obsession with “public decency” is really under my skin lately.

  13. The Doctor says:

    The problem here is that of what society has turned instances like this into.

    1. While being male, I know that you have to have the common decency to not stare. Giving someone a polite comment when they ask what you think, or you are somewhere where it is the norm to do so is all fine and dandy.

    2. The only reason that this happens is because we have been blinded by the notion that any inkling of showing our bodies is for those whom we are married. While I agree that it should be for them, there was once a time where being unclothed was not out of the norm. The society has led us to a place where people believe it is wrong for no real reasons. And as a result, we now see it not as beauty, and with admiring eyes, but with perverted eyes that only want to see more, and take advantage of our ability to see such things.

    In all honesty, we have created our own perverted problem, while there would still be exceptions to the rule, there would be less of a staring problem.

    The thing that we once used primarily for protection from the elements, and comfort while going about our days has turned into an essential for all occasions, to hide what we have beneath, to show off what we can afford, and what we can make.

    The natural beauty of too many women, and i would assume men, has been sacrificed because of the way we have gone about this.

    My only hope is that some others out there can still see the beauty behind people, and will pass it on to those that they know so that our world may have some who are not blinded by perversion, and fueled by what the world tries to conform them to.

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