I came across some interesting thoughts on unisex fashion in "Looking Good", published in 1976. The author, Clara Pierre, was writing from the perspective of an industry insider observing what she expected to be permanent changes in fashion. In chapter 10 "From bralessness to unisex", she explains the connection between sexual liberation and unisex clothing as a process of increasing comfort various aspects of sexual identity and expression:
"for whatever reason, we began to feel more comfortable first with sex pure and simple, then with homosexuality and now with androgyny"
That was then and this is now, as they say. Clearly, some people thought that the culture wars over sex was over, even as it was just beginning. So, I wonder: what happened?
Rebecca Hains has posted a call for chapters for a scholarly anthology about princess culture
. We had a quick Twitter exchange about possibilities and somehow She-Ra popped into the conversation. If you never heard of She-Ra, Princess of Power, you were not a preschool child or the parent of a preschooler in the mid-1980s. Here's a taste:
My three-year-old daughter was heavily engaged in He-Man and She-Ra play for about a year, and owned not only She-Ra and the horse and the castle and a sick-kick or two, but also a She-Ra outfit. The later was a mix of items that were purchased (shield, sword and mask) and homemade (dress from an old slip, silk scarf turned into a cape). For a brief time, trips to the Mall were transformed into "shopping with She-Ra", as she walked a few steps behind me, narrating an imaginative adventure and waving her pink plastic sword.
So take a look at She-Ra. Consider the Playboy Playmate proportions, the girlish voice, the horse, the clothes. If you were a fan, what do you remember being so attractive about She-Ra? What impact, if any, did she have you, as a child or as a grown up? Would you be happy or appalled if your own child fell in love with She-Ra today? Is she the mother or grandmother of the Disney Princesses? A distant cousin?
Curious minds want to know.