Published on February 24th, 2013 | by thevyne0
The Ladies Dressing Room: Fun-plex or Vortex?
Just the other day I was spending time in my fav city with a dear friend and fellow Vyne reader. As is usually the case, we ended up in the mecca of style and fashion…also known as Bergdorf Goodman. After gushing over racks and racks of clothing we finally settled on a couple pairs of pants and tops to try on in the dressing room with the mantra being, “if it’s not life changing…we’re not getting it.” What happened next is what inspired me to write this article.
So, we’re in the dressing room, talking through the walls with the usual,
Person A: “Do you have something on yet?”
Person B: “No not yet. Can’t get the damn thing over my head!”
Person A: “Well hurry up…I need you to see what this looks like?”
Person B: “Well do you like it?”
Person A: “I think so but I want to get your opinion.”
Next, person A and person B head out into the shared mirror space of the dressing room to confirm selections, provide feedback, etc. And then this happens…
Person A: Well, what do you think?
Person B: I like it! It looks great on you. Definitely life changing! You look amazing.
Person A: Thanks! I really like it too!
<Enter Person C>
Person C: Ummmm…can I ask you ladies a question, what do you think of this?
Person A & B: It looks fabulous! Yes, really cute!
Person C: Are you sure? It’s doesn’t make my hips look too wide does it?
Person A & B: Are you insane?! You look amazing! Definitely get it!
Person C: Awww thanks so much! I just always think my hips look too big. I wish I had your hips.
Person A & B: I wish I had your boobs! I wish I had your waist….
Yadda, yadda, yadda and it goes on from there. The whole exchange ended in everyone purchasing something that looked great on them but what I found profoundly interesting is the whole need for validation that happens in the women’s dressing room.
On the one hand, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sourcing opinions on an outfit and trusting your close girlfriends to give you candid feedback if something is not flattering on you. On the other hand, I wondered if this intimate dance between strangers and/or friends is really and indication of a collective, subtle level of tolerable low self-esteem that a great deal of women are plagued with and that seems to only surface in the dressing room? Persons A, B and C (along with persons D, E and F who chimed in later) all appeared to be well put together, confident women. Yet underneath the glaring white light and unforgiving mirrors of the ladies dressing room, all of that confidence and self-assuredness seems to fall away.
You tell me Vyne readers…what do you think of the dynamics that ensue in the ladies dressing room? Is it good ol’ fashioned fun-plex of “girlfriends giving their girlfriends opinions” or is the ladies dressing room some sort of vortex of self-consciousness, vulnerability and exposure that perpetuates the need for psycho-emotional support from your girls (or at the very least, a nearby friendly stranger)?