On March 10th, the women residents of both the adolescent and adult programs at the Portage centre in Prévost, near lac Écho participated in a workshop about hypersexual fashion led by Mariette Julien. Mme Julien is a PhD in Communication and a professor at the École supérieure de mode de Montréal, at l’Université du Québec (UQAM). She has recently published a book on the subject called La mode hypersexualisée, (http://sisyphe.org/spip.php?article3471).
The workshop, which coincided with International Women’s Day, was greatly appreciated by the residents, who participated openly in the discussion and thanked Mme Julien with enthusiastic applause. It gave them a lot to think about in terms of what image of themselves they would like to project to the world.
One of the participants expressed her reactions to the workshop in the following passage (translated from French):
Hypersexual fashion is a means of getting noticed by others. It is shown through the outfits, accessories, hairstyles, manicures, and makeup that we wear. Often, as women, we have a tendency to compare ourselves to the images we see in magazines of perfect airbrushed models. It deflates us and makes us feel inferior, leading to a loss of self-esteem and making us feel that we need to make ourselves look more sexy to the people around us. It all started with the hippy and punk fashion movements. I make the decisions about what self-image I want to project to the world even though people may still have different perceptions of me. I want to be respected by others and for that to happen, I need to start by respecting myself. I’d rather leave some things to the imagination than show off my body with hypersexual fashion. The type of image I give off is related to the types of people I will attract. Dressing overly sexy is a protection mechanism, making you feel that you are only valuable if you are seductive.
– Geneviève, Portage Prévost resident