Thursday, May 21, 2015

Evil and Evening Gowns

In the fifth season of Buffy, Dawn comes to the realization that, because bad things happen because of her, she must be evil.  She confides this to Spike, who gives this reply:

In case the picture doesn't show up, he's saying:
"I'm a vampire. I know something about evil. You're not evil."
Now, don't get me wrong: Dawn is The Worst.  So much so that everyone would have totally been fine with her doing that thing that Buffy did at the end of Season 5 instead of Buffy.*  But Dawn is certainly not "evil."  A 14-year-old girl who happens to have Circumstances in her life doesn't really fit that bill.

As much as I'd love to keep talking about Buffy, I'm now going to write about the thing that inspired me to write this post:  Lindsey Stirling's Billboard Award dress.  If you'd asked me two weeks ago who Lindsey Stirling was, I would probably have said, "isn't she that Mormon girl with the violin?" because that was all I knew.  Now I know her as the Mormon girl with the violin who wore a really controversial dress to an award show.  And not even the fun kind of "is this blue or black?" controversy, but the kind that calls all of the Mormons With Opinions (MWOs) out of the woodwork.

Now I'm not going to talk about lines or lining or whether you can wear that kind of dress with garments (although you totally can, and also I defy you to find one endowed Mormon woman who hasn't done some strategic cap-sleeve tucking at some point in her life) or even the definition of "modesty."  I am going to talk about the definition of "evil," though.  I looked up the word "evil" on Google.  It's defined as "profoundly immoral and malevolent."  The MWOs have said that even though the dress is fully lined, the fact that the nude fabric looks like skin gives off the "appearance of evil."

I think "evil" is one of those words that gets thrown around too liberally by some people.**  How can a dress be "profoundly immoral and malevolent"?  At worst, a dress can be a bit trashy-looking, but evil?  How can that even be applied to clothing?  I guess if you were wearing a t-shirt that said, "I worship Satan and enjoy eating babies on the weekends," you'd probably give off the appearance that you were a little bit evil, but an evening gown that fits well***, covers everything, and is appropriate for the occasion is anything but evil.  Clothes are not evil, and moreover, the (female) human body is not evil.

Again, this is not a post about the definition of modesty.  If you didn't like the dress or thought it was "too sexy" or wouldn't want your teenage daughter to wear something like that to prom, by all means, have that opinion, but for heaven's sake, stop calling it Evil.

(And for what my opinion is worth,  I thought she looked Amazing.)

*I can't spoil too much because my boyfriend reads this blog and he's only part of the way through Season 2.  Oz is just barely a werewolf right now.
**Another one is "apostate," but don't get me started.
***There's a difference between form-fitting and tight, by the way, so everyone who's all like, "Oh my gosh, she's got a female body under there! Call out the National Guard!" can just chill.

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