[…] In her book “Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk About Sexuality” (Harvard University
Press), Deborah Tolman, the director of the Center for Research on
Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State University and a professor
of human sexuality studies there, found that some 30 teenage girls she
studied understood being sexy as “being sexy for someone else, not for
themselves,” she said.
When the girls were asked what makes
them feel sexy, they had difficulty answering, Dr. Tolman said, adding
that they heard the question as “What makes you look sexy?”
women’s costumes, with their frilly baby-doll dresses and high-heeled
Mary Janes, also evoke male Lolita fantasies and reinforce the larger
cultural message that younger is hotter.
“It’s not a good long-term strategy for women,” Dr. Tolman said. […]
(Not necessarily humorless editor's note: An earlier version of this post was titled "Look and feel, aka "You can't say 'Halloween' without 'all-new hoe.' " No garden tools were harmed in the creation of the post.)