The New Penis Envy

by Adriana Herdan

"Women’s liberation" is a term that implies a lot of things. We are now allowed to vote, to pursue a higher education, occupy jobs that were traditionally reserved only for men -- and yes, now we are even allowed to be their bosses.

Women are now CEOs of very important companies, are bosses to men, make higher salaries than men, and sometimes even higher salaries than their husbands -- so in order to break away from the “damsel in distress” stereotype, they have to begin by changing their wardrobes and even attitudes.

However, with the breakage of so many stigmas that have forever haunted women, has also followed a new approach towards clothing and the way women dress. The modern day power woman has resorted to power dressing in order to establish her power over her male counterparts and even female subordinates.

This doesn’t mean that women have stopped dressing in a way that emphasizes those physical traits that are appealing to men, yet in order to transmit a sense of authority they have chosen a new approach to sexiness. In the past years more and more women have taken a “power dressing” approach to sexiness, trading in their body-con skirts and little black dresses for a well-tailored suit that allows them to look more professional.

This look is a more low-key approach to sexiness, since a well-tailored suit can hug a female body in all the right places, while still preserving a somewhat conservative image. It is almost as if this kind of outfit sets the tone for a type of sexiness based more on what you imagine, than about what you see. We can call this discreet style of sexiness “office appropriate.”

This approach is not one that can only be found in corporate offices, we have seen the celebration of power dressing in a wide variety of fashion houses in the past year.

From Chanel’s "The Little Black Jacket" exhibit that took place last June in New York, to YSL’s "Le Smoking Party" to the funky printed pant suits Prada included in both their spring and fall collections, it seems like designers support the idea that the modern day power woman is meant to dress like a very sexy man.

Even the typically gown-filled Hollywood red carpets have included a series of pantsuits and jumpers that are anything but your traditionally feminine eveningwear. Designers have finally understood that power women are fashion conscious too, but need clothing that will allow them to move comfortably around the office.

However the success of a tv-show like "Mad Men" -- where women are portrayed as bombshell secretaries who wear pencil skirts and red lipstick to emphasize their femininity -- really makes us wonder if the power woman secretly wishes to wear those seductive outfits, while maintaining her career-woman status.

Could it be that under every power woman there is just a little girl who wishes to be swept of her feet? Evidence shows that the modern power woman, instead of wanting to be saved by a man, is now saving herself.  And she is doing so by asserting herself using her clothing as a means of expression of her empowerment.

Adriana Herdan| Elite.