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The celeb's nude looks, between empowerment and exhibitionism

The current fashion trend screams sex positivity, but is it really so?

The celeb's nude looks, between empowerment and exhibitionism The current fashion trend screams sex positivity, but is it really so?

The right to abortion is constantly being questioned, rape victims are blamed for what they wear, the government continues to overlook sex education and promote the idea that motherhood is the only and highest aspiration for women, trade wives are popular on the internet, AI is replacing porn, and Gen Z has issues with sex and seems not to enjoy seeing it in movies or engaging in it, while in a seemingly contradictory trend, interest in polyamory is rising. If fashion and trends serves as a cultural barometer, reflecting our anxieties, hopes, and our sense of collective and individual self, what do the very latest trends tell us? Observing the latest fashion weeks and red carpets, the answer seems to be a greater focus on the female body, which is increasingly unveiled and exhibited, with a focus on parts considered erotic or taboo such as breasts, the buttocks, and the groin. From John Galliano's couture show for Margiela with fake pubic hair to the FW24 stimulation pocket by Courrèges, to the dominatrix-style set recently worn by Katy Perry, one wonders how far the trend will go and why such seemingly explicit and sex-positive displays do not correspond to actual sexual freedom, but rather, abstinence. Or almost.

Courrèges and Beyond: Sex Positivity on the Runway

Backless necklines become abyssal, breasts free themselves from any coverage, and the groin becomes a protagonist with allusions to masturbation and trompe l'oeil. Leather hot pants with laces by Dilara Findikoglu, Ludovic De Saint Sernin's new bumsters, Kim Kardashian proposing the bra with erect nipples, Namilia and Miaou and the 2024 version of sexual empowerment with a punk twist, Margiela is inspired by the sex workers of Brassai's Paris recreating a nude effect on dresses, including fake pubic hair, Courrèges and Di Petsa enrich pants, skirts, and trench coats with slits and triangular panels defining "masturbation pockets". References to fetish and BDSM elements abound, but recently, they have become spokespersons for a positive and inclusive sexual freedom and revolution that often seems more simulated than real.

The Total Nude on the Red Carpet

Stars like Megan Fox and Julia Fox never miss the opportunity to proudly display their curves. And if runway trends push towards greater attention to the buttocks, they too adapt with increasingly audacious looks. Challenging the unattainable Rose McGowan at the 1998 VMAs with the most revealing chain dress ever, chosen to subvert a sexist narrative against women and reformulate the toxic perception of female sexuality in the entertainment industry. During the January Paris Fashion Week, Noah Cyrus wore leggings so revealing that her 5.8 million Instagram followers wondered if she was in the midst of a wardrobe malfunction. A few days later, Katy Perry attended the Billboard Women in Music Awards wearing a red corset and a skirt by Ellie Misner, characterized by a lacing on the buttocks that left the black thong completely visible. Then it was Chloe Bailey's turn at the GLAAD Awards, with a Pressiat corset dress that revealed a generous portion of skin on the back. In the new music video for Enough, Cardi B wears some looks that highlight the buttocks, just as in Hiss Megan Thee Stallion wears a pair of pants unbuttoned at the back and decorated with a diamond pendant hanging directly above the intergluteal cleft. Teyana Taylor was recently spotted at a nightclub with Leonardo DiCaprio in pants with a cut on the upper gluteus, Bianca Censori often forgets the bottom of the outfit or sticks to very thin underwear, and even Normani has succumbed to the trend wearing a Theophilo jumpsuit with an incorporated thong in a February photoshoot. From Hailey Bieber to Kendall Jenner, no one seems to resist the nude look, embracing the liberation of not wearing a bra, showing underwear, or indulging in plunging necklines that reveal much more than bare backs. So what?

Empowerment or Exhibitionism? It Doesn't Matter

Eroticism, sensuality, desire to make oneself heard, or statement on female empowerment? Each of us has an opinion on why celebs (and not only) love to walk the red carpet with minimal outfits in terms of the amount of fabric. Perhaps, however, if we could look beyond our judgments, often dictated by unconscious modesty, we could try to read these provocations in a new light, one that seeks to expand the boundaries regarding good taste, modesty, and scandal. And if even the choice to wear a nude look offered society the opportunity to internalize the possibility of a free and diversified view of the female body? Then yes, even a creation by Courrèges or a dress worn by Katy Perry could rise to the status of a contemporary symbol of empowerment. Regardless of the original intention.