I spent some time poking around teh Internets yesterday, looking for someone to confirm the authenticity of a wimmin-hating dress-code email sent out by CBS’s official prudes ahead of Sunday’s Grammy telecast. Did you see this? It was first reported by Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood on Wednesday. A source leaked the memo to her, and I hoped it was a joke, but USA Today said it’s for real and similar to memos sent in previous years:
“Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Please avoid exposing bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack. Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples. Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible ‘puffy’ bare skin exposure.”
That’s followed by some gender-neutral warnings about avoiding brand names, foreign languages, obscenity and causes, but those almost seem like they were thrown in in an effort to balance out the “women are disgusting slabs of meat” vibe. It’s like someone pored over womens’ bodies and labeled every part that identifies them as female as offensive. The prurient combination of specificity and euphemism creeps me out. The last sentence is referring to labia, for fuck’s sake! I guess CBS wants to rule out bodysuits like the one Beyonce just wore in front of 108 million people at the Super Bowl. The fabric might shift while a woman is dancing her heart out, and it’s not like the network would ever think of not putting the camera right between her legs. I wonder if NBC sweated that kind of thing during the Olympics last year? All those bathing suits and leotards and track outfits were quite revealing, sometimes more so on men than women. Speaking of the dudes, will PBS require male ballet dancers wear burqas to cover those notoriously prominent crotches? Will the NFL mandate looser pants for players? No, because dress codes are primarily about women. Because a few have bad judgment — like a halter-dress-wearing intern on her first day at CNN — or are seeking attention, we all have to be condescended to.
I always thought there should be “gaze” codes. Like, avert your damn eyes, jerks. (That’s what I do whenever Justin Bieber shows his teenage abs.) It’s not that I mind being appropriate for my environment. I was okay with wearing suits and closed-toe shoes to my last corporate job at Lehman Brothers. But I didn’t care for the pantyhose requirement. I wasn’t going to wear “nude” hose in the summer and I was always praying some asshat — whether male or female — would comment so I could ask, “Why the fuck are you analyzing my legs during this meeting instead of focusing on the topic at hand?” No one ever dared, though. As for celebrities, the cameras are all up in their crotches and finding peculiar angles down their tops, and high-res photos show things that the human eye doesn’t catch. If you’re going to look so closely, I figure you get what you deserve. Stop staring at genitals and straining your eyes to search for nipples if those things bother you so much.
More than one website covering the dress-code story illustrated it with a photo of Pink performing at the Grammys in 2010. She wore a skin-tight, skin-toned bodysuit that covered very little, and it perfect for her jaw-droppingly beautiful, aerial performance.
Pink, Glitter in the Air – Grammy's 2010 by MiraJudazudik
By the way, those 108 million Super Bowl viewers who survived Beyonce’s bodysuit also survived winning Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco saying, “Fucking awesome!” loud and clear on the air. The network broadcasting the game? The very same CBS. I hope their standards people are as upset about that as they are about underboobs.