“Thong type costumes are problematic”

After seeing many different tabloids on the 2013 Grammys, I began to notice an annoying trend in all the comments that were being made. I had read that there was a dress code sent out by CBS about what the celebrities could and could not wear to the annual event. I personally felt enraged by this because of the demands within the dress code, mainly limiting women. OF COURSE! I can remember the dress codes of my high school being the same way, having to have the skirt/dress/shorts below the fingertips, yet no one was telling the boys to pull their pants up because their asses were hanging out. CNN published an article mocking the changes that CBS made to the Grammys this year, and I happened to agree with it!


The comedian who wrote this article makes a lot of interesting points, points that get you really wondering about the motive behind the dress code. It is important to note that if someone at one of these red carpet events is dressed to provocatively, then they just do not need to give them air time. This being said, it is evident that there are already rules and guidelines about how to handle such a wardrobe; what is the purpose of the  dress code then? The wording of the dress code is not only offensive but also draw uncomfortable attention to certain aspects that would have been better left alone.

For example, the dress code states, “Be sure that buttocks and female breast are adequately covered. Thong type costumes are problematic. Avoid sheer see-through clothing.” There are many other guidelines listed within the article, but what man do you know that would wear a “thong type costume”? The dress code is evidently limiting just women for the red carpet. The author of the article even states, “What is clear is that this wardrobe advisory is not gender neutral.Its very language tells women what they cannot wear.
“Female breasts” must be adequately covered. “Female breast nipples” must not be exposed.” ” This being said, CBS’s dress code is VERY sexist. CNN believes that this creation of the dress code was a result of trying to please government conservatives, and their ‘traditional’ ways.


When CNN elaborates on the idea of trying to please conservatives, the topic of the First Amendment is brought up. The idea of freedom of expression does not only need to be through words or writing, but also through a person’s portrayal of themselves, their appearance. Although the First Amendment is for both men and women, this so-called dress code is only depriving women of their First Amendment. I thoroughly enjoyed when the article states, “We all understand that no one is concerned that Bruce Springsteen will show up exposing ‘bare fleshy under curves’ of his buttocks.” This quote is comical, yet very true under these limiting dress code circumstances.


As celebrities, expression and creativity through dress is something that has been a costume for generations. It is not only the music, but also the clothing and style that each pop star is sporting that night on the red carpet. In the 2013 Grammys, I know that Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry were scrutinized for their “breaking of the dress code”, yet I thought that they both looks gorgeous. Watching the Grammys, it is clear that the fashion critics and even the general public is only so harsh on what the FEMALES are wearing that evening. For CBS to put a limit on what these beautiful and talented women can wear is like stripping a man of his beer and sports, meaning NOT OKAY!

One thought on ““Thong type costumes are problematic”

  1. Thanks for raising this issue – I was definitely upset by this. What really irks me is the double standard – where women are sent so many messages via media etc. that they are to be visually sexually appealing, to dress to please others (particularly men) but are also shamed and embarrassed for doing so. It also raises a lot of questions about how much agency or active choice celebrities have in selecting their attire. After listening to just a little bit of radio the morning after the Oscars I felt the same sadness. I just couldn’t believe how normal it seemed for all the hosts to be bad-mouthing actresses and how they looked. It reminded me how the impact it could have if women all committed to refrain for criticizing other women in public — it would totally have changed the red carpet coverage and post-oscar talk.


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