What would you choose to wear if someone asked you to dip into your closet and be photographed in two outfits, one sexy and one safe?
How would you feel in each outfit?
Photojournalist Sarah Hughes travelled across Canada, and asked women to choose, and comment on their two images. Her photo essay, "Safe and Sexy" was published in 2006 in The Walrus, and is available here.
The results evoke "before and after" magazine features and archives Hughes studied when she worked at The Smithsonian. Women of varying ages and backgrounds explore their self-images and willingness to conform or challenge the way the world looks at them.
The issue of womens' dressing to attract, or dressing to deflect the gaze of others pertains to issues of violence, sexism and ageism. When we select an item of clothing, we make a second decision about who we are and what we show the world.
Thank you, Sarah Huges, for your thoughtful and provocative work.