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  • Rowan Prescott Hedley

Are Dressing Gowns Inherently Aloof?

Dressing gowns let us be the Doctor Statham we've always dreamed of but is there more to this flounce?

Yes, I think so.

Photo by Noah Rosenfield

We all understand the joy of getting home, ripping off those work clothes, wrenching off the social performance, and tearing off that societally prescribed chest constrictor, the underwired bra.

Maybe you have a favourite bralette or loose sports bra, or one of those towel bra things that you put on instead. Maybe you roam free and let every inch of your skin breathe.

I have an oversized bright pink jumper that I drape over me with or without any combination of underwear on underneath.

But the sensation of a dressing gown is, frankly, on a different plain. The all encompassing comfort, the large-scale concealment of all sorts of freedoms, and the delusion of grandeur. It's all in the swish.

The back and forth or the whip around or, my personal favourite, the linger slightly behind you. Usually due to a heavier trim on your gown of choice, this swish screams mystery. How is it moving like that? Who is the deity beneath its silky folds? Are they dangerous, alluring, or both?

To swish is to have space to swish. To have space to swish is to have space available and dedicated to your comfort and pleasure. To have this physical capacity for joy in such a, supposedly, overcrowded country is audacious.

I put it to you that dressing gowns provide us the socially acceptable performance of authority, power, and arrogance akin to a plague doctor, medieval lawyer, or modern surgeon.

This is intoxicating.

In a time when more and more of us are succumbing to the wage enslavement efforts of the ruling class and gluttonous capitalists, to experience even the fantasy of total self autonomy and actualisation is exhilarating.

The sting is that this relies on being above others. Having others below you to exert your authority, power, and arrogance on. All three are reliant on others for their very existence.

Where is the authority if there is no-one looking to you for answers or direction? Where is the power if you don't control anything? Where is the arrogance if no-one at all knows better?

Roofers using asbestos weren't arrogant before it was known to be dangerous. However, pro-lifers (only the foetus though) are arrogant when they extol the moral dangers of 'early abortion' from the pill, when it is widely know that this pill prevents fertilisation, not end fertilised life.

I bet they eat eggs for breakfast.

Of course, this is not to say that dressing gowns are inherently problematic. I think they may actually be a gift from extra-terrestrial neighbours who ventured out for discovery, found us, liked it here and brought us dressing gowns so that they could stay.

Maybe all those people who don't like dressing gowns are the descendants of those humanised beings which joined us on this planet all those years ago, and they don't like dressing gowns because on their home planet they had something better that we will never know of. It is preposterous to insist that there is no other 'life' in this entire universe. Though maybe it is so small that we haven't discovered it yet. Or so large that we cannot conceive of it yet. I've fallen off topic.

Dressing gowns are an indulgent delight. Safety, comfort, and joy all rolled up, and roll-up-able, into a handy piece of material we swathe our bodies in.

Society gets its dirty little unequal mits into everything. As such, part of the bliss and enticement of the garment is its fantastical properties to raise us into the echelons of Murdoch/Tory Co. where life is just that bit easier. Whilst our social structure relies upon exploitation, this fantasy will function in that hierarchy also. This is how dressing gowns are aloof, they raise us above other people.

But in these times, whilst no-one (as far as I'm aware) is donning a dressing gown and practising plague medicine, medieval crime and punishment, or neurosurgery, what is the harm?

As long as no one, I don't know, whimsically crashes the banks and then gets their friends in state power to help them out, all whilst at home behind a computer and a phone in a dressing gown worth more than my house... hang on.

To be fair, I don't know if Lehman Brothers CEO Richard S. Fuld, Jr. was at home when the crash happened, but I bet he likes an enormous expensive dressing gown to have some alone time in.

Dressing gowns are inherently aloof. But that's basically fine. Enjoy yourselves and your powerful dreams.


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