Controversial Tuesday: Ladyvespas and Gear or Lack Thereof) Part Two

Where is the line between fantasy and reality?

Part ii / Part i, click this.

What worries me is when this visual representation become reality (as with the images above) and the expectation for us (as woman scooterist) to provide and maintain- since it is the only visual context we have of women on scooters. What I mean by this is that images give us clues and information about rules and expectations for any said subject and shape an expectation for reality. When you only see images of woman on scooters with tons of skin showing and (cute!) heels over and over, you start believing that this is okay: it is what is normal. So you either follow suit or feel strange when you do wear all that silly protective gear because you aren’t going to need it.

Here is a comment from yesterterday’s post from thegallivant(thegallivant.wordpress.com) , that I thought really hit the core issue:

“This is such an important topic; for ladies who bike, or scoot, or rollerblade or participate in any activity that carries risk, there is always that inner debate: do I keep myself safe and risk looking…like I care about being safe? or do I choose to renege responsibility over my well-being so that I can potentially “look good” to passing males?”

Any woman, participating in any kind of activity,  feels pressure to always look sexy, no matter what the cost is to her person. These are inner dialogues that happen daily with woman and when it involves her safety, it shouldn’t have to be a question. There is a difference between the fantasy portrayed in these images and reality, but those images force an aesthetic that is hard to shake from your mind once you’ve seen it again and again. You want to be what you’ve seen, once you own your own vespa: you want to be That Vespa Babe. You want to portray that lifestyle and own every bit of the aesthetic yourself. You just have to realize that there is a “driving” aspect to this whole equation. ( BTW: Italian women, how do you do it?! I admire you so much.)

Ready for image overload?  Continue reading