Ever heard of a little fetish known as "candaulism"?
At the 2016 American Music Awards, accompanied by her husband John Legend, Swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen had yet another "wardrobe malfunction" as she posed for photos on the red carpet at the 2016 American Music Awards, accompanied by her husband, John Legend.
Chrissy’s dress swung open to reveal she wasn’t wearing underwear, and that she... well... she has an excellent laser hair removal technician.
Now, we can be forgiving. The AMA is famous for baring lots of beautiful, talented flesh. Every year, female stars wear more and more revealing clothes on the red carpet, so we MUST assume the room temperature in the theater is accordingly adjusted up each year to keep the poor women from shivering to death while watching the awards ceremony.
At the AMAs, “keeping up with Mrs. Jones” now clearly means losing at least one garment each successive year — like a slow-motion game of "Celebrity Strip Poker."
This isn’t Teigen’s first ride on the Wardrobe Malfunction Rodeo, however.
She’s lost zippers. She's walked through the LAX airport in a see-through white blouse with no bra. And just a few months ago, she was wearing a black lace top with no bra when the wind “accidentally” caught her jacket and to revealed her beautiful figure (and nipples).
We must wonder then whether this poor lady desperately needs a wardrobe assistant to check for any potential snafus in advance of public outings where paparazzi have cameras waiting, or if, perhaps, these incidents simply aren't accidents.
After all, showing some accidental skin = tons of media attention.
As a psychologist, I'm well aware that behaviors which are rewarded with attention are commonly repeated. Rinse, wash and repeat. Red carpet nudity and "wardrobe malfunctions" will only stop when people stop paying attention to them. (So let’s hope that never happens...)
But what about Chrissy’s suave, talented and always-smiling husband?
Surely he sees his wife before they leave the house and climb into the limo. If the man had a concern that his wife might show too much skin, surely he would say something.
Or would he?
Today, men across the country celebrate their beautiful wives and girlfriends with naked pictures they carry on their phones and proudly show off to their friends.
Some men love to take their ladies out in revealing outfits, hoping that other men will see her, want her, and be jealous that they can’t have her.
This fetish is called “candaulism,” named after King Candaules, a Greek king who once allowed his adviser Gyges to hide in the closet while the queen undressed. Unfortunately, the queen discovered it, and told Gyges that either he or the king must die. Gyges was no fool, and conspired with the queen to kill her husband, after which Gyges assumed the throne. Today, this is no longer a problem for many women, who are willing participants in their exhibition.
It’s fine for Chrissy to love being naked, hate wearing underwear, and celebrate being lusted after. That’s a big part of female empowerment and the Free the Nipple campaign. Women should be allowed to exhibit themselves how they so choose.
It’s even fine if Legend is also enjoying this, as males across the world drool after his lovely wife.
But, one could perhaps wish for these folks to not assume that we are all quite so clueless as to believe these are all mistakes.
Sexual integrity comes from accepting and owning one’s sexual desires and behaviors. Passing them off as accidents is an unfortunate sign of sexual immaturity and a likely sign that a person still has a lot of shame about their sexual desires. Instead of saying “oops,” when we accept and embrace our sexual selves, we might say, “Yes, I don’t like to wear underwear and I really like how beautiful my whole body looks in this dress,” or “Yeah, my wife is beautiful, and I just love it when she dresses so sexy. We go home and have crazy sex after nights like this!”
One can only hope, that Legend, Teigen, and our whole society, are moving towards greater sexual maturity in these ways.