Russian Girls: The Fashion of Russia
After seeing tons of Russian women tourists in other countries posing like pin-up calendar girls against trees, draping themselves onto statues, or click-clacking in their heels around the ruins in Turkey, I was a bit worried that I’d feel underdressed and less sexy when visiting Russia. The good news? There was definitely a variety of dress from the previously mentioned escort-looking girls to old babushkas in scarves and wide-width black lace-up shoes.
What is it specifically that makes these Russian woman get all dolled up on an ordinary day? Was it just that I had become a slovenly American, or were they watching too many Pamela Anderson Baywatch re-runs? Why did these women seem to dress more sexily than others around the world? Why did I often come across these Russian tourists posing against monuments as if they were making their own playmate calendar?
So I tried asking a few locals – men and women — about this conundrum to see what I could uncover.
The first guy I asked, my bicycle tour guide for the day, said he didn’t like it. He felt that these girls were insecure and seeking attention. I understood this and could perhaps relate to it some. I thought of American girls’ attitudes when they are younger – teenagers or maybe girls in their early twenties. We were all trying to find our way and see where we fitted in…and yes, we all wanted a boyfriend. But here, the ages of women dressing this way seemed to range from 16 to 40. My guide told me he feels that they are attracting the wrong kind of attention and, although, as a man, he certainly liked looking at it, he thought it was too much and not respectable.
Then I asked two girls, both in their early thirties, both single, and both whom were independent, lived alone, and were dressed more like me — more casual and less ‘sexy.’ One said she didn’t really know and answered as if it was something she never even really noticed or thought about. That was interesting to me since it was so easy to notice.
But the other girl, shed some more light on it. Her first answer was the most enlightening.
“There are about 10 million more women than men in Russia.”
I can’t verify these numbers exactly, but did find some articles that support it. From a Daily Beast article explaining why Russian women were so fed up with Russian men:
The litany of complaints that Russian ladies have against their male counterparts is long: They smoke too much and drink too much. They cheat shamelessly and curse freely. They expect their girlfriends and wives to clean for them, cook for them, and to look like models. More seriously, they are often violent and feel threatened by independent, high-earning women.
The dating prospects are so grim, in fact, that Russian women are consciously deciding to stay single. Moscow alone boasts more than 3 million single women between the ages of 25 and 50, out of a population of 11.1 million (that’s three times the number of single Muscovite men). In Russia as a whole, there are 11 million more women than men, due in part to a century of bloody revolutions, gulags, and wars that drained the country’s male population. Add to that the fact that male life expectancy is particularly grim in Russia—on average, 59 years, as opposed to a woman’s 73 years, the largest gap of any country in the world—and you’ve got a serious demographic imbalance.
So these women are not just hoping for a boyfriend like when we were young, but they are on the desperate hunt for a husband and the odds are very much against them. No wonder so many Russian women often try to find husbands in the U.S. – there just aren’t enough guys here. My new friend also reiterated that the local ‘pool’ wasn’t so great with about 20-30% of the population of alcoholics.