To Where? Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

To Where?

Plinio Corrêa De Oliveira​

Folha de S Paolo, April 7, 1974

I was about ten years old when I witnessed the first great advance of the clothing revolution that is now reaching its peak. By 1918, as a result of the decisive importance of the United States at the end of World War I, the American influence gushed intensely into France, from which, in turn, it was reflected in Brazil. The ladies cut their hair, and the skirts, which were worn at the ankle, jumped to the knees; the sleeves shrank to the shoulders.

From this first revolutionary onslaught, little by little came a reaction imposed by common sense and modesty. The skirts and sleeves were lowered again. Women’s fashions arrived, in successive oscillations, to very close limits to what, in today’s language, one could call the “base years” 1916-1917.

The clothing revolution later regained, through new audacities, the lost ground. Reactions were normally followed. And then new audacities. And in such a way that audacity was always greater than reaction. Thus, in a cadence of two or three steps forward and one step backwards, it has come, over the decades, to the dress of two pieces.

In the matter of bathing suits, the clothing revolution was much more unceremonious. And in a cadence that knew few and irrelevant vacillations, the fashion evolved to the bikini.

Was the bikini the inspiration and precursor of the two-piece dress?

Anyway, from the bikini and the two pieces, how far will things go?

* * * *

These questions have already occurred to all our readers. However, there will be those among us who do not like this, who form a sector that calls itself “moderate.” They are those who, in this matter, only look at today and refuse to consider tomorrow. With each new boldness, they shudder a little, adapt quickly, and form the conviction that fashion is now going to stop. Consolidated adaptation, new fashion boldness, and new adaptation. And they make sure, once again, that the “evolution” of fashion has stopped. And so they have been rolling, from adaptation to fright, and from fright to adaptation, to this day.

I well understand that these “moderates” are indignant with my article. As a reply, they will laugh, that strangely enough that I am dealing with such a frivolous subject. As if modesty – seriously at stake in the theme – were frivolous…

* * * *

No one will find these reflections unrealistic, in light of the news I read in various newspapers abroad.

The “ABC” of Madrid (13-3-74) reports that five journalists appeared completely naked before 800,000 spectators of a television program in Sweden. And that in Montevideo, in the elegant neighborhood of Carrasco, two young people were arrested for walking naked.

At the University of South Carolina, still according to “ABC” (9-3-74), 510 students paraded naked on campus. Not wanting to be outdone, the University of North Carolina organized a parade with 895 nude students. In Nocog Dochs, Texas, an analogous parade was enriched with rhythmic dances from neo-African folklore. The University of Georgia went further with a parade of 1,500 nude students.

According to the “Daily News” (7-3-74), nudism has penetrated politics. A nudist rally of students at the University of Pennsylvania was planned for April 1 before the White House: it would be the “spark of impeachment.”

* * * *

This new and supreme daring, like a typhoon, begins to sweep the world, taking with it the last remnants of clothing. The question then becomes: how far will we go?

It is no wonder that this question irritates those who have been walking backward into the abyss for so long.

The abyss? – Yes, the abyss. That is, the tragic punishments foreshadowed in 1917 by Our Lady at Fatima, for the modern world, if it did not stop the pace toward immoral fashions. I quote only two lines spoken by the Virgin to Lúcia, Jacinta and Francisco: “Russia will spread its errors throughout the world …. Several nations will be annihilated.”

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