Outfits: punishments, obligations, or self-expression?

Mercredi 30 décembre 2020

Did you ever feel like you do not fit in or ashamed because of the way you dress? Were you ever obligated to wear or NOT wear something specific just because of who      you are, where you are, and how you might be perceived? Well, that is the price we pay for living in society. People are always judged, misunderstood, or even punished if they express themselves freely through their clothes and outfits. But guess what? We should not care. We should not let this stop us from being who we really are and what we aspire to be.

If we go way back, we can see that freedom of clothing has been a struggle, a fight that appears to be worthy as years go by. In fact, in the 19th century, feminists like Simone de Beauvoir fought tooth and nail to be able to wear basic clothing elements – pants! Yet here we are, in March 2019, when a federal judge imposed a rule that banned girls at a North Carolina charter school from wearing trousers, and obligated      them to wear skirts, skorts, or jumpers.

In Japan, a certain uniform, called “seifuku” (制服), is mandatory in private and public schools. This outfit inspired by sailor suits, worn by children of royal European families, was first introduced in the 19th century and replaced the kimono. One major, modern downside of this uniform is that it is highly sexualised!

Another aspect of freedom of clothing would be the hijab. Some women are forced by their parents to wear this veil even if they do not want to. Some of these women are way too young to be able to comprehend the meaning of the hijab, or to take such an important decision. On the other hand     , if a woman liberally decides to wear it for what it means to her, she should be respected for her choice and society should not treat her as less of what she really is.

Besides clothing, parts of our looks are our hair and body. People who dye their hair unusual colors, those who have tattoos and piercings, are often perceived as delinquents. Such people are automatically judged and underestimated: they are not believed to be ethical or successful, but instead, surrounded by failures.

To sum up, our lives are somehow always affected by the way people see us and what they think of us even when it comes to small details such as clothes, hair, or piercings. Moral of the story, break these chains imprisoning you and free yourself from unwanted opinions. That is the only way to live a fulfilling, meaningful life.