So, recently, I have had a lot of time on my hands. The semester is over, finals are complete, and work hasn’t started yet….
So, therefore, in my free time, I watch a lot of discussions and interviews on YouTube. I love getting other people’s opinions on different topics, and seeing how they compare or contrast with my own.
Just this morning, I watched a video called Mind over Body, and, in short, it discussed how women are viewed, and the messages that we receive on how we can attract men. Views such as, “well if you dress modestly and respectfully, you’ll attract respectful men” or the opposite “If you dress like you only want sex, then that is what you’ll receive from a man”.
(***These quotes are used to summarize what was said, and are not directly from the video***)
I also watched a video from the same producers about Ayesha Curry and her views on how to dress for “her man”.
The common denominator for both videos, in my opinion, is that women have always been taught how and how not to dress, and for what reasons to dress. Freedom of dress for women is somewhat a brand new topic, seeing as how, for generations, there have been rules and double standards placed on us about how we dress and the effects it will have on men. These thoughts and assumptions are seen from birth (the differentiation of male and female babies with pink and blue), to perception of worth, to the wearing of make-up, to rape culture.
So, what is my opinion on how women should dress? Should we be modest or should we expose what we deem beautiful?
Overall, I believe in the power of the Woman. Now granted, I am young. So, therefore, I have not experienced full womanhood, but I do very much still consider myself to be a woman. I am a woman with intellectual thoughts, and with insecurities. I am a woman with quirks, but is still reserved. There are many different angles and facets to me that makes me a woman, and one of those “angles” is the way I express myself through dress.
As much as I do believe that first impressions are what impact others, especially the opposite sex, I believe that your morals and values are what separates you from the rest, and defines who who are as a person; not the way that you dress. Yes, it is true that men are visual creatures, so when they see legs, or boobs or stomach or back…or even fingers…they can go crazy with “wonder”. The “wonder” of what else is there. The “wonder” of “well her legs look nice, so must her stomach…oh and her stomach looks nice, so must her breast..her breast look nice, now let me actually look at her face”. Now I’m not saying that all guys think like this, but this is my interpretation the thought process of a “visual creature”.
But, I feel that the misconception occurs when women believe, and men state, that this “wonder” only occurs when a woman is “half dressed”. I am a firm believer that a women can be fully clothed, on an average day, with no intention of gaining attention, and a man can still find some reason to “wonder” about her. Clothes don’t stop physical attraction, but the lesser amount may enhance it. A women can walk confidently on a sweatsuit and a man will still try to talk to her, in the same way that she can be dressed for the bars or the club and still get talked to or danced on. The only difference is the respect of the approach or the amount of pursuers. But in either situation, the woman should not be blamed for the approach, or the man’s “wonder”, because she has no control over the man’s mind and thought processes. The only thing that she has control over is how she feels like dressing that day, if she feels like putting make up on, or if she feels like wearing heels.
I feel that women should be able to dress anyway they feel, without the fear of being retaliated against or talked about in any way. There is power in every women whether she prides herself on modesty or prides herself on her body. At the end of the day, a lot of the way we are stems from overcoming past insecurities. So…a woman used to be made fun of for her size and now she adores it and shows it off. So…a woman used clothes as a shield against society and now has the confidence to branch out, try new things, and not care what others think. So…a woman used to dress less to gain the approval of a man and now realizes that she can be equally as stunning when she is more covered. All of that stems power. All of that equals power. All of that is symbolic of a woman regaining her power in a world that revolves around the desires of men.
So, what is my opinion on how to dress? Dress according to you: not according to parents or family, and definitely not for the eyes of men. There is only one life given to you, so you should live it for yourself.
***I would like to say that what was discussed is only a small portion of their arguments, and if you wish to watch the whole videos, click the links. Thank you***
So, this is my rant today…now time for a glass of moscato = )