Have you ever felt that you were dressing for others and not yourself?
Sometimes women dress to show off their newest purchases to their friends. Let’s be honest, we can be pretty competitive in the fashion arena.
But still, even more often, it seems that women dress for men – for their attention and approval.
It’s one thing to want to look nice for a date, but it’s another thing to dress a certain way so that guys won’t be “tempted.” Instead of “dressing to impress,” a lot of women are told to dress to repress the males’ sexual desires. In fact, many high schools in North America have banned shorts, yoga pants, leggings and skinny jeans in order to prevent being “a distraction” in class.
Many are still so stuck in the patriarchal notion that everything the female does is centered around the male’s perspective. We tell girls that “guys like it when you…dress this way, smell this way, talk this way, walk this way, etc.” and therefore, they have to abide by these rules to keep or attract the right kind of man.
So let’s address some of the misconceptions at the root of this issue.
MISCONCEPTION #1 : Men Cannot Be Tamed
If a woman has to dress a certain way to not “distract” a male, then something is wrong with the male. His eyes should not be wandering in the first place. Clearly, he needs to learn self-control, which he is capable of. Many people believe that guys cannot be tamed, and therefore, women have to be the tame ones in order to appease the man’s primal nature. Yeah, no thanks. Boys, need to get it together. We can no longer excuse guys by saying, “boys will be boys.” Men, like women, are capable of self-control — it’s not a gender-specific concept. A woman should be able to receive respect no matter what’s on their body. A women’s choice of clothing is not an excuse for a guy’s inappropriate actions.
MISCONCEPTION #2 : Equality Is Something We Preach To Women, Not Men
We have to teach our men the same things that we teach our women. Otherwise, like in the case of #TeacherBae, women have an unfair double standard imposed on them that they have to learn to embrace.
I’m not telling women to run around the streets of Babylon nude, but I am saying that if we are telling women that how they dress matters, then we should be telling the same thing to men. We should be teaching men that objectifying women is never okay and vice versa. If we are telling women that they are sexual beings and the way they dress is an expression of their sexuality, then we should be telling that to men as well.
MISCONCEPTION #3 : A Curvy Body Is Something To Hide
Our bodies are beautiful and all ours. We were given this body to fulfill our purposes on this earth so we must take care of it. That’s why I think it’s healthy to adorn our temples beautifully and embrace all that it is. I’m a Curvy Christian that can rock a one-piece swimsuit or a bikini, a pencil skirt or a maxi skirt, an afro or a straight bob. Most of the time I choose to cover up my body. But that’s MY choice. All people should have a choice to expand their closet with clothes that they feel are suitable for their body type.
Although there are rules of fashion that cannot be ignored, like what to wear to an interview, the problem lies when people are ashamed of the bodies that God gave to them and then limit their aesthetic freedom because of other people’s standards. I don’t think that God would put some of the standards on us that we put on ourselves. #FoodForThought
So women, when picking out what you want to wear today, make the choice based on what will make you feel comfortable and sexy. Be your best self. Love who you are from the inside-out. Dress to impress yourself and not to repress others instincts.