A Letter on Proper Apparel

To the General Public,

When the people of England stumbled upon African people they called them savages (I won’t address this issue today) and they called them sexual beings, not because the women wanted to “get down” with them, but because they were wearing less clothing. They didn’t consider the temperature differences between an African country and rainy England. They also didn’t consider how these people, living thousands of miles away from them, might have different standards of what is appropriate clothing. In the community they grew up in there was a different definition of what is scandalous and what is just convenient and there is a different standard for what they believe they look beautiful in. The truth is, British people didn’t consider anything but tried to place their standards and way of life onto these African tribes. In the same way women are always finding themselves judged for the way they dress, both by other women as well as men.

 

I have found that if I go into certain neighborhoods, people tend to dress similarly whether that means skinny jeans and crop tops, or khaki’s, sweaters, and polo’s. Either way those people in their neighborhoods feel comfortable in their clothing and might even look at themselves and say I look beautiful. It’s different everywhere- per household, per neighborhood, per city, and per country. So why do we act as though there’s a universal dress code and why is it that we strictly enforce it for women?

It’s interesting how the world works, that when a man wear’s something that reveals too much or that doesn’t fit someone else’s “dress code”, such as sagging pants or when their underwear can be seen, they might be judged silently but they are not condemned. However, when a woman’s bra strap slips or you can see their underwear line through their skirt they might be looked down on. Meanwhile those are things they can’t always help, and then when they wear something fitted or shorter they are insulted for it. Is it because there are more defacing names for women than there are for men, such as harlot, slut, cunt, and prostitute? And is that because we are more ready to deface women than men? To me I find it hard to believe that I am ever justified in judging someone else by the clothing that they wear, no matter how certain I am that I would never wear it myself. I also find it hard to believe that I can be judged for something so simple as my bra strap slipping and that I have to watch out for that in order to not receive someone else’s evil eye. The truth is, we all grow up in different environments that shape the way we dress and shaming women for that is shaming them for being different, for feeling beautiful, and for the environment they grew up in or even for a simple slip. Based on those things anyone could be judged but it’ll never be right no matter whose mouth it comes from.

So when you see a woman wearing something you don’t agree with, take a moment to understand that that’s because it’s simply something you yourself wouldn’t wear. Take a moment to realize that just because you wouldn’t wear it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it or them and that they aren’t forcing you to wear it. Take a moment to consider that the woman in front of you might feel beautiful and comfortable in the clothes she is wearing. Also take a moment to consider the beautiful soul she may have on the inside that you won’t be able to acknowledge if you focus all your attention on hating the fabric over her skin. I want you to remember that it’s just fabric placed over skin and that not only is beauty skin deep but that you should judge a fruit by its core and not its peel. If that sounds confusing it merely means, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, don’t judge a person by what they wear, and don’t focus all your attention on the outside as though it defines what the inside looks like. Please remember that you can’t dictate how other people live their lives or dress their bodies but you can appreciate the people they are on the inside.

Sincerely,

BBus.

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