There are many advantages to all the progressive changes these last few years have brought. Equality has been brought to to the forefront of our minds in the form of gender, race, religious and many more examples of changes for good. I truly feel as if I’m part of an amazing time that future generations will look back on and learn from in history classes. With the positives, as always, come the negatives. To discuss these negatives, I shall hide (shamelessly) behind my tattoos, feminism and atheism against the “angry libs”.
Though I do believe everyone has the right to dress any which way they choose, I do add a disclaimer to that statement. When you dress or present yourself in an eye catching way, you will catch eyes and even whispers. I feel as if people sometimes dress to shock traditional society which I can appreciate. But, then they are angry when said society is actually shocked. Let us take a moment to recall the gasps those like Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne elicited. Yes, they are celebrities and they are safe (ish) atop their proverbial pedestal. Those intrepid souls that dare rock the conservative boat aren’t as aloof as our aforementioned rock gods. So, it probably hurts their feelings when people snicker or outright laugh when confronted with their gothic visage. This is just one example of anti-norm presentations some choose (a popular example throughout time).
Where your rights are limited is the topic of this essay. I believe that you do not have unlimited rights to dress anyway you want in the workplace or in your place of education (K-12). I feel that when you go to work, you are representing a company or facility that you do not own but you have chosen to accept compensation from. If you do not agree with a facility’s dress code or management technique, you are welcome to find other gainful employment. “But! I need this job! I need to pay my bills and feed my babies!”. Then, you need to wear slacks, a button down that covers your ink and have neutrally toned hair. If the Yakuza can manage that, you can too. As far as school is concerned, I feel that puberty fueled brains do not need the distractions brought by revealing fashion. This doesn’t just apply to females (or those that identify as such), either. Males do not need to be struggling to contain their self-compelled genitalia in silken gym shorts. Females do not need to be wrestling their leggings from between their butt cheeks. School is too difficult to have wardrobe malfunctions occuring in the background.
There is also the idea that you have the right to dress provocatively in any setting without being gawked at, whistled at, approached in a sexual way, etc. You do have that right, but unfortunately, it’s just not the way it is. Until then, we need to dress in a way that protects our delicate sensibilities. If you are ok with all those events occurring, then by all means, dress in see-through leggings and a crop top. To quote Dave Chappelle: “You are not a whore. But you are wearing a whore’s uniform.”
On the opposite side of that garb coin, is the conservative pathway. Dressing in a floor-length jean skirt, a cardigan and matching hair bump does not make you part of a polygamous cult. Maybe you just like the sound denim makes when it swishes around your ankles as you walk, top speed. But, I suppose I should point out (so I don’t contradict myself) that if you’re dressing like a prude, people will assume you are one. Even if it’s not necessarily true. The whole point of this essay is that in this age of enlightenment, let’s not forget about those who like to dress conservatively. We fight for the right to dress like a sloot, so let’s also fight for those amongst us that enjoy a healthy cover-all.
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