Listening to: Green Day
Watching: Pretty Little Liars
Eating: ALL FOOD NO SURGERY
Drinking: Anything I want!
"Your dress is too short." You're distracting people, causing men to stumble.
"Cover up your shoulders." You're indecent, cover yourself.
"Your midriff is showing a little bit." You're a slut.
"That dress is too tight." You're practically naked, you hooker.
"Your dress isn't really flattering." You're disgusting, get cuter clothes.
"Isn't that skirt a little long? Why don't you show off your legs?" You frumpy prude.
"Those sleeves are too long for this weather." You're so impractical, you're not thinking straight.
...and so on and so forth.
I go to a Christian university where we have a dress code. I am in a relationship with a man whose family is from conservative India. I am a part of a culture that says women are sexual objects. And I want to wear whatever the hell I want.
On the Christian School
I understand the dress code, and I will happily follow it because of the financial aid and scholarships you're giving me. It is a private institution and I am okay with that. HOWEVER, I am NOT okay with the idea that I should dress "modestly" so that I don't cause men to "stumble." No. If we are going to be forced to dress in this modest fashion, let it not be to protect our poor young men from their overly excited penises. Instead, promote the idea of self-respect and respect for other people besides yourself, MEN AND WOMEN INCLUDED. Men, don't look at women like objects; instead, remember that women are humans just like you. Women, don't look at men as rapists who only want to mount you; instead, remember that men are humans just like you.
We are created in God's image, right? Isn't that what they tell us in chapel and Christian studies courses and, as always, the Bible? Then why are we being objectified and treated like the clothes we wear make us harlots? If we were created in God's image, then instead of looking at people for how they dress as ugly, look at the positives. This beautiful HUMAN is wearing clothes that they picked for themselves that make them feel happy. Be encouraging, not belittling.
I've found my clothes to be ridiculed mostly by the choir at this school, which is why, despite being given over $4,000 to be a part of the choral program, I dropped out. GIRLS in this choir were and continue to be verbally abusive to each other based on their clothes. The leaders told their "subordinates" (me and everyone else, actually) to cover ourselves, our dresses are too short, you're a distraction, cover yourself! And would then call us sluts and cheap hookers behind our backs. This is not fair in the least. As a culture, women are told that what we wear makes us bad. As women, shouldn't we be encouraging each other and telling each other to dress in a way that makes us feel beautiful and happy?
On today's culture
Let me make this clear: WHAT YOU WEAR DOES NOT MAKE YOU A "SLUT," "CHEAP HOOKER," WHATEVER ELSE. It's all about how you carry yourself. People should not be abused for what they wear. Actions speak a lot louder than fabric, and as a woman who really likes fashion and cute clothes, I don't appreciate being thought of as disgusting because my shoulders are showing, or because I feel like showing off my navel piercing today, or because my skirt/dress doesn't fall past the knee. How you dress is NOTHING compared to HOW YOU CARRY YOURSELF. You can be dressed in a potato sack and act sexual, just like you can be dressed in a bikini and act in a modest fashion. It's all about how you carry yourself.
Is your skirt a little short? Is that man across the street looking at you in a lewd fashion? Then I guess that makes you a slut, and you are completely responsible for how that man's penis is lusting for you.
Does that skirt make you look beautiful in your eyes? Do you feel confident and happy today, flaunting the beautiful legs God gave you? Then by all means, wear that skirt! Work it! That creepy man who is staring at your legs is responsible for his own actions and thoughts-- YOU ARE NOT.
Now, men often get a bad rep from feminists today. We say they exist only to objectify women and call them evil for treating us like little sex dolls. And yet, in my experience, most men are not this way. Men generally remember that women are people just like them, from my experience. That's not to say that I haven't been objectified by men or treated in a demeaning way because of how I dress or because of a man's sexuality. But remember that BOTH genders are responsible for how we treat each other. Be good to PEOPLE, and remember that we ALL deserve the right to dress and think how we want, but that we also deserve respect.
On my culture barriers
This one is a personal rant, and is not meant to be a standard in any way.
I am always concerned before going to my boyfriend's house because of his parents' critical eye. Is my dress too short? Are my shoulders showing too much? Am I wearing too much makeup? Am I wearing enough makeup? Will I be talking too much? Oh God I'm so nervous I'll just be a wreck and then I'll be chattering too much and on top of my already slutty-in-their-eyes clothes I'm also rambling and I'm annoying and girls should be quieter and dress modestly--
No. Stop it. Please.
I'm an American girl. A California girl-- people write SONGS about California girls. I look fantastic in dresses, I can rock a bikini, I wear tasteful shorts and cute clothes based on current fashions of my culture. I dress in a tasteful way: my skirts/dresses range from mid-thigh to ankle length, I have long shorts, and I have shirts that are flattering and cute while not showing very much skin at all. That's me. This American, California girl culture is not accepted in India. And you know what? If I were in India, I'd be wearing a kurta and pants on casual days, a sari for fancy days, and long skirts and conservative feminine clothing from my American closet for the days in between.
But frankly, this is America. I respect your culture. But you need to respect mine. If what I'm wearing is considered tasteful and modest in my culture, then you need to respect that what I am wearing is acceptable here. I will wear conservative clothing in your home out of respect for your culture, but outside the house, I'm going to wear what makes me happy. If that's shorts and a t-shirt, I'm wearing it. If that's a long, flowing skirt and a crop top, I'm wearing it. Respect is a two way street.
Modesty is subjective and often abusive these days. Girls, wear whatever the hell makes you happy. Boys, wear whatever the hell makes you happy. Girls, don't objectify boys. Boys, don't objectify girls. Most importantly, LOVE YOURSELF. Don't let the abusive modesty police bring you down.
On a lighter note, I'm pretty much recovered from my surgery. I passed my anatomy class. And life is good!