Less is more.
What we’ll discuss:
- Wearing Less and Standards
- Twerking and Judgment
Flashback to last year.
I’m a cashier in a store (which shall not be mentioned), and an author, we’ll call her Sue is selling her book near the entrance. She and I had met before. Had a conversation or two. I was largely impressed by her knowledge of using tea leaves in cooking. Awesome concept.
Two young ladies walk by. One, a tattoo on her shoulder, her hair slightly undercut and dyed crimson. The second, wearing tight shorts and a crop top that showed off some gorgeous ink. Sue makes her way over to me after they leave and says, “It makes me think I should tattoo my face, dye my hair blue, and wear booty shorts to get people’s attention. You know I fear for my son. He’s in second-year university, and he says all the women are sluts. Just like those two.”
Face palm. Herein lies the reason why sometimes women just aren’t doing themselves any favours. Sue could have joined the females, or at least saved her scorn and choose to support those girls. But instead, she judges.
Sue could have asked her son to actually get to know these supposed “sluts” before issuing heap-loads of judgment. Sue wasn’t raised as a feminist.
How do I know? It’s simple, if it weren’t for her lack of support leading me to that conclusion, I’d know mainly because she told me.
The difference between objectification and empowerment is a slip and slide of personal views in a molotov cocktail of cultural perspectives. I, having grown up in a very conservative home, am all too familiar with what you “should” do. And first before I write more, let me also just say that there is nothing wrong with that, nothing.
To each their own. I mean, there’s one life you’ve got and you get to live it however you want. Having said that, I also don’t believe in holding back or backing down. And sometimes adhering to societal norms and rules are just that. We don’t realize that we’ve fallen into these thought paradigms. I’m speaking on behalf of myself here. But I am also writing these words to challenge myself (and you), to think more wholly about my words and my behaviour. What on earth am I talking about? How do these words and behavioural norms coincide with objectification and empowerment?
Recently I had bit of a discussion with some friends regarding body image and how society perceives the female body and the male body. This then expanded to clothing, our ideals, wearing provocative things, expressing yourself which led to the conclusion that we should all ultimately wear less. Now, before you get your panties in a bunch. I’ll walk you through it:
We began with phrase “Women should wear more to heighten curiosity.”
- Ok. What on earth? What is this? Women. Are we really so obsessed with catching a partner that we need to make them wonder what’s under it all?
- So, ok. You wear tons of clothes. Awesome. You’re making them wonder for sure. But don’t we all have the same anatomy? Doesn’t our plumbing work largely the same way? No? My mistake.
- When I was in high school I wore these burnt orange corduroy pants that were 4 sizes too big. Mostly to hide myself. To make those boys wonder more. But it had the opposite affect. My self esteem was the equivalent to the height of an invisible wallflower. Should is a hard task-master but I should’ve worn what I wanted for my own happiness, not to make an 18 year-old boy wonder if I had hips.
- My point: It truly makes no difference to me what you wear or what you don’t. Just wear it for you.
- All of the above to conclude: less is more.
The objectification line comes in here in so many forms. If I’m comfortable walking about in a bikini (which is essentially a bra and underwear) then I should be totally ok with walking around in those undergarments. I shared this with a friend and she said, but that’s opening yourself for objectification. Nah. Have you seen what some of the beautiful tribal women wear? Google it. Or click here. AND, I said “Listen, this may not be your standard, but your standard isn’t everyone’s.” The media says: wear this, have this and do this. Your religion says: wear this, do this and have that. But how’s about you using your brain for yourself? Do your research.
The empowerment floats in, specifically when you realize that you’re wearing something (or wearing nothing) that makes you realize that your beauty lies within your happiness. Cut to another conversation I had with another friend about twerking and how I wear tights predominantly. Yes, let’s take a moment to revel in the fact that I am bringing up twerking.
Breathe it in.
Okay. Now, seriously. My friend also said that I shouldn’t twerk. I politely asked “Why?” Because, twerking has been around for decades, Miley Cyrus has brought it to more teenagers’ knowledge. AND, guys, what is the difference between you gyrating your hips and me shaking my booty? Both are a work out. “It gives people the wrong idea. It is a dirty dance move.”
I was silent. I get it. There’s some thrusting involved. But honestly that’s just a standard set by a code that we don’t have to follow. So I asked her, “Have you ever tried it.” You’d have thought we were talking abut stealing a boat load of cocaine, as her face morphed into utter shock.
Now, now, now. Just because I don’t think it’s something to shake your head at, I’m not going to walk up to someone and force them to follow my point of view. She doesn’t like it, that’s fine. But I don’t think she’s doing any favours for herself or “woman-kind” when she judges women who do.
In my previous post I wrote about organic poetry. And I’d like to throw this in there with the pile titled “the mislead thought processes.” Clothing should be seen as a form of self-expression not as a way to hide or adhere to what you think people need to see. Wear more if you damn well please, wear less if you damn well please. Twerk if you please, or don’t, gyrate if you please or don’t. Have opinions. Just remember that your opinions are forged by a specific standard that differs from others.
Recently a teenager wrote about her relationship, how her boyfriend wanted a version of her, that she tried hard to fold into. It wasn’t until he left for another that she realized, she liked the version of herself without him. Read more here.
Just to drive it home:
Studying for my MBA has taught me one crucial mantra: “It depends.”
So…again I reiterate:
Keeping in line with my previous post: maintain your individuality, but just remember your standards on (not only twerking and wearing less) everything is formed by many external and internal factors. Your judgments, and my judgments depend on so many differing standards which haven’t been proven as the best or worst, that we are in no position to judge. So let’s not. The chances are your views are different from mine, her’s, his.
~Tricia Demmers, 2016 MBA Candidate
Thank you and Good Morning. Now go and donate blood. Somebody needs it.