By: Divya S
What’s your favourite outfit? Do you like wearing shorts, crop tops, jeans, t-shirts or big comfy sweatshirts. Do you feel uncomfortable as a woman going out in clothing you love but feel you will be judged the way you look? I have been in these situations where I had to tone down what I wear to escape judgement.
This post is to help every woman out there that feel uncomfortable wearing what they love and expressing themselves in their clothing to avoid judgement. Clothing helps to signify identity and creativity. It shows who we are as a person, our individuality is all we have. Women sacrifice wearing what they want because society judges what we look like and what we wear. Before I was comfortable to wear what I love I went through a time where I would wear crop tops and shorts and I loved the way I looked and feel in them. I am not the skinniest girl out there, I do have some curves that stand out, and I don’t look like a Victoria Secret model. Society made me feel that only thin women can wear crop tops and shorts. I avoided wearing clothing that showed a lot of skin, I started wearing baggy clothing to hide my curves. This is the wrong approach and it took months for me to realize that to be yourself, you need to express yourself in every way possible; even in your clothing because that is the best way to express yourself.
The best reason to feel comfortable in the way you look is you build your self-esteem, confidence and to feel beautiful. South Asian society needs to build their self-esteem, their confidence and to feel beautiful. Growing up in a Guyanese family that is always trying to impress each other and always look their best. It’s hard to really see who people are underneath the fancy clothing, the bling, and the expensive hand bags. It’s all a ruse to impress people, to avoid judgement. Women are being competitive and judgemental to each other because society has put an image that you always need to look your best, to look a certain way, to wear certain things that will make you look beautiful. But what is beauty? Why does society give the definition of beauty? The definition of beauty is what you make it for yourself. Not everyone looks the same. Not every South Asian women look the same. We all are different in the way we look, the way we speak and the way we act.
An example in pop culture of female celebrities challenging these stereotypical notions of beauty is Selena Gomez. In the past couple months she encountered society and the media commenting on her appearance because she had gained a couple pounds. So instead of being thin and wearing revealing clothing she was had gained a bit of weight and still wearing revealing clothing. Selena Gomez took matters into her own hands and fought back. She commented on some of these suggestions of losing weight and said she felt comfortable in her body and that she looks amazing in anything she wears. She was not going to let society and the media rule the way she dresses or looks to look like everyone else.
So why does society say if you buy this, or you wear this, or if you drop these many pounds you will be beautiful. No, you will not because you are not being who you are. Be true to yourself and you’ll be beautiful all on your own. This is the hardest question to answer, how do we fight society and there judgement. The answer is we be ourselves. We stop trying to be other people, we stop buying clothing that are too baggy or too tight. We stop the stigma that every girl needs to look thin or to have a bigger chest and butt. We need to bring back the clothing that once made us feel comfortable, the clothing that made us feel beautiful because that is who we are. The South Asian community needs to show and mentor the next generation on confidence, to have self-esteem and to always feel beautiful. That is the key to the treasure, to be whom you are on the inside and out. Now answer this question, who are you?