I Wear What I Want

Whenever I meet people for the first time, I always want to put my best foot forward. Attire and presentation are good manners; that’s truly what I believe. And I expect the same in return. It’s not about the brand of clothing or style, but as long as someone comes correct to me, clean and well put-together, I feel as if they take interacting with me seriously and respectfully. Yes, I love a guy in a tailored suit, but chucks and a henley are fine too, as long as the place and occasion allow for it.

Nonetheless, I’ve never been fond of men who feel the need to tell women what to or not to wear. It’s a controlling tidbit that I think most guys feel is actually a nice thing, that they can tell their girl or whoever they’re with what she should wear. Maybe they think that it’s a good thing that they’re being honest, that the girl they’re dating/married to/seeing should appreciate the fact that the guy is being upfront. But there tends to be a difference between being upfront versus “I don’t like that” and-or “you don’t look good in that.”

Majority of the time, it’s the latter.

Women are the only cunning creatures who are masterminding enough to be able to tell a man how she feels about his worn out jeans at a formal dinner in an upfront way. A man, on the other hand, tends to think that the girl is his own doll. That he can dress her up however he wants.

Sir, if you want a doll, there are plenty of Barbies at Wal-Mart. We won’t judge you for shopping in the “girls” section.

Or create your scary ass Stepford wife elsewhere.

A few weeks ago, women in Boston protested a man’s editorial letter to a local radio station. The man, saying that it was only a joke during a time when the social and political climate was so negative (granted, it was just before the election), wrote about how ridiculous yoga pants were and how women should retire them. No more cute, stretchy pants when you have to make a quick errand. No more pants that make your butt look larger than what it really is. No more pants that simply just make your butt look amazing, no matter the size or shape. No more fun loungewear that may just turn into cozy, fall attire when you don’t feel like throwing on a pair of jeans. Though, it was “supposedly” only in humor, women were livid. In turn, hundreds held a protest parade uplifting yoga pants, and, more importantly, a woman’s right to wear whatever the hell she wants without being chastised for her choices over simple garments.

OK, maybe the man was seriously only joking about the nature of yoga pants. But it does bring to question, why do men feel as if they have the right to judge women’s attire at any time? Why are men never judged, why are articles never written about skinny jeans that somehow never make it more north than a man’s mid-thigh? Or why don’t we joke about grown men who don’t retire the obsession with sneakers and waiting in long lines just to grab the latest pair? When they’re only going to get scuffed within a matter of months anyways? Why isn’t their sluttiness or lack of manhood determined based upon their attire, similar to that of a woman?

Of course, we know that much of this has to do with a double-standard that women have come to live by in society. It’s something that we can’t escape immediately. But we can slowly work towards more gender equality in this respect. The first step? Men should stop shaming the women they date. What does this mean? It is a woman’s choice to wear WHATEVER THE HELL she pleases. If she wants to wear her hair in a tight bun (and gets compliments from other women from doing so and her self-esteem positively shows it) don’t say shit. If she wants to wear Uggs while running errands in 30-degree weather, don’t say shit. If she wants to wear makeup as a form of self-expression, please, don’t say shit. Also, if you want your girl to look sexier to entice you, maybe you should think about your appearance to her as well and if you’re just as enticing.

Many times, men think that it’s their duty to tell us what we do and don’t need. It’s as if they think they’re doing us a favor. A neighbor of mine who continuously expresses his love to me, always finds a way to tell me how I do not need makeup. Then, goes on to explain how it’s not healthy for my skin. Well, I didn’t know that he was speaking from personal experience in order to tell me how unhealthy it was, but I just found it a bit hypocritical for him to backhand-compliment me when this man is also missing a few front teeth. I’m sure that’s not healthy when you want to bite down on a chicken wing. There was also a guy I dated for a bit who constantly reminded me how he didn’t like eyeliner or mascara because neither his sisters or mother wore makeup. If I was the woman who I am now, I would’ve rebutted with images I’ve seen of his sisters wearing makeup or the fact that maybe his dad wouldn’t have fathered an illegitimate child if his mom did apply a little blush or lipstick on occasion.

No matter the reason, men think it is their duty to let women know what we can and cannot wear. What looks good on us. What is not appropriate. But it never seems as if they take a proper look in the mirror to apply these rules themselves. They fat-shame us, tell us when we wear too much makeup or not enough, when we’re not sexy enough, or why we don’t wear a certain style like “the girls on that basketball wives show.” It will never get easier for women to accept these comments because a part of us die each time we succumb to a man and his wishes in this category. However, maybe if we dish a little more criticism ourselves, pen a few editorials about how ridiculous a guy looks when he wears sneakers and we glow in a freakum dress on a date and how obviously he’s a child and clearly he’s not the right material for the relationship we’re looking for, maybe then and only then will this bullshit stop.

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