Recently I was reading an article that referenced an Instagram post from the summer of 2017. The post was from Olympic Gold Medalist, Aly Raisman. In the post, that was deemed to be a body positive message, she stated that females do not have to dress modest to be respected. I would like to think that the heart of the message wasn’t that women should dress immodestly, but rather that women do not deserve disrespect, harassment, or other sexual advances or comments based on their attire.
With understanding the comment in that context, I completely agree with her statement; however, it did get me thinking.
As shorts get shorter, pants get tighter, and shirts become more and more low cut what exactly are we looking for as we dress ourselves. Is it truly that these styles make us feel beautiful, confident, and empowered or do they draw attention and put us in a market of competition?
As we boost up the bust, hike up the skirt, and lift the dearie do we really like the image staring back at us in the mirror? Do we not care what others think or is it that we are trying to live up to a standard set by our world; a standard that we suffocate under but embrace all at the same time because we are confused and unconvinced of our own value and worth?
With these questions, I will admit that I struggle with my own motives and often live in a state of confusion. As embarrassing as it is to admit, there has been more than once where I have checked to see how my bum fills out my jeans, or wondered if I would go unnoticed because my neckline is too high. (insert gasps and condemnation)
As a woman, I want to dress in a way that makes me feel attractive and beautiful, but what do I intend to attract. If I walk around readily exposing my body, I will attract attention that is only interested in my body. If I walk around readily exposing my mind, my caring nature, my interest in others, my insight, and my sense of humor, then I will attract attention that is truly interested in me.
I choose the latter, but there are still some days I get swept into the sea of comparison and surrender to the suffocation of the world’s standard.
There’s my real … how about you?