Clothing is more complicated than it seems. | Teen Ink

Clothing is more complicated than it seems.

April 6, 2021
By Remy_is_here SILVER, Tirana, Other
Remy_is_here SILVER, Tirana, Other
5 articles 5 photos 1 comment

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A while ago, I met up with a couple of friends to remember about the time before COVID-19. Another boy I didn’t know joined us. He seemed polite at first, but after he voiced his opinion, I couldn’t bear the thought of breathing the same air as him. Some remarks he made stuck with me. He really enjoyed talking about how a girl should and shouldn’t dress, without having a right to speak on a subject like this. His confident speeches filled me with anger and disappointment for our generation. The latest generation is statistically the most diverse and accepting throughout all of history, but this boy’s unwanted and harmful opinion made me think that twice. So, I decided to look more into the history on how women’s clothing and expectations developed and arrived to today.  
Let’s begin with clothing. The standards on women’s clothing have changed over the years. With the rise of Christianity, covering the female body became mandatory and modesty was the new trend. The period of time, before the 14th century, was the perfect time for modest clothing. In some cases, even the fabric was required to be modest, simple with bland colors. This style of clothing isn’t as popular nowadays but is mostly worn by people of conservative beliefs. Around the 1400’s, women’s waistlines were raised higher, emphasizing the bosom and making the differences towards the sexes very apparent. So already we have two different outlooks on this topic, one is conservative, constricted and modest and the other is apparent and defining. So how does this relate to current events? 
Well, these are exactly the contradicting expectations that are set on girls and women today. They should embrace their identities and their bodies but not be too obvious and bold. This kind of message is thrown around everywhere, from movies, to books, to parents and even from strangers you meet on the street.  
What emphasizes this is the demonization of the “strong and sensual girl”. How about we look at the very beginnings of literature, Genesis. In Genesis, we see how a woman can exploit her sexuality to get a man to do her evil biddings. After all, it was Eve who seduced “innocent” Adam to eat the forbidden fruit and start the ever contentious and arguably vile human race. This also began the two ends of a ruthless road: the “pure and innocent” heroine and “seductive and strong” murderess.  
So, in conclusion, women's clothing has a long history of characterization and demonization, which is still present today, though more subtle and reduced to unnecessary comments by people who do not have the right to or silent judgement. It will take a long time for our generation and the generations ahead of us to remove these unnecessary standards and make women empowerment a part of common culture. 

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