Everyone, regardless of gender, has been told that what we choose to wear determines our competency and who we are as a person. Clothing of course is a way to express who we are as a person. But it’s time that we moved past the idea that our skills and value lie within threads of fabric.
Women’s bodies have long been sexualized by society. That in turn has added weight to what clothes women chose to wear. During her 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton was constantly criticized for her clothing choices. Moreover, she was criticized for the price of her suits.
Her suits were not running for office, she was. Yet we did not see that criticism applied to any one of her male counterparts.
First Lady Melania Trump has faced the same criticism. Many were offended that she chose to plant a tree in the White House garden while wearing Louboutin heels. The internet quickly circulated meme after meme depicting Melania at this event.
This type of commentary, in my opinion, has deep roots in rape culture and how our society views women. How often have we heard that a woman was ‘asking for it’ simply based on her clothing choices?
Men have also faced similar criticism. While it may not be the same victim blaming disguised as commentary, it isn’t fair that they face this either.
I am outraged for the young women of today who have to still prove their competence in a culture that often naturally dismisses women, writes @MarieMyungOkLee.
Policing professional women’s clothing choices reinforces a culture of soft misogyny: https://t.co/cwPtxmnEHY
— NBC News THINK (@NBCNewsTHINK) September 22, 2018
Let’s face it, we all worry everyday what our clothing says about us. Is it appropriate? Does it convey that I’m a professional? Let’s stop that. I’m not advocating that we all go to work in our most revealing outfits but that we instead stop equating our clothing choices to our competency.
Wear what makes you feel good because when you feel good about yourself, you do better. Let your actions speak for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing Wal-Mart pajamas or an Armani suit.
Your actions, experience, and work ethic will speak much louder than your clothing.
There is a saying in Corporate America that you should dress for the job you want not the one you have. This is meant to be encouraging for anyone aspiring for a higher role in their current organization. But just remember you’re the one putting in the work. Your clothing isn’t going to help you meet deadline or get that promotion.
This argument isn’t meant to discourage anyone who likes to dress professionally or anyone who prefers a more laid back style. I just want everyone to realize you have so much more to offer this world and none of that has to do with clothing.
You’re worth more than your clothing. Your clothing, while it does speak to your personality, does not determine your worthiness.0