I think the social norms surrounding clothes are hilarious.
Why is a t-shirt with a v-neck considered men’s wear and a t-shirt with a scoop neck is considered women’s wear? It’s a shirt.
I stand by the belief that if every cis-male tried sleeping in a nightgown then within weeks Target would soon start selling nighties with designs like a football jersey.
Same with leggings because OMG leggings.
I get emails from many people, both trans and cis about clothes. Some of the emails are from people who may not consider themselves transgender, but rather just want to wear what they want to wear. “Why can’t guys wear a skirt? What’s wrong with men wanting to paint their nails?”
Here’s the thing. Anyone can wear a skirt. Anyone can paint their nails, even if it’s tricky to paint your right hand with your left hand. Clothes don’t know that society has placed expectations and norms on who can wear them. If it fits, you can wear it.
But I know that’s not what they mean. People want to be able to wear what they want without anyone caring. Or pointing. Or laughing. But that will never happen. We live in a society where the colors people wear make people so angry. In 2011 J. Crew published an ad that had a photo of a mom painting her son’s toenails pink. The world lost its mind. The reaction, although depressing and hilarious at the same time, was not unexpected.
We live in a world where people get beat up because they’re wearing the opposing football team’s jersey at a game.
I think we can all agree that there are many people in the world who care waaaaay too much about what clothes people wear. Whether I’m stepping out in heels and a killer bodycon dress and a $70 makeover or I am in guy mode wearing “girl jeans”, I know that I am making someone angry.
Good. If what I wear is making you angry then I am glad to put you through that. If you are the type of person who spends even a second of your time thinking about what I should or should not wear then you are, well, pretty pathetic. I don’t care what you wear, why do you care what I wear?
I am not aware of any state that has laws that says that men cannot wear eyeliner or yoga pants. Let me know if I’m wrong. But what the law says and what societal norms are can be very different. Just because there is or isn’t a law about something it doesn’t mean people will change their opinions and attitudes.
I think what we want is for it to be okay. There were headlines all over the country a few years ago when the marriage equality act was passed. It gave everyone the right to marry whoever they wanted. But the law didn’t necessarily change people’s minds about the LGBTQIA community. I can’t imagine someone seeing that the law changed and thinking “well, I guess it’s okay to be gay.” If they didn’t like our community before, I doubt that law changed anyone’s mind.
My point is that even if the newspapers all over the world printed a headline that read “It’s Okay to Wear Whatever You Want”, it’s still not going to be “okay”. It’s not “okay” for me to wear whatever I want. But that’s fine, I don’t need permission from anyone when it comes to something like clothing. Even if that headline was published, there will always be the change someone will laugh, point or threaten us whether we are rocking those stilettos or simply glaming up our eyes with a little mascara.
We need to stop waiting for permission. We need to stop waiting for some authority to “let” us do what we want and wear what we want. It will never come. It will never be okay.
But it TOTALLY is.
I hope you can spend your weekend wearing what you want, whether you are strutting through the mall in knee high boots or being lazy in leggings.