"Hiya, Sugarlips," and the other gross things we've been called.
Man, there's a whole lot going on in the world right now: the Great Barrier Reef is on life support, Bigfoot is vacationing in Indonesia, three people spun $1 on The Price Is Right (I actually don't know what that means, but apparently it was all the rage in the daytime gameshow world), aaaaaaaaaand Donald Trump said some batshit crazy things about sexual assault and women. Oh, and then his son chimed in. Well, three years ago, but still.
Nearly every woman I know—actually, no: I think it's safe to say every woman I know. Every woman I know has dealt with some form of sexual misconduct in her life, ranging from minor offenses, to way, way off the charts major offenses. A minor offense would include passive off-colored remarks or casual leering, which although not okay, is obviously not at the same level of something way, way off the charts major, like rape. But there's a danger to that, to giving sexual assault a dynamic range that fluctuates between minor and major: none of it is okay, and none of it should ever be indulged. I've been fortunate enough to not been dealt the level of sexist trauma that completely fucks with your life, but man, I've definitely put up with some shit.
I've had the argument more than once that fashion extends past clothes; it's a reflection of our lives. I don't say that in a trite, off-hand way; I truly believe it. Having experienced at an early age—like many, many, many young girls—the squeamishness that comes with being evaluated, observed, even lusted after, has resulted in feeling uneasy in my own skin. I don't like to look super feminine. I don't like to wear a lot of makeup. I don't like clothes that fit too tightly or show off too much skin (minus the summer crop tops). I don't like attracting that sort of attention. Mostly because I don't like feeling that I did something to deserve or invite lewd comments or gazes. I don't like to think about what a person may be imagining when I catch them staring too long, whether it's an unsavory fantasy or vitriolic slut shaming. I don't have the brain space for it. So I cover up. I diminish my womanly features. Because I feel safer that way. I lean more tomboy, because I don't want to feel that I'm not in power and control. Which is sad, because women are extraordinarily strong; while there are many strengths only men know, there are innumerable fortitudes women possess that men will never fully comprehend.
It's another level of censorship. This, of course, is not exclusive to females. Men are victims of this as well, though it's not as common. Regardless of being a woman or a man, at no time should a person be reduced to the status of object, to be coveted or taken ownership of. Nor at any time should a person feel restricted in their lifestyle, or the choices they make, because some outside party can't get their mind right and shit together. They only thing anyone should expect to receive from someone outside themselves is respect and dignity as a fellow human being. Yeah, it's cliché. That's because it's so goddamn true. And maybe it's about time we start realizing it.
10.Deep varsity jacket; H&M hoodie; Zara overalls, choker, and platforms.