At almost any college campus during the spring you can, no doubt, see girls in sun dresses, crop tops, booty shorts, distressed denim and body suits to show off curves, cleavage, and a butt they’ve been working on since October.
Most women will tell you the way they dress a form of showing self love. They will say that it’s a way to embrace their body and to appreciate what they were blessed with. And while I support self love and embracing one’s own beauty, I am afraid that my future daughter will only know how to embrace her body by doing the same.
I’m afraid the only way my daughter will learn to love her body is through the clothes she wears. I fear that my future daughter will need confirmation that she is beautiful from big brands selling promiscuity instead of clothing.
But who am I to judge what women wear? Who am I to say that what womenswear lacks taste? As a man shouldn’t I be happy that women are wearing revealing clothing?
No to all the above.
As a man I cannot dictate what women wear yet as a potential father to a daughter what I see scares me.
Just the other day I saw a garment by Fashion Nova that gave me goosebumps. The internet was calling it vagina floss. It was a leather bodysuit with a very high cut to show off the hips and only a small piece of fabric covering the model’s vagina selling for a whopping $25.
I understand wanting to show off your body but how much of it does a woman really want to show?
In this world everything is about image. Before a person meets you the first thing they look at is your appearance. They try to figure out the type of person you are based the way you dress.
As a man if I were to wear a durag, white tee, chains and skinny jeans the way I am portrayed is different than if I were to wear a suit. The same goes for women.
I understand that many people believe that others should judge them based on their character and not their appearance but that isn’t how the world works. Unfortunately people judge a book by its cover. And if a woman is using dental floss to cover her vagina some unholy conclusions will be drawn about her.
So to my women I ask you how do you want to be viewed? What is the perception you want others to hold about you? What clothing will help you create this perception?
And to my future daughter I will ask the same. Because I want her to understand the importance of perception. I want her to create an image that she is proud of. When people see my daughter I want them to hold an assumption of a beautiful, educated and independent black women.
But not only do I want this attitude of my daughter I want this from the brands she will eventually shop from. I want the brands who serve her to ask themselves how they would want the world to think of the women in their garments.
Once again I have no right to tell brands or women what they should wear. However, I encourage women and the brands who serve them to think about the image they present.