Fashion as resistance
22 years of age and bought my first pair of heels six months ago.
Fashion is subjective; it’s different to different people.
If we look back in time throughout history, there were different stereotypes around fashion and clothing.
My 21st-century teachers and textbooks still taught us to see cloth as a basic need and also what’s acceptable to wear and what’s not, solely based on our gender.
There are many examples that support gender norms in terms of fashion which is toxic and leads to fashion fascism.
Pink for girls, and blue for boys,
Dresses for women, and suits for men,
Heels and makeup is feminine, and boots are masculine, sequins and glitters are for girls, and many more gender norms in fashion.
These dated notions are still deeply embedded in the fabric of our society.
As we go back in history, gender non-conforming/conforming who express themselves beyond gender binary through fashion was depicted as cross-dressers as a way to dehumanize them and sanction violence against them.
The society by unity divided people, clothing, and what not as male and female. People who go out of that box, who challenge the binary view of gender expression were criminalized, penalized shamed, etc.
Time evolved so did people. People started embracing androgyny publicly, refusing to follow a heteronormative approach to fashion. People started making non-conformist fashion mainstream.
Representation of gender-fluid fashion and people are taking place. But in a sexist society where we still expect people to act, speak, behave a certain way solely based on their gender, makes it even worse for people who go beyond the gender binary to exist.
Man wearing nail paint or a woman not waxing body hair still makes headlines.
Profession, apparel, behavior, appearance, and whatnot are gendered.
The sex binary is a political choice, not a biological truth. Our country is liberated but are we?
-Palden Dorje Sherpa