This post is written as random as the behavior we’re putting in the light. Random strangers who aren’t professional stylists, tailors, seamstresses, designers giving completed unsolicited and unpaid (I presume, but you never know these days) fashion critique of women in high profile positions. And ONLY women in high profile positions.
So, recently Kamala Harris’ shoe game has been strong. Of course, not everyone thinks so. Such is life.
Most of us women haven’t been checking for the ill-fitting suits and “unique” fashion choices we’ve been subjected to since 2016 either. But, since we’ve really had nothing nice to say, we’ve decided to keep it moving.
Since we’re in a random mood lately, I decided to make a list of exactly why fashion policing of women is a “don’t.”
Have you consulted a full-length mirror lately?
The people that have the most to say about what women wear seem to be the most disconnected from how other people view their own individual clothing choices.
It is still silly, immature, & discourteous to micro-manage women’s clothing choices. Always has been, always will be.
Why is it that I see more men micro-managing Kamala Harris’ clothing choices? Have they said anything abt the ill-fitting clothing choices we’ve been subjected to since 2016? Why is it that I see more men micro-managing Kamala Harris’ fashion choices?
They talk about how much women spend on hair and clothing but this in accordance with how much criticism women have always received for the way that they dress.
I’ve heard many a preacher preach entire sermons on how women should dress. What defines modesty. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard only a handful of them address proper attire for males.
(This includes several female ministers and evangelists)
Each year billions are spent on Black hair care. When people leave it at that without addressing laws that discriminate against kinky and coily hair of any type, they leave out the main idea.
Remember, Black women’s hair is over-scrutinized by everyone. By people who do not have one strand of texturized, kinky, or coily hair on their head.
I started BraidtheLadder.org to serve women and children with the most discriminated against hair type in all the world.
Because of this scrutiny, Black people tend to spend more on their hair. Of course, Black folks just love our hair.
But also no one can argue the fact that Black people have the most policed hair follicles on the entire planet. You can lose your job because someone didn’t think your hair, “looked professional.”
We can pay the price in products and hairdressing services or pay the price in ridicule, job loss, obstacles to promotion, and ostracizing.
Recent Examples of Fashion Policing
A few years ago, social media had this weird trend of posting pictures of Black women teachers wearing what they perceived as “unprofessional clothing”. I despised this. It was a way of shaming women for stepping outside of what they personally deemed appropriate.
I felt for these women because….
- When I first started in new positions, I didn’t always have the funds to buy outfits to look like the salary I was making. It would take a year or so to make the money. That year, WESurviveAbuse and BraidtheLadder collected suits and high-end professional attire for women on a new journey.
We dispersed the clothing to DC/MD area nonprofit organizations that served women making new starts, including victims of domestic violence and sexual violence.
- These random strangers were not complaining about teachers of their own individual children. They were shaming people they nor their child had any connection to. They outrage was a faux move because it gave men a chance to pretend that were “disgusted” by seeing a curvaceous and beautiful woman.
“Disgusted I tell you!”
- Those were real women. Real people. With real lives, real feelings, real families and loved ones. The internet isn’t that old. I know. We’re all learning together. We have to do better at remembering that a photo/video circulating on the internet is still a real person.
Fashion Policing is a “Don’t”
Fashion policing is levied most harshly against women, even harsher against Black women.
Fashion policing is a distraction from the real issues that matter.
Fashion policing is a headache & source of extreme concern that women ought not have to deal with on top of everything else we deal with.
There are no heroes in non-professional, “nobody asked you”, fashion policing. If that’s how you want to spend your limited time on earth, you could be concerned about your own fashion choices and other folks’ perceptions of them.
(Remember 2016? We could have had a real president)
I couldn’t help but notice that it seems to be a lot of men leading the charge to scrutinize what women wear on our bodies.
Perhaps we women could probably word it differently, but men critiquing Kamala Harris’ clothing & no one else as if there aren’t 3 other men running for the top offices that they could critique is why women assert: “stay out of women’s business!”
When men insert themselves into “women’s business” they bring their a whole lot of their stuff with them.
“Stuff” that tears down without also building up, and empowering. “Stuff” that completely ignores that that’s a person on the other end of your mouth and words.
We are trying to rid ourselves of all remnants of that “stuff”. We women have no room for it. It has been weighing us down for far too long.
Speaking of stuff, random fashion policing of women is about forgetting that we are brilliant, beautiful, human beings even if we only come in our bare feet and wear shapeless sacks.
If you can’t be for us even if we come like this, maybe you can stay out of our way?