You'll find me in skinny jeans, boots, and a sweater. It's simple, fairly modest, but accents my curves in the best way possible. My friend Sarah will be in skinny jeans, heels of some sort, and a tight shirt that shows off more cleavage than I would ever dare. My friend Emery will wear a top two sizes too large, sneakers, and whatever looks most comfortable that day. We're all smart. We're all kind. We all want to make the world a better place. We all care for our bodies and respect ourselves, but the way we present ourselves couldn't be any more different.
But some people have an issue with that. Some people believe that dressing in a way that you feel comfortable or most confident makes you look lazy, or that, since women's bodies incite lust in men and can make other women feel insecure, we should focus on preventing others from feeling uncomfortable and instead base our wardrobes around them and their needs.
I can understand these arguments to an extent, but there's a problem with these arguments: if we're basing our wardrobe around what others want and feel, this takes away the confidence and security that many women feel in their clothes. Women aren't perfect creatures. We aren't strong and secure in our bodies 24/7. We don't have a magic wand that will make us feel beautiful or confident at all points in our lives—and that's why many of us turn to clothes that accent the positives attributes we feel that we have and minimize our insecurities.
Even in the article that focused on avoiding making other women feel insecure, there was a big issue; in the cover photo used, you can very clearly see her arms. That's great, but seeing other women's perfectly clear arms makes me insecure due to the eczema I have on mine. If we try to make every woman feel beautiful by stripping away articles of clothing that could make others feel insecure, we will end up covered head-to-toe in shapeless, bland dresses with no individuality.
It is not my job to ensure that people don't find my clothes distressing because I'm showing off my curves. It is not Emery's job to make sure that people don't find her casual clothes "too lazy looking." It is not Sarah's job to be careful about looking "too sexy" in her clothes. Our only jobs are to follow the laws about indecent exposure and feel comfortable in the clothes we chose to wear that day. So instead of focusing on looking perfect every day and trying to hide the areas of our bodies that we're proud of, let's do something else.
Let's focus on our positive attributes, support one another, and not judge each other based on what we're wearing.
We live in a society where women need to look perfect, show just the perfect amount of cleavage, have skirts resting at just the perfect length... why can't we just wear whatever we want to wear and feel confident in our bodies? Why can't we smile and appreciate the woman who dresses modestly during the weekday but wears almost nothing on the weekend? Why do we automatically think the girl wearing sweats to her 2 p.m. English class is lazy, and why do we assume the girl wearing a skintight leather dress to her 8:30 a.m. ethics class sleeps around a lot?
Why can't we just compliment these women? Why can't we acknowledge them for who they are rather than what they look like? If we help women with their self-confidence and help them feel more confident in the body they have, we won't need to hide our positive assets. If we work together to build each other up rather than tear each other down, we'll live in a better world.
Because guess what? Sarah, Emery, and I are all equally valid. We're all intelligent. We all respect our bodies, and we respect each others' bodies. Maybe everyone else should do the same.