Within the transition from adolescence to adulthood we often find ourselves questioning to what extent our generation should adopt the traditions of the generation preceding. While some of us are stuck in an eternal conflict with childhood, those of us involved in pre-professional clubs at Northview have dealt with this challenge head-on, and with its most detailed nuances. Some of these nuances are more noticeable than others, but dress ware is arguably the most nuanced yet most important. The eternal pantsuit debate has been speculated at on a national level, most recently and most notably in the 2016 Presidential Election news coverage. It brought a magnifying glass to the most minute of choices each candidate made—and this included fashion.
Majority of the coverage focused on Clinton, but is the speculation within itself sexist? One may look at the coverage and deem it sexist, for it does detract from the substance of a candidate. However, it is important to reflect on the most nuanced of choices women make in the professional world. Like Raymond Brown said, after television became mainstream, political candidates running for office suddenly seemed fitter, and better looking. It's these small choices that are made that portray a certain image to us. The generation above us seem obsessed with pantsuits and the perfect combination of femininity and professionalism. But as a rising generation, we are able to take the stereotype by the reins and perhaps change the 'ideal.'
When that stereotypical image calls for high schoolers to question their own professional dress wear is when we are able to decide to change up the status quo.
During competition off-season, the women of these clubs; FBLA, mock trial, and debate, find themselves in the annual conundrum of skirts versus dress pants. We intend to send a message of confidence and power, whether the occasion be delivering an opening statement, or conducting a mock interview. But is the illusion of pants being more professional conducive to the idea of feminism?
To reclaim our femininity and use it to our strength, we musn't discourage women from wearing skirts. It's a symbol of power to be able to reclaim the fashion. Like the flappers of the 1920s, women have the ability to take control of their fashion and bend promiscuity to their will. Not that sexuality has a place in the workspace, but that the rules should not limit the way we should dress.
What type of message do us women intend to send?