Trendy or Loose Tees | Teen Ink

Trendy or Loose Tees

June 1, 2016
By chessi.maria PLATINUM, Brooksville, Maine
chessi.maria PLATINUM, Brooksville, Maine
28 articles 7 photos 14 comments

How do you dress? When you’re flipping along a rack of clothes at the mall, as muffled pop music floats to you from high ceiling speakers, what do you think about the choices you see?

To me, plunging necklines, high hemlines, and clingy fabrics seem daring and a little dangerous—but at the same time, they entice me. And looking at the women around me, not just in clothing stores but at school, on the streets, and almost everywhere I go, I can see I’m not the only one who feels this effect. This kind of daring has become synonymous with cool.

If I asked you why women dress revealingly, you’d probably say it was to attract men. And that it’s an obvious answer. But I don’t think it’s the whole reason. For one thing, the type of boy many of us wants to attract won’t care about how sexy we can look. What looks cool to us, I think, is based even more on what other women think. Whether it’s due to biological or societal reasons, we seem to feel a kind of competition with other women—for who can be sexiest, most attractive toward men. Even if some of us aren’t trying to attract them in the first place.

In our society, it’s tempting to disapprove of a woman who keeps herself covered for religious reasons, such as a traditional Muslim, as wrongly confining herself. And a woman who chooses to wear a long skirt, or baggy jeans and a tee shirt, is old-fashioned. Neither has the freedom, born of the modern world, that we hold.

But does dressing in a revealing way actually make us feel free? I believe that our society constricts us in a different way, but almost as much, as one that views a woman without a headscarf, or one in pants, as a scandal. The feminine ideal that we covet jealously is so narrow that she’s always slipping beyond us no matter which shape we have. And she creates competition between us over how cool we can look, by wearing tighter jeans with rips higher on the thighs, and tanks with necklines that plunge more and more deeply. Where is the freedom in a style of dressing that splits women apart through competition instead of drawing us to where we can stand united?

Maybe a headscarf is much too confining for an American woman. And I can’t imagine myself out of pants. But deliberately dressing in a way that shows off all we’ve got for effect only traps us in a different way instead of freeing us. If we’re truly free as modern women, we should be able to keep from judging others. And we should be comfortable in whichever clothes feel like us, not what makes us feel sexiest or coolest.

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