Stereotypes exist for a reason. It won’t be false to say that our outfits speak before we do. Understandably so, we determine how a feminist should dress and what they should definitely avoid. After all, clothes are more important than character.
1. A feminist understands that pink is the colour of patriarchy. It is a colour that pushes girls to be soft and docile. If you believe in feminism, it is important to avoid any shade of pink. Only housewives can wear pink and we don’t want to be like them, right?
2. You can’t wear any clothing item that falls lower than your collarbone or raises over your knees. A true Naariwadi must wear worn out khadi kurtas, loose pants, a black bindi, and kajal. It’s imperative to stay in your line by taking care of your neckline and hemline. You can’t risk looking like a slut or a fashionista.
3. You’re not a real feminist if you do not reject the idea of bras, especially the padded kind. If you really like wearing bras then make sure you pick an unpadded sports bra, otherwise your feminist card shall be revoked.
4. A feminist can never be caught dead wearing heels. They hurt your sole, just as patriarchy hurts the soul. Wear flats, shoes, or loafers. Not only will they be comfortable but they will allow you to run away faster from misogyny and chauvinism.
5. Makeup sexualises women and we all know how women’s sexuality exists only to attract the men. Hence, a real feminist must never put any sort of makeup.
6. Most importantly, a feminist must wear a sarcasm detecting bracelet and never undermine his intelligence so that he can ignore advice that perpetuates narrow ideas of feminism.
For a long time, fashion and activism were seen as exclusive of each other, despite the fact that fashion has historically been used as a tool to express dissent. Thanks to internalised sexism, two different camps of feminists judged each other on grounds of being too frigid or frivolous. Each faction pushed for its own idea of emancipation, while completely forgetting that empowerment is not a monolithic experience or idea.
It’s about time that we, as intersection feminists, acknowledge that nudity and modesty both can be liberating. You can dress up like you wish, except in clothes that are produced by underpaid labour and cosmetics that are tested on animals. You can wear a bikini or a burqa without compromising your progressive credence because you are more than what you wear. Similarly, makeup or no makeup, a feminist will stay a feminist even if they wear lipstick. Like Journalist Natasha Scripture sums it up concisely, “The notion that wearing makeup is anti-feminist is silly. Cleopatra pretty much invented the eyeliner, and she ruled a kingdom.”
Image Credits: Malcolm Paul Evans