We Wear the Pants

Hey Folks! 

I trust you’re all doing well—if not, I hope you’re doing your best (whatever that looks like to YOU).

After watching Lady Gaga’s speech at the Elle Women in Hollywood event last week, I’ve started to think so much more about fashion and the world of politics and controversial topics. 

As a sociology student, I spend copious amounts of my day researching theories, reading different ideologies and studying social interactions on both micro and macro levels. I like to call it a degree in being “woke”, to put this in simpler terms. 

Lady Gaga’s assault doesn’t stray far from my own experiences with assault, my friends, family, or strangers I’ve met along the way. It’s interesting to me, to see her express her experience of dismay, anger, disappointment and tragedy- wrapping it all into an oversized Marc Jacobs suit.

Personally, I’ve always loved dressing up in men’s clothes. I’ve felt that they fit the most comfortable and allow me to feel as though I’m dressing how my heart truly sees fit. My father and both grandfather’s closets quickly became a mini shop for me. Oversized, broad shouldered, comfortable-ass clothes. Yet after listening to Lady Gaga’s speech, I realized that the clothes I wear, the clothes I find intriguing, political and powerful all stem from my social and political experiences as a black woman. By no means am I insinuating that wearing men’s clothes directly links to negative experiences as a woman, but I will absolutely say for myself that this ideology holds truth to me. I understand my privilege as a cis-genderd, upper-middle class woman, yet I am also very aware of the micro-aggressions and hardships I am subject to face because of my skin.

Growing up, I faced tons of snarky comments about my body. My hips were too big (said by my physiotherapist y’all. My PHYSIOTHERAPIST), ass too big, shoulders too big- always “too big”. I eventually grew up and began to love my body the way it was, until it lead to creepy comments walking down the street. People running up to me, grabbing my hair in the club to get my attention after I clearly stated I didn’t want anything to do with them (true story) and so on, so forth. I resorted to wearing looser clothes that would just graze over my body the way it was. It created the illusion of having “less”- looking smaller. Once I got the point of women’s clothes fitting too tight even in the biggest sizes some stores carry, I took to my father-figures and their closets. 

h&m trousers // urban planet bralette // vintage men's blazer + heels 

Their clothes created a world of comfort for me. I could wear their levi’s, their ripped sweaters and never feel like what I was wearing was “too tight” or showed off too much of my body to the people I didn’t want to grab attention from. 

At 22 years of life, I now realize that this sort of fashion not only shielded me from the very horrors of harassment and assault- but allows space for me to take my power back. Lady Gaga said “I decided today, I wanted to take the power back. Today, I wear the pants." Truthfully, I’ve often preferred pants over a skirt. This entire look was inspired by me taking back my power. I’ve felt more comfortable since I’ve found clothing that fits how I want it to. Clothes that suit my sense of fashion and allow me to express my feelings and thoughts using my body as a canvas. Lady Gaga made an important statement of using fashion and our own forms of art as a political stance. Something that goes against the norm and stands for so much more than "acceptance". Today, I stand with her and the many women, including myself- who have experienced sexual assault and use our platforms to bring awareness to the many experiences faced by these people. I hope YOU, and anyone with a platform truly realizes how much of what they say and do matters.

I’m not saying that wearing tight clothes (or any type of clothes at all) means you’re planning on getting attention from men or the "wrong type of attention"- not in the slightest. My point is that wearing whatever you want to wear- whatever makes you comfortable and whatever screams your name and your purpose when you wear it is YOUR power. The power to shine through the art of textiles, layering, clothing. The power to bring political topics to the table with valid points of experience and perhaps research. It gives you the very power you need. Wear clothes that give you those feelings and utilize your platform in a positive way! Those are the looks that shine through! 



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