Often as women, especially those belonging to the east, the first thought that pops in the minds while dressing in fashion trends or western culture dresses for an occasion or work is- Hope this is not too revealing! Maybe another button should be closed up high! Let's wear a turtle neck instead of a boat neck! Can't have my bra strap visible.
So much to think about for an outfit! Why???
The answer to this why lies in the mindset of society!
It is said that growing years shape your future and the overall personality of a person. But with that, it also seeds the thought process that an individual follows for all his life.
A common concept inculcated in minds of young girls from the beginning by their parents, society, school, and other external and internal factors are:
1. If you wear revealing clothes, especially tight and body-hugging western culture dresses or fashion trends you will be misjudged
2. Men will eye at you and think adversely, which will be a shame
3. You are a girl! Keep away from boys and wear decent clothes, so they know that you are from a good family.
4. If you wear clothes above your knees and below your shoulders, you might be raped and it will be your fault, not the men.
5. Your dad would not want you to wear such indecent and revealing clothes.
6. Our Indian culture does not approve of it
These are just a few lines that are repeatedly heard by girls in India.
BREAKING THE MYTH!
1. If you wear revealing clothes you will be misjudged!
In 2019, a video went viral about a man yelling at a stranger girl, questioning her choice of clothes.
Another video went viral in 2019 in which a woman was captured telling girls about being raped because of their choice of clothes.
Yes, there are people on the planet who think that CLOTHES ARE A TESTIMONY TO CHARACTER but in both recent cases social media stood up against the atrocious mindset. A campaign was started just as the video went viral and people from across the globe especially Indians detested the situation.
Hashtags like #apologizeaunty, #saysorryauntyji trended like wildfire and an apology soon came by.
There are all sorts of people in the world, the ones who would judge you and others who wouldn't, what matters the most is to be confident in what you are wearing and have the power to stand for the choices you make.
The famous and reputed actor Amitabh Bachchan in his letter to his granddaughters wrote " Because you are women people will force their thinking, their boundaries on you. They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet, and where you can go. Don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgment. Make your own choices in the light of your wisdom."
2. Our Indian culture does not approve of it (Even the latest fashion trends)
If you dive deep into the Indian culture it has always given importance to women and their wishes. It prescribes attires that is a piece of cloth draped around the body starting from the bust to ankle or full length, as convenient to women. The Indian culture does not necessarily pinpoint women with deep necks or short dresses as inappropriate or unruly instead it pays much attention to the climate and clothing as per work and rank.
It is a myth that elders, TV, and other externals have put in the minds of the girls that Indian culture refrains women from wearing revealing clothes.
3. If you wear clothes above your knees and below your shoulders or western culture dresses, you might be raped and it will be your fault, not the men.
In 2018, the Centre Communautaire Maritime displayed the clothes worn by victims of rape and harassment.
For all those who think that revealing clothes lead to rape, kindly have a look at the exhibit
This exhibit featured clothes from pajamas, tracksuits, loose t-shirts to small children's dresses. Your attire cannot be a catalyst for any sort of abuse or harassment. Kudos to the exhibit that debunks the myth and stands against the 'VICTIM BLAMING' habit/ culture.
Women break the chain to be free responsibly! Wear whatever you feel confident in adorning the western culture dresses, follow the fashion trends, and live your life to the fullest.
The myths of revealing dresses and the culture of VICTIM BLAMING must stop. A suggestion to all women would be to be vigilant and safe and also learn to keep yourself safe from any abuse, harassment, and nonsensical views of society. CLOTHES ARE NOT A CATALYST TO ABUSE AND VICTIM BLAMING IS A BIG NO. Stand for yourself!