Earlier this week, with the rain putting paid to my regular lunchtime walk, I spent an hour sitting in the car with my earphones in and doing a spot of net surfing on my phone.
I googled the expression “wear whatever the hell you want“, and up popped an array of web links about why you can wear whatever the hell you want. Except, the articles were all written for the inspiration of women. I did scroll through several pages, and even tried refining my search criteria, but I couldn’t find anything that advocated the same freedom for the rest of us.
Still, reading some of the articles did highlight one thing: both sexes are subject to the “Fashion Police“. You shouldn’t wear this if you’re tall… you shouldn’t have your hair cut that short… you shouldn’t wear that if you’re above a size 10… it’s no small wonder that some women, whose self-esteem hadn’t been knocked by such fuckwittery, took to the internet to launch a counter-attack.
For the ladies, it’s all about how much effort you put into your presentation, making sure all your natural imperfections are covered or hidden, and every selection from your wardrobe is original and coordinated. For men, it seems it’s more about the efficiency of effort rather than the quantity: don’t put in too little effort, but don’t put in too much either. That’s probably why when men dress up, we have a kind of uniform in the suit – saves having to waste some of that precious effort on thinking. After an hour of digging the garden, we just take a quick shave and a shower, and can be fully suited-up in the time it takes their partner to apply their make-up.
Cross the line, and that’s when the shaming starts. If a women’s dress is too short, they’re a slut, but if it’s too long, they’re a prude. If a man wears something pink, there are all sorts of slurs that question his sexuality. If he puts in too little effort, he’s a scruff – if he puts in too much effort, he’s vain. Can anybody win?
So what I’m about to say goes out to everyone – men and women. Do you remember Trinny and Susannah’s What Not to Wear? Well, here’s my version. Caution: this may get ranty, in a right-on kind of way!
There are only two things you should not be wearing:
- Stuff that does not fit you comfortably
- Stuff you do not like
Those are the only two rules! You can’t please everyone, so you may as well dress only to please yourself.
And while we’re at it, stop “reading” people through their appearance. Suits may look successful and competent, but the person underneath could be a notorious crook. Put some fucking effort in and talk to them!
As for dieting, I see too many people counting calories, points, sins or whatever… and they look perfectly healthy. There are only two people in this world who can tell you to go on a diet: you’re one of them, and your doctor’s the other.
Finally, and this goes out to all the Paul Nuttalls out there, the Burka is not an oppressive garment if the woman underneath chooses to wear it, and before you label her as a “national security risk”, look in the fucking mirror.