The Excalibur

The clothing that we wear: Does it define us, or does it become us?

Ysabel Maseda, Staff Writer

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Ever since birth, mankind has had a defined gender: Male or Female. This was then expressed on babies by their clothes. The boys end up with blue and dinosaurs and spaceships, while the girls got pink and pretty dresses and flowers. The facts are, both boys and girls in youth are heavily reliant on their parent to tell them what to do and how to act. When a parent has been raised to be set in their ways, they are stuck like cement, which then sets an example for the child they may have. Granted, every parent thinks that is what is best for their child, but if the kid is too frightened to express themselves, there can be harsh consequences.

We live in a day and age where people are accepted to be however they want, or at least that is the hope. Yes, there are still people who are very much against boys dressing like girls and girls dressing like boys, which results in a minor issue. There is a large group or society of people who are very open to this change of gender stereotypes, but there is just too much negativity around. Girl’s clothes on boys is treated as a joke or the boy has to become a drag queen to escape large-scale, public backlash. Girls who wear ‘grunge’ are, most of the time, wearing sexualized versions of men’s clothes, which excludes a lot for the female community who aren’t wanting to be seen as female, but have to go to the boys section to get clothes that do not hug their chest or butt.

Recently, a department store in the UK called John Lewis has promptly removed all labels for boys and girls from the children’s sections of the store. This, of course, brought out an outrage from many people; for example, Piers Morgan, the face of Good Morning Britain, accused the store of “trying to turn the world into a gender neutral planet, and that should not be allowed to happen.” (independent.co.uk) Of course, all the store has really done is give parents and children the right to pick what and who they might like to be. The store itself has established that they will continue to make all the same clothes, but will also make unisex clothes.

While talking about what is going on in the UK may not seem as relevant here in the Americas, it actually couldn’t be more relevant. Today, in society, most of the gender stereotypes come into play. Boys that would prefer to be girls are forced to make do with what they can find in the male section of any store, because going to the female section would be an outrage. Girl’s clothes have become the sexualized boy’s clothes which are endorsed by A & E and so many other big companies. Yes, there are many gender-neutral brands, but not enough to even get their names out.

Our society, try as it may, might seem like an open community to boys and girls wearing whatever they want, but underneath there is a deep problem with judgement and prejudice. Heather, one of the people I️ had the chance to speak to, to discuss the fact that they had to suppress what they might want to do or wear around family to keep them happy. When asked the question, “Do you believe that clothing should be the main identification for gender?” they responded, “No, because clothing changes as you go on through life. You could have worn Thomas the Train pajamas as a kid.” Which brings up a very good point. It doesn’t matter about the clothes, people should allowed to be themselves, as is.

The only issue with that belief is that it isn’t that easy; people who were raised in the years around the 70’s are traditional. Sometimes there are the rare occurrences of non-prejudiced people, but the occurrences are fairly rare. People let clothes be another point of judgement for the world around them so that they can earn a sense of supremacy. Is that the kind of world we want to live in? It’s hard sometimes to understand the type of prejudice that goes on, mostly because it is childish and pointless. The nation we call America was built on the need for people to be themselves. Why then, must we deny those people who are human like us, their rights?

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The clothing that we wear: Does it define us, or does it become us?