Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Part 2: Growing Up a Girl: Clothing Styles

Are we a bi-product of the world? No, but we are certainly influenced by it. 

Clothing Styles:

-Age 7 years old: I wear an undershirt beneath my shirt to school because I was told to always wear one under. No idea what it's for, but it's a hot day and my shirt is making me sweat so I take it off and wear only my undershirt -which is a plain "wife beater" shirt with blue stars on it. My grandma comes to pick me up after school and she is furious with me. "You better never let me catch you wearing only your undershirt in public again..." I still don't understand why it's a bad thing. 

-Age 9+ in Elementary School: The dress code mandates you are NOT allowed to wear shirts with straps less than an inch thick. No "spaghetti straps" allowed. If shorts are to be warn they must be longer than the length of your fingertips pressed long against the sides of your legs as you stand straight. 

-Age 9: I wear a skort (skirt and shorts). The problem with skorts is the same problem with skirts: When you sit down they spread wide and you run the risk of your underwear being exposed. No more skorts. 

-Age 10: I wear glasses and get good grades. I'm a NERD. I try not getting good grades for 2 weeks hoping this will make me more popular. It doesn't. I accept my fate and decide that I would rather be a smart nerd than "useless" nerd who isn't smart. 

-Age 7 through 11: I like wearing sun dresses occasionally. People say I look adorable, but I mostly just like spinning around in a circle and seeing the fabric flow. 

-Age 11: Girls are constantly spreading rooms about who's stuffing their bra. One girl is reported to go far out into the field during recess and tees boys by lifting up her shirt just below her bra line. She is called a slut. I decide I do not want to get boys attention that way, since I'm not comfortable with that specific kind of "attention". I'll just wait for someone who likes me for me as is. 

-Age 11: I try wearing new capri pants to cool because my mom said they were "in". Nobody notices or cares. What I wear doesn't seem to amount to much in my world. 

-Age 12: I understand being "pale" skinned is bad. Being TAN is good. I try tanning, but it doesn't seem to work. You need to commit to it, every day, and I don't. I also decide to stop swimming. I am no longer comfortable wearing a bathing suite since I don't think I look good in it. 

-Age 12: I start middle school. I wear a brand new dress that I love to my first day. 5 minutes on campus a kid comes up to me and says quite seriously, "We don't wear dresses here." I learn it's a fashion faux pas among the student culture to wear dresses. I stop wearing them altogether. 

-Age 12 through 18: I learn that if you can see a girls bra, she's a slut trying to get attention through sexuality. This is especially true for girls wearing a white shirt and a black bra, or bra of another color. I stop wearing white shirts altogether. 

-Age 13: I don't wear shirt that have a v-neck or anything below my color bone. I don't want any skin showing because that might give off the "wrong impression". 

-Age 14 through 18: I learn wearing tight shirts accentuates your breasts in appearance. I start wearing size Large shirts even though I'm somewhere between a size small and a size medium. I don't want any shirt that "clings" too closely to my body. 

-Age 17: My mom takes me shopping and I learn cami tops are in. They are "spaghetti strap" shirts you can then wear under a variety of blouses and jacket tops. I get them, thinking I will look cool, but never end up wearing them because I'm paranoid they're too low cut and will give off the wrong impression.  

-Age 19: I get my first boyfriend. Although I feel shamed by it, and am not proud of it, I briefly start wearing low-cut shirts to keep his attention for fear he will lose interest in me. He doesn't seem to notice or care. I am relieved -but also worried he might not be attracted to me, and I go back to wearing regular shirts. 

-Age 22 through Present: Thanks to a combination of "letting go" mentally thanks to Buddhism and efforts made to help overcome my Social Anxiety Disorder, I am officially comfortable wearing cami tops and continue to do so from this point on. I no longer feel paranoid about next to anything I wear. But I STILL refuse to wear shorts because given my height they will look "too short" and I am still pale, so they aren't "tan enough". 

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