I know I don’t usually talk about issues like this on my blog but this is something that has been playing on my mind for a long, long time. It’s an example to all of those people who say sexism doesn’t exist anymore. It’s an issue which is very personal to me, as it affects me on a daily basis: street harassment. No matter how self-conscious you feel, don’t let street harassment affect your style in a negative way. You shouldn’t have to.
I shouldn’t have to feel self-conscious – even fearful – whenever I wear tight clothing, like the dress below. I knew the dress would look better on my blog with nude-coloured tights; but that day, I had to be at uni all day, so I had my typical thought: “I’d rather wear black tights so I don’t draw attention to myself.”
The thing is, though, I shouldn’t have to plan my outfits around the number of catcalls, car horn beeps or “smile love”‘s I’m worried I’ll receive that day. I shouldn’t have to pack black tights in my bag whenever I wear nude-coloured tights, telling myself it’s just because I might get cold later, when, really, I’m worried the harassment will take its toll. I shouldn’t have to feel self-conscious whenever I wear anything that is even remotely risqué – nude coloured tights or even thigh high boots, for example.
Today, I wore a dress and thigh high boots, with nude tights this time. They looked far better with the boots, and I was going to a fashion exhibition, so I wanted to look my best. For once, I had a bout of confidence which actually enabled me to leave my flat wearing this look (a rarity). But it took me being outside for just 15 minutes to feel overwhelmed by the number of catcalls. I stopped dead on the street and broke down in tears because I felt like such a pariah; it made me feel so objectified, like I was a prostitute. And in reality, all I’d done differently to usual was change a pair of tights. For once, though, I actually stuck to my guns. I didn’t change tights – the black tights stayed in my bag all day. It took a lot of guts and several thousand mental chants of “you look amazing today”, but I’ve never been more proud of myself. It may seem like a small step, but it was a step in the right direction.