Fashion has become deemed as art. Whether or not some may agree, fashion has shaped culture (and vice versa) to become a powerful medium of self-expression. What is born out of it is a reflection of who we are individually and as a society as a whole. But how does fashion reflect who we are and what does fashion have to say about the kind of person we want to become?
In terms of functionality, the main purpose of clothing is to cover the body; shielding us from the weather and providing a hygienic barrier against harmful materials. Furthermore, this natural instinct to cover the body reflects the design to protect and safeguard something special within – the very thing that is contained in the body – our spirit, our very own unique identity. You see, I believe clothes are not merely meant to make us “look good” or to heighten apparent beauty. It serves a profound purpose rooted in the understanding of what it means to be a person; what it means to be “you.” How we dress is a manifestation of who we are and how we ought to be seen and encountered by others. Because of this idea, our clothes evolve from mere scraps of fabric into an elaborate, sheer veneer that cloaks the spirit; it becomes a window, an extension, and a form of expression of our very identity.
In the same manner, wearing inappropriate clothing does not simply reveal parts of the body but also exposes one’s identity. This is why the objectification of the human body is considered a great disrespect. It robs us of an opportunity to be seen and encountered for who we truly are and limits the same opportunity for others to understand us on a deeper level.
As a young lady, I believe that every individual ought to have the liberty to dress the way they deem would be a close reflection of who they are as a person with dignity and who they envision themselves to become as individuals. Self-expression is a way of sharing ourselves with the world, which is too wonderful of an opportunity to put to waste. Instead, dignity, clothed with individual creativity and honor for one’s self ought to be celebrated and admired.
It’s not about telling people what to wear or imposing what clothes are provocative or immodest. It is helping others to realize that to a certain extent, “you are what you wear,” and how you present yourself reveals an understanding of self-worth and how you would like others to encounter you. To put it simply, Dress Intentionally. Ask yourself: Do I see myself in what I am wearing?
By Mariniell Clarete, a WYA Certified Member | Learn more about the Certified Training Program here.