Behind every style is a story, and every woman has one worth sharing. Whether you wear yoga pants and a t-shirt, heels and a dress, or combat boots and a leather jacket, it doesn’t matter; each is a legitimate story that needs to be told.
“I’m soft and I’m strong.”
This is what a young woman told me when I asked her “what’s your personal style?” I have a suspicion that if I had asked “describe yourself” instead, I would have received a similar answer. For many young women, personal style is directly linked to personality. Getting dressed in the morning is not simply a matter of practicality or trends, but rather an outward expression of who they are and what they value.
Too often fashion is dismissed as frivolous and vain, but personal style can be wielded into an art form.
With mainstream media still lacking accurate representations of women, females have taken it upon themselves (literally) to show the world all the diversity and complexity that women have to offer. In a society that tells women how to look, how to act, how to speak, it takes bravery to be your authentic self. Everyday more and more girls are realizing that dressing in a way that is representative of their true selves is a way defy the societal expectations of what it means to be a girl. For some, doing this is a way to take back control of their bodies and fight back against those who try to police them.
As one girl stated, “I don’t have a flat stomach, but I can still wear a crop top. And if that bothers you, it’s not my problem.” While this may seem trivial, this small act of rebellion is a part of something revolutionary. Clothing has become a way to assert your own power and individuality, and this revolution in gaining momentum. When one woman realizes her self-worth and is not afraid to own it, other women take notice. Think of a young girl who is ashamed of her body, and she sees another woman with a body like hers walking down the street, confident and empowered. Now, that young girl sees that it’s possible for her too to feel beautiful in her body. Women inspiring other women is a powerful tool.
Don’t allow others minimize the meaning of your clothes. They are much more than something that covers your body: they are a message to the world. Women are here. Women are soft. Women are strong. Women are curvy. Women are skinny. Women are smart. Women are important. So next time you are getting dressed, think about what you want to say to the world. Then get dressed, be seen, be heard, be you.