To all the women concerned,
SUBJECT: Shame on us
Wouldn’t it be nice if wearable technology could someday create fabric that electrocuted a strangers unsolicited touch or if someone invented an Odomos for perverts? We don’t know about the future but it seems as though Swiss knives and pepper sprays aren’t enough to keep you safe these days — perhaps a Gabbar Singh belt armed with taser guns would be a more appropriate accessory to help women who juggle between work, play and home — imagine what a fashion statement that would make!
Speaking of fashion, as your beloved clothes, we’ve been getting some bad rap lately about the way we appear and the message we’re sending out. “In these modern times, the more skin women show, the more they are considered fashionable. If my sister or daughter stays out beyond sunset celebrating December 31 with a man who isn’t their husband or brother, that’s not right,” we overheard a certain prude man say. What does he even know about fashion?
“Fashion is an expression of faith. In this world of ours, that seeks to give away its secrets one by one, that feeds on false confidences and fabricated revelations, it is the very incarnation of mystery, and the best proof of the spell it casts is that, now more than ever, it is the topic on everyone’s lips.” Sounds mesmerisingly inspiring doesn’t it? Well, Christian Dior was right about one thing — it is indeed, now more than ever, the topic on everyone’s lips. How did we manage to gain the slice of blame for something that’s not even our fault?
We hang about in your closet and you wear us when the mood strikes, you bought us because we were made to match the latest trends and you love the way we look on you — we make you feel confident! We were assigned a simple set of tasks from the moment we were made — to make sure you feel protected, safe and most of all — feel good.
Coming back to what Monsieur Dior’s words, “Fashion is an expression of faith,” what is faith? In our country it can mean different things for different people — belief, religion, spiritual conviction. For most, its about expressing themselves in their own unique way — that’s ‘faith’ for a lot of women — the confidence and freedom to express yourself through crop tops, skirts, abayas, sarees and kurtas.
Women have been prey to man’s unsolicited touch in every form of clothing, whether fully covered or not. So, why guilt the fashion-conscious?
India has come a long way when it comes to accepting the fashion-conscious — it started with starlets like Zeenat Aman and Helen who were labelled ‘sex symbols’ for having introduced westernised styles to Indian cinema in a time where reel women were modestly clad in sarees. They didn’t have the open-minded audience that leading actresses enjoy today — this revolution wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the conformity of the old Indian culture.
We have a come a long way ever since, so why take a step backwards just because a bunch of men are always on the prowl?
It wouldn’t surprise us if our political leaders issued a public service announcement that says, “Please include storm trooper suits or bullet proof vests as a part of your daily uniform if unaccompanied by a husband or brother before you step out.”
Here’s an idea — how about we manufacture shock collars for men who are perpetual public fondlers instead?
They say we’re asking for wrong sort of attention when we hug you at your curves and make you look good — perhaps you really do make your purchases based on a stare-o-meter scale of 1 to peeping toms. Shame on fashion for being too frivolous, promiscuous and impractical, shame on us for everything we do to make women feel good.. really.
F**k the shame! We don’t need to be thrown in the shallow ends of your closets out of fear — we deserve to be worn and sported with a fuelling sense of confidence — let us be the reason that empowers you, not bring you down.
We’ll be waiting for you behind the doors on top of the pile.
Forever and always,