A message from my closet

Sophie Sperber, Staff Writer

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My body is not an invitation.

If I’m wearing something short, don’t ask me if I’m wearing it for you.

Trust me, I’m not.

Don’t pull me aside and tell me how I’m ruining my life because of the way I dress, that I’ll forever change the way people think about me with a single outfit. Don’t scold me and say that if something happened to me it would be my fault, that I’m inviting people to take advantage of me because of what I’m wearing.

You’re wrong.

I could wear anything imaginable, layers on layers of clothes or absolutely nothing, but that still doesn’t mean I’m asking for it.

Apparently, some people still don’t get it, so let me make it really clear this time. I didn’t wear that outfit so boys would like me. I didn’t do it for attention. I wore it for me. I didn’t ask for people to stop me and tell me I made their day by wearing leggings. I didn’t run up to the strange boy on the street and beg him to thank me for wearing a tank top. I didn’t wear it for him. Yet no one believes that I wore it for me.

For some reason, this explanation goes right over people’s heads. They cannot believe that I made decisions that have nothing to do with them. Or a world in which you don’t have ulterior motives because the way you dress must be a power play.

I don’t know what disgusts me more: the fact that I can’t wear anything without facing lingering stares and comments or the fact that people actually have the audacity to comment on what I’m wearing. What people need to understand is I am not presenting my body like it’s an art gallery for you to critique and gawk at.

I’m not saying shield your eyes and never look at me again. I’m saying you need to respect me, regardless of what I wear.

It’s time for people to accept that women have shoulders and knees. It’s time for people to feel comfortable and safe in whatever they wear, no matter where they wear it or for whatever reason they decide to wear it.

So next time you see me, or anyone, wearing something that catches your eye and you have the urge to say something, remember this: there is no hidden message in my clothes.

The only thing my clothes will ever tell anyone is to mind their own business. 

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A message from my closet