It's in this vein of self-criticism and high expectations that I often struggle with my love of clothing. Many of you know, having read other things I've written, that I struggle not to see my personal collection of clothing as frivolous and wasteful. I apply this criticism to myself only in bouts of negative navel gazing I suppose. I feel guilt at having and loving more clothing than I need while not feeling guilty about the same with regards to books, art supplies, sofa pillows or even food. Today I am wondering if this is in part an apology for being female. Not that I don't realise there are also males who love and accumulate clothes but I must admit I am under the impression that they are in smaller numbers. Somehow I am trapped into worrying that a closet full of clothes is a marker of ever so shameful female vanity. I have bought into this misogynistic idea that a woman is inherently vain and any indication of vanity in myself bothers me.
Of course this is not rational and one of my first clues that it is not is that I do not direct the same criticism at other females, only at myself, as though I have convinced myself that to love clothing or shoes is an artistic and creative outlet in others but mere frivolity in myself. Nonsense but there is no accounting for the nonsense my mind can come up with. It reminds me of how there was a time when a woman who was a writer was considered to be obviously more frivolous and there were many female writers who used masculine or ambiguous pseudonyms with those who didn't often being derisively referred to as a "lady novelist". Jane Austen, although she used her own name, did not have the popularity she has now in her own lifetime and got her start by self publishing. Her work focuses on the social conventions of a certain class and how it effected women. Obviously frivolous and irrelevant stuff.
When I looked at a couple of photos I had taken recently depicting what I wore, I hesitated to post them after having just listened to the ever impressive Emma Watson give a speech at the UN. How could I reconcile this serious subject of gender equality with a couple of OOTD photos. Fortunately my stupidity was short lived. I could definitely reconcile it all and in fact it is all very relevant. The quest for gender equality is about the ultimate freedom, the freedom to be your self, autonomous and unjudged as somehow less for being so. Women are not the embodiment of frivolous interests any more than men are, we are all a complex mixture of frivolity and depth, and who is to say which is which in us? My right to equality and freedom includes my right to do what I please with my body, to dress it and decorate it or not, to pierce it, tattoo it, or not, to exist in the size and shape that I am and not be valued any less for it. Everyone has that right.
I am more than how I dress but how I dress is part of who I am. All that I am is important and has value. So I am indeed including this fantastic video of Emma Watson and her UN speech along with myself in two recent favourite OOTDs. I hope you enjoy and I look forward to your comments.
I am linking up to the ever awesome Patti's Visible Monday Yes-amazing! I managed a link!