Opinion: your clothes don’t define your sexuality

It's 2018; gender norms should no longer define what we wear. Photo from pexels.com

ARIN FROIDL Reporter

Even in 2018, I feel like there’s a pressure on women to dress feminine and men to dress masculine despite what their personal preference might be. If people don’t dress the way that is expected of their gender, their sexuality is often mislabeled.

Despite what you may think, you can’t determine a person’s sexuality by the way they dress.

Just because a woman wears more traditionally masculine clothes doesn’t mean she identifies as queer, and just because a woman wears traditionally feminine clothes doesn’t mean she is straight.

Women have been pushing fashion boundaries since the turn of the 20th century by wearing men’s clothing or adapting women’s clothing to reflect the shape of a man. Despite male-inspired women’s clothes being a trend in fashion for over 100 years, many women are still criticized or judged for wearing traditionally male clothes.

In the same way, men are often criticized for wearing traditionally feminine clothes. Especially in the past decade, some men have been experimenting with looks centered on skirts and dresses, and they have faced serious backlash. There is still a belief in our society that if a man dresses effeminate, he must be gay.

A person’s sexuality or gender is not defined by the clothes they wear.

Men in skirts are considered strange, but if you look at history, skirts were the norm for most of human civilization. The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Celtics and more all wore skirts. The idea of a machismo man is relatively new to history.

We’re living in a time where the traditional fashion “rules” are being broken and anything can go in fashion, but we are still shackled by gender norms. A person’s sexuality or gender is not defined by the clothes they wear.

It’s 2018. People should be allowed to dress however they please without anyone else making split-second judgments of them. If you want to wear skirts, wear skirts. If you want to wear button-downs, wear button-downs. Don’t let society’s  expectations of your gender dictate what you wear.

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