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Gender and Clothing

A social commentary on being a girl

By Laura LannPublished 6 months ago 2 min read
Gender and Clothing
Photo by Hanna Postova on Unsplash

When I was little, I used to wear a dress made of the softest hues of blue and green. It splashed around me as I twirled in rich puddles of sunshine, and it sang the purest of songs when my voice cried out to the sky in happiness. I played in it almost every day beneath deep pools of shade residing under pecan trees. It was a nice dress of soft and flowing material that complimented my bouncy personality. For me it was the most comfortable of outfits, even though I was usually in a tree or rushing after my younger brother in a wild pursuit.

I wore it often, becoming a female warrior battling unseen enemies, or a noble princess fighting for her country. Sometimes I was a fairy of ice or nature that was lost and lonely, yet gorgeously beautiful. I was never the quiet little girl portrayed by most dresses; instead I was a breath of the wind dancing through the sprinkler in a dress made of ice and leaves.

Somehow that dress faded from my life, I outgrew it or destroyed it, but my mind has no clear remembrance of what exactly stole it from me. Afterwards I wore skirts and other dresses of various kinds. I’d play dress up inside my house and be a kind proper woman over for tea, or an overbearing and crazy mother ushering her daughter, my brother, about. But, I never truly loved any of those dresses. The red one with polka dots was too stiff and spotted, the black one too fuzzy, the flowered one too long and tight, and the orange one that reminded me of a princess didn’t whirl about me chattering wildly to my dancing ankles.

The skirts, ah now there is a story, they were all too plaid and flashy. I only wore them at my house and when I did were them I was a young wild rebel attending a girl’s academy and they were my uniform. To say at the least, none of these dresses ever contained the elegant magic I was franticly searching for. Then my age reached double digits and I was even more of a riotous tomboy. It was unacceptable for me to wear a dress or even like them, so those girly things were cast aside to collect mold in some distant corner of my mind. Discarded they sat back there, but sometimes I thought that if I were allowed to go barefoot and if I were to ever find a dress made of flowing water like the one before, I would dawn my battle gear once again and dance in the moonlight forever.

Alas, I did. I found it with my sense of person and fashion. Skirts and dresses a plenty. Beautiful fabric and comfortable fits. I dove deep into vintage fashion. Without the pressures of society's rules, I found myself and my taste. I am all those things I adored and sought as a girl, and so much more with my wardrobe. More recently, I dawned machine and thread and find myself creating my own masterpieces, my own fantasies. Oh, what the child me would delight in to know that she can be both. That she can have it all and not conform. She does not have to bow to the rules of society when she awakes and opens the doors to her closet. And, today and tomorrow, I dress for her.

vintagegender rolesfeminismfashion

About the Creator

Laura Lann

I am an author from deep East Texas with a passion for horror and fantasy, often heavily mixed together. In my spare time, when I am not writing, I draw and paint landscape and fantasy pieces. I now reside in Alaska where adventures await.

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Comments (2)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran6 months ago

    Without the pressures of society's rules, I found myself and my taste. That is like the most powerful and kindest thing tgat we can do for ourselves!

  • L.C. Schäfer6 months ago

    I agree, and I wish all adults felt the same! Kids can wear whatever they want, it's all just clothes 😁 So silly, in the 21st century, to assign so much meaning to the fabric they cover their skin with when they go hunting frogs 😁 Whatever it is, it's going to get mucky - it needs to be durable, comfortable, and it needs decent pockets!

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