July 7th, 2006


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12:35 am - on appropriate apparel...

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on appropriate apparel... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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Comments:


[User Picture]From: jacquez Date: July 7th, 2006 - 02:57 pm (Link)
It's not that "no one will take them seriously if they look hot or express any sexuality or femininity". It's--well, the thing is, that's partially true. In a lot of areas, it's harder to be taken seriously if you're female and wear very feminine attire. But "any" is too strong, in my experience. I wear clothing that tends to show off the fact that I have a small waist; I also wear tops that are a little lower-cut than many people wear. Not *too* low-cut, though - I'm doing this balancing act, this thing where I have to wear clothes that make me look competent and professional by minimizing my weight, making my boobs look smaller, always looking neat and tidy, not showing bra straps, and so on.

Because I'm heavyset and have big boobs, the "minimizing my weight" and "making my boobs look smaller" are really, actually important. People react to me differently if I don't do those things. They *do* take me less seriously. And I actually *have* to express some femininity in dress in order to make those aspects work; I *have* to use accessories and my small waist size and girly-style layers (like a camisole under a suit jacket) to give the impression I need to give to do my damn job.

When my job didn't involve any interacting with the public, I had blue hair and wore slogan t-shirts and ratty jeans. But now it does, and I can't do that and expect to be worth my salary.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 7th, 2006 - 06:13 pm (Link)
I think you agree with me... (or I agree with you)

its so hard to tell.

The blue hair vs. feminine suit based on job requirements thing is a good example. I kinda touched on that way back here in 2003. It was never that you didn't care what you looked like. If you did, you wouldn't have bothered to invest in the dye. It was that you were attempting to promote a certain look. You wanted that look to evoke a certain reaction in others. As opposed to what I perceive as people thinking they can somehow get NO REACTION based on their appearance, and I just don't think that's feasible. You haven't changed. Its just that now the reaction you need to evoke is different so you present a different appearance in order to achieve that.
[User Picture]From: jacquez Date: July 7th, 2006 - 07:05 pm (Link)
Yes, I think we basically do agree -- I get really flabbergasted when people say things like "my appearance shouldn't matter" -- because, hello, are you human? Humans are social animals, and what I wear has an effect on others, and it's plain stupidity not to acknowledge that.

Do I think it's *right* that people think I'm dumb because I'm chubby and have enormous tits? Well, no, I don't. I think it's stupid and sexist and sizeist. But I'd be a complete idiot if I didn't acknowledge that it existed.

I - well, I don't get people who don't care much about clothes, but I know plenty of them who don't care, but still manage to dress appropriately. Most of them don't have much of a personal style, but that's not wrong; it's just a personality thing, and me not getting that isn't some kind of moral issue.

But then there are the people who say or act like they don't care about clothes, and cannot manage not to wear ratty shorts to a business casual workplace, and cannot manage to not have gross hair and BO and then are all het up about people judging them on their appearance, and well, look, fucking shower and wear some pants without holes -- people are judging you on the fact that you look like someone with MENTAL PROBLEMS, do you not get that? And they don't, but really, the difference between some people I've seen showing up to work and that crazy homeless dude in Oakland with only one shoe is pretty much...that one shoe. And the muttering.

I think judging someone just on their weight, or their facial features, or the stylishness of their clothing, or the color of their skin or what set of genitals they have or what imaginary being they pray to or what gender(s) they like to sleep with is stupid, but judging someone on their personal hygeine and tidiness is NOT.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 7th, 2006 - 07:59 pm (Link)
that's one of things I'm getting at. In essence it does matter. I don't think its a mark of what's wrong or right. I think its a matter of what is. Depsite my claims of chinese heritage, I'm black. At the end of the day. I know I'm black. To pretend that being black didn't matter would be an incredible diservice to me and would basically make me stupid. Is it "Right" well no, but its something I can't do anything about and don't really want to. Its ok to not want to do anything about having blue hair, or not having appropriate business clothes, but it is SO not the same thing.

In any case, I agree that it is human nature for it to matter, and while I attribute a lot of value to freedom of personal choice (I think it is quite fine to not want to look as attractive as you can), I think its pretty silly to expect people to not react to it.
[User Picture]From: gwenix Date: July 24th, 2006 - 07:56 pm (Link)
I work in IT, and have often worked in offices where I was the only female in the department. The more I act like "one of the guys", including how I dress, act, or otherwise indicate, I am far more accepted as "one of the guys", and thus as a member of the team. It does change from office to office, depending on how many women are around (the more women around, the more acceptable it is to be "girly"), but by and large I've been in those situations.

Currently, though, my department has a lot of women in it, so all my lack of fashion is just habitual. This has made a few people in my life sad, so I've been trying to fix that. :)
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 24th, 2006 - 08:08 pm (Link)
I dunno, I think there is a bit of a difference between being "one of the guys" and being "that chick who dress well."

Understand, I'm not saying be all pink lace and flowers. I'm not even specifically trying to single out women (although that's kind of how the discussion went). Even in your case, you're talking about specifically dressing to downplay a certain aspect and evoke a certain reaction. That's different than being unaware of the reaction that certain outfits evoke or wanting that to not be true. That's what I was getting at. Both with men and women.
[User Picture]From: gwenix Date: July 24th, 2006 - 08:11 pm (Link)
Well, given that "one of the guys" in most IT departments means... dressing in T-shirts with various geek stuff on them, and jeans. Take that as you will.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: July 24th, 2006 - 08:24 pm (Link)
well, the pretentious bastard part of me says "yes, they're wrong too"

but yeah, I get your meaning.
 

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