I hope you sang the title to the melody of, “Uptown Funk”- Bruno Mars or “All Gold Everything”- Trinidad James if you didn’t, go back and reread it to either one of those tunes.
This weekend we have seen temperatures sore up to 32 degrees and it’s the sticky, humid kind of heat. Not the holiday sunshine that comes with a breeze. My point is, it’s fucking hot. That maddening kind of heat that makes you want to fight mother nature. Despite this, people still think they can dictate what women with certain bodies can and should wear. I’m calling bullshit. It’s absolute bullshit that I am expected to not wear shorts and a crop because I’m not thin.
We need to start talking about how we socialise girls to hate their bodies through shaming them. Growing up being told to cover my body and to feel ashamed of having breasts and hips as if it is a sin to be born woman. I didn’t ask for this and the onus is not on me to cover my body in order to make others feel comfortable.
I remember growing up being told, “cover up there’s men in the house” and I always wondered what kind of men were in the house and why these dangerous men were even allowed to be in the house?
In Zimbabwean culture, policing how girls dress is seen to be a form of protection. I hate to break it to you. Women in niqabs still get raped. Women covered from head to toe are still not safe from rapists. The problem is not us, the problem is the boys you are raising to believe some women are less worthy of respect than others. The problem is rapists. The problem is you for apologising for their behaviour.
There is nothing inherently sexual about clothing. We ascribe sex and sexuality unto these things and we do so arbitrarily. Hemlines keep rising but the attitudes towards women’s bodies have not changed.
My advice to anyone who feels pressured into covering themselves up this summer is simple. As Beyoncé said, “middle fingers up tell em boy/girl bye.” Be free and wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable.