Monday, 3 February 2014

The Clothing Issue

I've always been an advocate for men and women wearing whatever they wish to wear without shame and judgement. Who am I to care whether you cover up entirely or don't cover up at all? It's not like clothes really matter at the end of the day. They're eventually going to break and wear away like everything else.

Yet people can be motivated to do wonderful or awful things provoked merely by what they or someone else is wearing. There are still people out there who think that a woman deserves to get raped and sexual assaulted because of what she is wearing. "She deserved it - she was showing clevage." "She shouldn't have been wearing that mini skirt or he might not have attacked her." There are people who'll shame others merely for what they are wearing.

Case in point: I went to London on Sunday. I was just going out to meet an old friend of mine and go to an event for the afternoon. I decided I was going to wear something a bit daring. Why? Because I could. Because I own the item of clothing and...oh yeah...because I CAN. Because I want to be able to wear what I want when I want to. I want to feel comfortable in my own skin. Apparently that wasn't acceptable on the train over to London from High Wycombe. This is how the interaction went. Bear in mind I am wearing this... (with a huge leather jacket on)

Yes, I like corsets. This one happens to be a bit big...

Woman: Do you think you're being appropriate wearing that?
Me: Yeah I am.
Woman: Well you're advertising sex.
Me: I'm just wearing an outfit.
(Woman shows her daughter who looks like she's in her early twenties)
Woman: (Outraged.) This is my daughter.
Me: She seems lovely. What's your point?
Woman: It's wrong to parade yourself like that and present a bad example for women like her.
Me: Actually I'm showing you can wear whatever you like and it's totally fine. If anyone is showing a bad example it's you for shaming women.

A while passes where nothing is said. I go back to listening to music. The woman and a gentleman with her scowled thinking I couldn't tell but I'm not too bothered. I'm more focused on getting to the meeting point to find my friend. As I was about to get off the train, the man came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder.  I took my headphones off and this occured:

Man: (Sarcastically) I bet your mother is proud of you.
Me: She is, actually. She'd be proud of me if she could see me now.
Man: What is she - a prostitute?
Me: A published author so I'd show a bit more respect if I were you.

At that point, I was on the platform at London Marylebone. I promptly put my headphones back on and walked away, not wishing to engage with them anymore. I wasn't in the mood anymore and I felt like if I had to keep going I was going to descend into yelling at these ignorant people. I've spent a long time trying to control the anger I feel over the traumas I've gone through. I'm still trying to keep a tab on the emotions I've felt in the aftermath of everything. I am not perfect at that.

However, something else happened. I felt motivated and inspired to keep going. Keep on raising awareness no matter how little I help. Keep on raising money through my JustGiving page and other ways. Keep on surviving, living and doing the things I wish to do for myself. The fact I went out in a corset alone means I've made some progress considering I was in a place 3 1/2 years ago where anything I wore that wasn't baggy risked causing anxiety attacks.

Moral of the story: Wear what you want to wear. Someone is always going to have a problem. It's not you, it's them :-)

Lots of love and solidarity <3 


  1. Those people sound like douchenozzles. What an awful example to set for your daughter; I hope she isn't a bully like them.

    Nat x

  2. Damn, some people just can't keep their mouths shut can they?