Femme Style as Politics and Attitude | My Outfit is My Statement
Is style political?
Absolutely. When we get dressed in the morning, the clothing we put on is the armour we wear to face the world. It can (and should be!) be a means of self expression, but it often also makes a political statement. When a certain famed talk show host tells the world that you shouldn’t wear a crop top if you have a tummy, any time a tummy owner wears one they are making a statement in direct contrast. Any time Alok Viad-Menon dresses, they make a bold statement of self expression that can (and does) actively make transphobes uncomfortable (Have you heard the verbal abuse they endure? Stand up for people, don’t let anyone endure that ish).
But it doesn’t have to be that big. Any time I go out of the house in sweatpants I’m making a statement. I’m telling the world that their standards of beauty and being put together are crap and I’m going to wear whatever I darn well please. When I wear sneakers with a dress, I deny the idea that heels are the only acceptable pairing for dresses. When I dress up as my highest femme and show my queer, I slowly work at erasing that femme invisibility we all work so hard to eradicate.
What you wear and how you wear it directly makes that statement.
Even walking the dogs in trash clothing says “Do not mess with me or I will bite you worse than my dogs ever could.” Clothing with spikes? You bet those spikes actively tell the world to back off. And it’s wonderful. Wear your spikes with pastel pink, wear combat boots with a sundress, make whatever pairings you want to tell the world who you are, what you’re about, and where you stand.
Style as Politics at Pride
One of the best examples of fashion as politics is the looks you will see at Pride. I’m crafting mine right now and all I’ve come up with so far is a crochet rainbow bikini top but that alone is going to make such a statement. I’m here, I’m queer, and this is openly and unfalteringly me. Also it’s hot af and I’m refusing to wear more clothing than strictly necessary.
Femme Style as Politics in Every Day
As femmes, when we get dressed, we show the world that their stereotypes of gender and sexuality are entirely incorrect. We show the world that our clothing has no reflection on who we are attracted to, our gender identity, or anything else. “You don’t look gay,” “You’re too pretty to be gay,” and other such statements feed into that stereotypical belief. We go out into the world being ourselves, nothing more or less, and take these societal perceptions of what it means to be queer, what it means to be femme, and we tell the world that their interpretations are wrong.
So what do we do?
We keep on keeping on. We take that knowledge that we are an attitude and a political statement and we take it out into the world. We smash the stereotypes and we wear our femme as a badge of honor and courage. We stand up for each other when another deals with street harassment. We build each other up and speak up and out. And we remember that we are not alone. Our style is as unique as each of us and we should celebrate it.