As you may or may not know, I run my own YouTube channel and I feature one specific thing on Fridays: fashion. So, when I was approached with this opportunity to write about this topic regarding street harassment and “dressing for yourself,” I was all for it.
Look, being a girl has its ups and downs. Besides being looked down upon way back when as if we were incapable of thinking for ourselves to pushing for the right to vote, it seems like we are constantly fighting battles with society. Another huge thing women fought for was the ability to dress for themselves rather than waiting on the approval of everyone else. Let’s take a brief history lesson. In the Victorian Era, women were seen with petticoats and tight corsets. Move on towards the 1950s when Rosie the Riveter made an impact on every woman out there helping the war efforts. Denim was introduced into our lives and we can finally cover our legs. Fast forward to now, where women are free to wear whatever they want and go against society’s “standards.”
However, that might not always be the case.
It’s amazing we can finally wear what we want without someone being appalled. What you wear is ultimately a reflection of yourself, isn’t it? Isn’t that what we hear all the time? We have the freedom to choose what we buy, how we style our clothing, how we want to be perceived by others but when other factors come into play, our freedom to do so can be hindered. One reason we might lose our “fashion freedom”? Catcalling.
Hollaback!, an organization dedicated to ending street harassment, recently announced a statistic from a Cornell study that 66% of women admit to changing their clothing style to avoid being catcalled. That means only 34% of women are truly expressing themselves while the others have to hide who they really are just to avoid being disturbed. In other recent news, the American online retailer ModCloth has decided to join forces with Hollaback! to help take a stand against street harassment. The retailer highlighted this issue by featuring ModCloth employees encouraging women to “dress for yourself.” (You can view the video below)
Just as ModCloth’s blog says, “Street harassment happens to people of all shapes, sizes and styles.” No matter what, we all have some story to tell that deals with catcalling, and we shouldn’t have to put up with it any longer. We should be embracing the fact we get to choose what we want to wear! We shouldn’t have to second-guess ourselves the minute we walk out the door. This needs to end now.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can get involved to putting an end to this situation, head on over to Hollaback!’s website.