Days 112, 113 — For The Tank Top and The Burkini

FROM MY CLOSET Days 112 — Misty and 113 — Pinocchio

Between Misty and Pinocchio there’s so much to talk about. But during these past two days I came across two stories that may appear weird or their locations alternated given how our world is perceived.

The first story is about a girl who was kicked out of a mall because of how she was dressed. She was wearing a tank top and shorts. Something every girl would wear all over the planet when it’s hot.

The second story is about a woman who was forced out of a beach and a resort for wearing a burkini instead of a bikini.

These stories happened in the US and in Lebanon, RESPECTIVELY and not the other way around as one might ASSUME.

The US has always been known for freedom of speech and expressing oneself through art, clothing… basically any form of peaceful expression.

Lebanon, a country where Muslims constitute a big part of the population along with no one knows how many different cultures and beliefs, would be expected to respect a woman’s right to dress according to her beliefs, which are acknowledged by the law.

The fact that these two incidents happened on almost opposite sides of the globe, shows how much outer appearance plays a role in how a person is perceived; be it in a first world or third world country.

Should either of these women be kicked out because of their choice of clothing? Their behaviour in both situations shows they did nothing wrong except choose the wrong clothes to the wrong place.

One of the comments on the burkini story was “but we don’t accept seeing people drink alcohol among us why should they accept the burkini.” For a second this might seem logical but is it?

Separating and segregating people based on what they believe in instead of promoting acceptance and respect for another person’s personal freedom and choices is NOT the way to go.

Why is it so hard for human beings to see another human being for who they are as a person, simply, as a human being. A human being who breathes, eats, drinks, feels sorrow and happiness, feels love and compassion, has weaknesses and strengths, hobbies and interests… instead of just labeling them based on how they look, the color of their skin, or how they choose to dress.

People aren’t wearing certain clothes to offend you, they just do it to express who they are as you are free to do the same.

During the past two days, I was Misty and Pinocchio. Misty got lots of comments, the most heard was that I looked like a prostitute with the orange hair and crop top. I was looked at with disdain and disgust or lust and perversion.

FROM MY CLOSET Day 112 — Misty

As for Pinocchio, the day was relatively peaceful until I went out with some friends and a bunch of girls started pointing and laughing, not discreetly.

FROM MY CLOSET Day 113 — Pinocchio

Their opinions are theirs but what does it matter to anyone what someone else is wearing?

“Right and wrong? But how will I know?” says Pinocchio. It’s not about being dressed the wrong outfit for the wrong place. It’s a matter of perspective. “Welcome to my world” in Misty’ s words; my world where I choose to dress the way I want to without fear of judgement and hopefully one day, without fear of being kicked out from somewhere, simply because of what I’m wearing.

I will continue to spend my 2017 every day in a costume in hopes that one day, maybe one day, we start seeing the human behind the fabric and not just the outer layers that society bestows upon us.