So much of this is down to personal taste and subjective interpretation though.
Fig Taylor
42

You’ve hit it dead on with your comment that dressing ought to have a flair of creative personality self expression that’s about the person not the corporate fashion show. And I would agree. Those corps that are detailed in their dress code destroys individuality and like you I would refuse to follow such a dress code even if it meant losing my job over it. But perhaps even in such a strict dress code one could add some creativity to it and tolerate the few who would complain.

Women really need to stop with thinking they have to do more than men even if pushed to do so. Sexism on the other hand….I’ll be frank here…that’s just part of being human. If humanity is stripped of judgment of others including sexism you haven’t a human anymore. You have a robot who only obeys instruction and participates in slavery…..the much of the world only knows robotic/enslaved lifestyles. But there is that style of expressive judgment and sexism ….and that’s where the perception can change.

The make up thing — no woman is ‘forced’ to wear makeup. They do it out of fear and they need to stop doing that. I’ve worked with a few women who are au naturel. Some look good. Some I think haven’t ever looked in a mirror or haven’t looked at others and spent some time thinking about what they like or don’t like. I do believe that too many think that mimicking another is a form of judgment they will be blasted and criticized for.

There are some positions where I think a woman ought to be more easy on the eyes to converse with such as in a front door reception job. Yea, I get their look shouldn’t bother people. There is a certain manner of respect and pleasantry, but to what length it should be honored is wrapped up in that subjective area of who has the POV or to whom to protect or express goodwill. I like women in makeup….I prefer they wear it…well. I like how makeup dresses the face just like how clothing dresses the body. People just need to find where to work that fits best with their individuality.

One other point on makeup — some look great in it, others don’t. Some look great au naturel, others don’t. Tho personality and attitude is by far the better attributes for being open, expressive, social and fun. If that’s not there all the dressup and makeup to any standard won’t matter.

I was told by a company I couldn’t wear jeans to work and if the next time I did they would fire me. I wore them the next day and the day after and for the rest of the years I worked there. Kicking me out for jeans would have been stupid given my incredible performance level. I knew a guy who only wears jeans to work, weddings, court, funerals. And he looks good in them. He doesn’t give a hoot what anyone has to say. I’ll guess tho he’s not telling the whole truth, but perhaps that’s ok. He’s arranged his lifestyle to be able to wear jeans wherever he wishes. He doesn’t own any other kinds of pants.

I’ve gone off to interviews dressed in jeans and a colored t-shirt. If I can’t convince them that I’m the gold they want — dressing up won’t help if the gold has no filling. No one is going around saying things like ‘he’s great in a suit at work, but sucks in jeans’!

Caucasian hair….every race and color does that tho ….the trip to the hair, nail and other stylists. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like some aspect of being catered to by such professionals to do for them what they clearly cannot do. Those who go are often far too busy to do it at home and they haven’t the time to learn either. And much of the products women would like to use just aren’t available in the stores. Women need to stop tho believing they ‘have’ to go do this. They don’t.

I know plenty of women who do some of the ‘have to’, but most I know don’t do it. They’ve got other priorities in life and if questioned about it they just say ‘can’t afford it’. Women need to do what men do and take back their lives and stop sucking up to the threats.

Heels ….I like them A LOT, but I realize not all women can wear them. There is also little education about how to wear heels and how to move from heels to flats — or basically how to wear heels to limit physical problems.

Any company demanding heels need only tell their managers that heels hurt them. If the managers don’t like that they they should buy those managers male heel shoes (yes they exist) and tell them to wear them. If that gets them fired for being a smart ass — let these women go viral on the Internet about it. But seriously, if necessary, I’m sure a doctor can write a note that the woman can hand to their boss.

I sat outside in a city park and waited for the skyscrapers to release the day shift just to see how people look after work. The women….in sneakers carrying their high heels. I asked some of the women about it and most said they only wear the heels when needed at work, but not all day. And since so many work at a desk they also said what’s on their feet isn’t in view — some said they are often barefoot and slip on the heels for some activities at work or the sneakers. Most of the time, according to ‘whatever’, most men are appreciative once they learn the physical medical problems with high heels. Women need be more bold to educate their managers than let them walk all over them.

Women also need to stop competing with men. And they need to be more open to finding workplaces that best fits their needs instead using workplaces as their protest platform.

Sexism, racism, ableism — I would disagree that men don’t have to deal with these. They do. I have. But unlike some women I don’t mind the ‘hey you look good in that tie’ or ‘this cologne is best on black guys’. I used to work with a black guy who had the best cologne on and all of us would compliment him and he loved it. I suspect some women would turn such compliments into sexism. These women need to lighten up. Compliments can be taken well. They shouldn’t be always seen as sexist, racist or some other ‘-ist’.

Expected to wear a suit and not smell bad….I don’t know what corners of the world you are from, but I really find that men are told a number of more things then just that. Talk to the men who sell cars on car lots about why they dress and most will say policy and others will describe that policy and reasons for it. We men get beaten up pretty good about how to dress, but we just don’t make a menism platform out of it and have marches and carry banners of disgust and make sexist claims over it. We either do it and focus on other parts of our job we like or walk and find somewhere else to work. Angered women should take note.

“But while I can be relied upon to dress appropriately to the occasion, I primarily dress to amuse myself and express my whatever aspects of personality I feel like playing up on the day.” — loved this line. You have to be you and add the color of you to the world around you. You’re involved with your look. I like that. We can hope your enthusiasm rubs off on others and tells them it’s ok to be your creative self. The problem tho lies in that area for many where their self isn’t or they don’t wish it to be — creative. I think that’s because nobody told them they can be creative or appreciated for being so is perfectly ok. Too many fix that ‘look’ department into different boxes without knowing they can tear down the walls between them or throw they out and try something new.

Your picture of our outfight — yes, it’s fun, colorful, approachable, open. YOU come through it. I envision you dance down the wooden floor to that professional you at work to that ‘let me tell you about my necklace or how I made my dress or where I bought it or who I have my hair done by’. Clothing needs to say something that sparks an engagement. The person who got bent out of shape by it isn’t a free person. They are unaware of creative dressing for personal reasons. They don’t own a ‘you’ of them inside— they are whatever everyone else tells them they are. ‘They’ don’t technically exist. And how you were dressed shoke that up a bit and they didn’t like that feeling of stepping into the unknown.

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