My dress My Choice

Hey Loves, today I am a sad person… 😦

Photo Courtesy of ibtimes.com

Last  week, two incidents were reported about two young women who were stripped naked for what was termed ‘indecency’. The ladies were dressed in miniskirts. According to reports I gathered from the various media, the people responsible for this inhumane act were Matatu touts. Totally defeats my imagination! How is stripping someone naked (in public) helping them to be decent? The videos of these ladies have gone viral and as a result most media houses have adopted the hash-tag ‘My dress My choice’ to sample the views of Kenyans. Just yesterday, a protest was held in the streets of Nairobi to condemn this act. Personally, there are times I get offended by what some ladies and even gentlemen wear. It takes me to a point where I feel ashamed on their behalf. But not once have I ever wished that they be beaten up or worst stripped off their clothes. The Kenyan constitution outlines freedom of expression. One of the ways through which people express themselves is through dressing. We arrive at how we dress based on several factors. While some might be because of external, internal or personal reasons take play too. One main factor is religion. For instance Muslims and the Akorino dress in a way that is unique. You see one and you can clearly relate the religion they belong to. But not everyone belongs to a religion that dictates what is to be worn. Hence the various dressing styles. Some careers also stipulate what is to be worn. For example those in the police force, pilots and nurses among others have defined dress codes. Away from religion we have upbringing. People who come from conservative homes tend to dress in a more reserved manner. For them, they don’t need anyone to police them around on what to wear or how to wear it. Somehow it has been engraved in their system. The opposite apply to ‘more-liberal families’. Here you find situations where people dress in whatever they feel comfortable in. Since from a tender age no one questioned them, they don’t understand why someone gets offended with their dressing in the first place. Upbringing to some extent is linked to culture. There are some cultures (though few) that have tried to maintain their traditional dressings as a way of preserving their culture. A good example is the Masai community. However, most cultures have almost totally adopted the western dressing style. Then we have the media. It has received both praise and criticism in equal measure. The media influences how people dress through publicizing fads and fashion. Through celebrities or other public figures, audiences are able to see the new fashion trends. Some will take it in without thinking whether it’s good for them; as long as they are in fashion. I think this is where the problem lies. There are clothes which are meant for particular body types and are also worn in particular ways. But once we are going to assume that anything goes, we might end up compromising our dignity by revealing too much. Seasons and occasions also influence dressing. But all these are still based on the already mentioned factors. But just to say something about it, during cold seasons for instance, people dress in warm clothes. You find that most of the body parts are covered to keep away the cold. Occasions too dictate what is to be worn. You wouldn’t dress in a swimming costume or bikini for an interview for example or for school. The last one is personal reasons. Some people will dress to impress others, to be in fashion or simply to feel good about themselves. I highly doubt if designers will stop designing some clothes simply because people find them indecent. In my opinion, there is no indecent cloth! What makes it indecent is who wears it, how it is worn and the environment in which it has been worn. Not all clothes are meant for everyone or for every occasion. Just keep what is meant for you. If you are asking how to know what is meant for you, my advice- follow your instincts. I don’t know if it happens to anyone else, but once I am about to put on something I query its decency I always panic. It’s during such times that I ask my brother what he thinks about that particular cloth. It’s as if we already know it’s not so decent, but we just want an approval; some sort of consolation in case people give you weird stares. The public stripping of the two ladies that happened last week is criminal. I condemn it in every aspect. But let’s face it, there is a lot of inappropriate dressing around. Let’s be decent not because we are scared of being stripped naked in public, but because we have a dignity to protect.

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