This happens to me every damn day: I must decide what I have to wear.
It makes me want to say Clay Davis's line from the Wire repeatedly.
Being a woman and getting dressed is kind of absurd. Depending on where I'm going, I feel like I've got certain things to keep in mind.
Am I trying to look professional?
I better hide any part of me that might look young or sexy.
Will there be any men staring at me during my journey? What streets am I walking down?
I shouldn't wear too tight of pants that draw attention to my butt or my legs. I better make sure my bra and my neck aren't showing too much.
Am I seeing a particularly body conscious person today?
Some friends seem to comment on whether I look skinny or not. Since my skin is pale now, I feel like I should wear a different color shirt.
How am I feeling about myself today?
I feel a little bloated today from eating Chinese food yesterday. I don't know if I should hide my body in a big cozy sweater or put on something that makes me look sexy.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guessing that I'm not the only one who feels this way in the morning.
This experience of seeing myself as other people see me is something called self-objectification. Self-objectification is seeing oneself as an object. In the current US media culture, this self-objectification often takes its form as sexual objectification.
Studies have actually shown that this self-objectification increase rates of depression, habitual body monitoring, increased risk for eating disorders, lowered sexual pleasure, lower GPAs, and lower self-esteem.
The answer, my friends, is to subjectify instead of objectify yourself.
Here 3 Ways to Make Getting Dressed more about you:
What are you doing today? Do you need to walk through the elements? Will it be hot or cold? Dress for the weather.
What makes you feeeeeeel good and I mean this in a non-objectifying way. I mean this quite literally for myself. I like to wear soft clothes. I like to wear clothes that don't dig into my body and leave marks. I'm working on finding shoes that don't give me blisters.
3. Wear what YOU want.
One of the coolest and most liberating things about living in New York City is that you could walk around wearing a paper bag as an outfit and I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't look at you twice. I'm firmly of the belief that if you think you look awesome, other people will too. Confidence is the sexiest, most professional thing you can put on.
But the whole point is not caring what THEY think. You're the subject.