Ebony Women for Social Change hosted an event on Thursday to examine the issues and criticisms women face about their clothing, asking students the question: What makes something trashy, and what makes something classy?
With women’s appearances constantly under scrutiny in society, the decision regarding what to wear gets increasingly difficult. This makes the decision of how to present oneself even harder.
The event, hosted by sophomore Juliette McLean, began with a game in which photos of various celebrities were presented on screen. The members of the audience were then asked to decide whether the woman’s apparel was classy or trashy.
The topic then switched to how other people comment on women’s apparel. Students used examples of celebrities like Ayesha Curry and Dave Chappelle who commented on how women dress. Curry tweeted that the current trend of women wearing revealing clothes was not her style. Chappelle stated in his stand-up that women should not dress in a certain manner if they do not want to be treated accordingly.
Senior Jennifer Emeh disagreed with Chappelle’s sentiment.
“I don’t need to come up in here in a suit for you to respect me as a person,” said Emeh.
Senior Tamisha Ceus countered Emeh’s argument by saying some outfits are more appropriate than others.
“It’s just like going to a job interview, you know you can’t wear certain outfits. I feel like there’s a time and place for certain outfits,” Ceus said.
A big topic of discussion was also how body types affect clothing options. The audience brought up a specific situation in which a fourth grade teacher from Atlanta was reprimanded for her apparel after photos of her went viral.
Sophomore Shania Thomas made the point that the consequences were unfair because none of her apparel would be deemed inappropriate if a different person were to wear the clothes.
“The dress came below her knees there was nothing wrong with it. She’s curvy; she can’t help the way her body is,” said Thomas.
The event also talked about the differences between men and women making comments about how women dress. There was a general consensus that women should not tear one another down when commenting on apparel. Attendees said that derogatory and degrading comments too often come from men when speaking about women’s clothing.
Religious atmospheres were mentioned as a large influencer on the way women dress and how they are perceived. These places are generally looked at as more conservative in terms of appearance and can often have strict dress codes for services.
“Churches are the worst critics. They will really make you feel some type of way about what you wear,” said sophomore Hannah McCoy.