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The Future is Gender Fluid Socks

10.Aug.17

Have you ever noticed the glaring gender divide in the sock world? Frills and glittery bits for chicks whilst men get thick cotton and reliable stripes. Of course. If I'm honest, I've always bought clothes designed for dudes - with the odd exception of a dress or a pair of leggings - because there's nothing I despise more than a fitted pastel pink V neck with 'LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE' written in shit glitter across the chest.

Apologies if that's your thing, it's just not mine, and I don't think I should be made to feel bad about that as a woman in a clothes shop. It's this feeling that has brought me to a point in my life where I dislike clothes shopping unless I do it online so I can shop without the grating pressure of departments.

I woke up to an article the other morning about a woman who wrote a strongly-worded letter to Clarks after taking her daughter shopping for shoes and discovering that the girls' selection was not only less sturdy than the boys', but also far less comfortable. As a mother, she felt this sent an underlying and unspoken message to her young daughter - that, as a female, her priorities are different to that of a male. That there is no need for her to be comfortable. That there is no need for her to run around and get dirty. It sends a message that her shoes should be pretty, her feet exposed and uncomfortable.

The internet kicked off and started banging on about how she could just buy boys' shoes instead, but that is far from the point. The point is the message behind the shoes, the thought process behind the design, and the fact that there is a gender divide between shoes at all. 

Then a friend of mine announced that they were introducing a line of T shirts for women. I thought this was cool until I clicked on the photos and, lo and behold, noticed that all the T shirts were cropped. So, what does that tell women who don't have the confidence to wear a crop top - does it tell them that they're not 'real women' unless they can wear a crop top? That women who can't wear a crop top should feel inadequate? Or were they designed by someone who hadn't thought any further than what they would like to see women wear?

How we dress is such an intimate and personal choice. It says everything about us - who we are, what we're into, and what we think of ourselves. I know that I have my own issues with clothing style, colours, which bits of my body I show and which bits I don't. A person's wardrobe is so telling of their state of mind, but similarly the design of a piece of clothing says so much about society's state of mind. It's no wonder we have issues when the people designing our clothes are setting ridiculous clothing standards. The fact we still differentiate between male and female clothes is jurassic madness, because what do these separatist terms do except create a feeling of discomfort?

People should wear whatever the fuck they want, whenever they want. If you want to wear a crop top, wear one. If you want to wear a slick dinner jacket and tails, wear a fucking slick dinner jacket and tails. If you want to wear a neon tutu and a bomber jacket, do it. Own it. It is of no matter what you identify as, it only matters that you feel good. Since the world is transcending into a world of gender fluidity, the clothing world needs to wake up and do the same. Thank fuck for phannatiq.

BIG LOVE,

Phan Grrrl


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