- I would consider my social group as being college students. In this group the norms for dressing are rather ambiguous, but largely characterized by the need to be comfortable. A typical college student outfit would be jeans and a t-shirt. In The Dressed Body, dress is described as social and is also produced through “routine practices directed towards the body (Entwistle, 34). The dress of a college student is somewhat dictated by the interactions between each other, but it is highly influenced by long days on campus. T-shirt and jeans is a versatile style, giving a solid foundation for personal expression. There are many variations, from grungy to chic, but its casualness makes it the ideal uniform for a long day at school. As this comfy combination is the predominant style in my closet, I can’t see myself wanting to change this norm. Walking around campus, I often see other students trying to break away from the casual mold. One look at their stiletto heels, fully done up hair and make-up, or whatever they’re sporting, makes me feel immediate discomfort for them. Although usually an advocate of walking to the beat of your own drum, this fashion norm is one bandwagon I will gladly jump on. I don’t see myself ever giving up my denim and tees.
- We dress within the boundaries of our culture to avoid “social censure” (Entwistle, 36). Early on we develop an “epidermic self-awareness”, a sense of how our dress fits us and how it fits into society around us (Entwistle, 45). I experienced fashion embarrassment at a typical age: preteen. Growing up in a very conservative, religious family, we were required to emulate modesty and femininity. This, of course, is still a standard I strive for. I have zero intentions of beginning to dress provocatively, however the way I express this modesty has grown more lax over the years. Our clothes growing up had a “moral imperative” for us (Entwistle, 48). This style choice was conveyed though loose, baggy jumpers/dresses/skirts. I didn’t wear a pair of pants until I was perhaps 11 or 12. I remember feeling embarrassed going out at times, when my friends were wearing cute, “trendy” clothes, and I was swathed in what I felt was a floral garbage bag. This time of low fashion self-esteem led to experimentation and attempts to create a new image for myself. I began to choose more form fitting clothes and attempted to mimic the trends of my friends. The irony of this is that today my personal style evolved into a relaxed statement. Now, I prefer loosely fitting clothing, I don’t consider myself a trend follower, I shop at thrift stores, and prefer to dress as though pajamas are acceptable to wear to any occasion.
- This question can be viewed different ways. I perceive my body as both passive and political. Is the very fact that I am wearing clothing a sign of passivity? I acknowledge the push of society to be dressed and I comply by wearing styles that are recognizable by my culture. Or is the active acknowledgment of the norms of society a political statement? I am actively choosing to follow these cultural stipulations, instead of actively choosing other less conventional ways of expressing my body. My body is political because I don’t follow the trends of my generation. I choose to wear clothes that are comfortable to me, regardless of whether or not it is “fashion forward” or not. I pay more attention to the everyday routine that dictates my clothing, rather than the style of my peers. I would define myself as not “a passive object”, but produced through particular, routine, and mundane practices (Entwistle, 45).