Halloween this year brought with it the usual excitement of pumpkins, parties, and finding the perfect costume. Among the festivities, however, lay something far scarier than any ghost or ghoul – the idea that people can dictate what others, especially women, can and cannot wear.
Although it is less than two months until we are in 2017, it is sometimes difficult to tell what century we are in as there remains an issue around something as trivial as clothing choices. It is sad that women are still making hurtful comments instead of supporting each other.
The topic was hotly debated on Twitter last week when, without a hint of irony, British actress Michelle Keegan made a statement about what constitutes an acceptable Halloween outfit.
Halloween… For the people who dress up in underwear and throw blood on themselves and think it's ok… It's not!
— michelle keegan (@michkeegan) October 29, 2016
Her statement caused a stir and users soon began pointing out her hypocrisy; Michelle has posed in underwear for publicity shots multiple times, and she has even chosen to display a Twitter profile picture of her scantily clad. The issue lies with Michelle choosing to dress up in underwear for entertainment, while condemning others that do the same.
Although Michelle's tweet racked up a considerable number of retweets and likes, there were plenty of people who disagreed with her archaic stance on feminism and free will.
@michkeegan does your profile picture automatically make you a hypocrite?
— Hannah ϟ (@HannahMcBlain) October 30, 2016
@michkeegan think people should probably be able to wear whatever they want? Live and let live… they aren't hurting you
— Bethany Worton ❣ (@bethanyworton_x) October 30, 2016
Unless you’ve been living under a rock this year, you will have heard of the hotly-anticipated Suicide Squad film that was released in the summer. Many girls were so enamoured with Margot Robbie’s depiction of bad-ass supervillain Harley Quinn, that they decided to dress up as the character over the Halloween weekend.
This was derided on social media, presumably by people who have forgotten those few years where we could not move for Joker doppelgangers at Halloween. Instead of being ridiculed, women should be applauded for their creativity in emulating Harley’s style and for having the confidence to wear the outfit despite the sarcastic, ironically common cries of, “How original!”
Here are five reasons why we should not judge half of the population on what they're wearing:
1) It destroys confidence when we should be fostering positive self-image
Women are frequently made to feel ashamed and guilty for their choice of clothing, while men can step out in far less without criticism. According to a survey carried out by Childwise, young women often express feeling less confident than their male counterparts. It is hardly a surprise given that girls are bombarded with the societal rhetoric of, “Ne proud of yourself… But not too much.”
2) Everyone has the right to express themselves, whether you like it or not
So long as they are not hurting anyone, every individual has the choice to dress as provocatively or conservatively as they wish. For too long society has oppressed certain groups of people for what they choose to wear instead of celebrating their character, substance and creativity.
3) Fashion is fun, if not extremely fickle
Halloween is, at most, one weekend out of the year. As soon as November hits you will not have to see another 'envy inducing' Harley Quinn lookalike on Facebook. Why get so worked up about someone else’s choice of clothing when, this time next week, it will not matter at all?
4) Judging someone's choice of attire perpetuates the false notion of attention seeking.
One fact that seems impenetrable to the bubbles of some social circles is that women do not dress/wear make-up/insert-activity-here for the attention. A read through some of the topics that regularly trend on Twitter will tell you that women are forced to experience unwanted attention everyday simply because they chose to wear a certain outfit.
5) What other people wear has precisely nothing to do with you.
No explanation needed.
What do you think of Michelle's hypocrisy? Let us know in the comments below!