So I wasn’t planning on posting something today, but I just watched a Youtube video that struck a cord with me and I wanted to echo it on here because I think the message is amazing. I want to spread the amazingness like glitter (it gets on everything it touches and stays there forever!).
I’ve been following a Youtuber (she identifies as a lesbian) for a couple years now, her name is Shannon Beveridge (nowthisisliving on Youtube and all social media) and she just posted a video venting her frustrations about strange confrontations she has had while shopping in the men’s department of certain stores. I couldn’t help but yell YAS QUEEN at everything she was saying because I have also had a few awkward confrontations with people while shopping in the men’s section of stores. I am a woman and I am proud to be one, but my style has always been more tomboyish. It is just what I like.
It has taken a while for my sense of fashion to fully develop. Growing up, I was always extremely conflicted when faced with fashion choices. I mostly relied on my older sister to guide me, but if you guys know her, she is super feminine and we are almost on opposite ends of the spectrum as far as style choices go. I have always been much more of a jeans and t-shirt type of gal and was kind of shamed for it when I was younger. I just didn’t understand where I fit on the fashion spectrum. I remember being so psyched when sweater vests became a thing again, I think I had one in every color that American Eagle sold in the 7th grade.
When I came out as gay, I started to understand that style is something that you develop yourself and it has a lot more to do with confidence than the material you put on your body. I began to see gay women wearing suits and bowties, and suddenly I understood where I fit. Fashion isn’t just feminine. There’s a beautiful place where feminine and masculine senses of style can mesh (androgyny) and it is lovely. And that it is ok to blur the lines between the two. That requires you to venture to sections of the store that maybe you’ve always admired from afar, but were scared to delve into.
In the video, Shannon talks about three different confrontations she had with people (mostly retail workers and sometimes other shoppers) recently while shopping in the men’s section at different stores. I too, have felt the anxiety that comes with tip toeing into the men’s section of different stores. For a while, I wouldn’t do it. I would just do my shopping in the men’s section online and it was easier. But sometimes it is more convenient to actually try things on in a store or they have different retail in the store than they have online. Then one day I just thought to myself, “Why?” I should be able to shop wherever I want, and if other people have a problem with it then they can suck it.” After a few odd looks from people and awkward confrontations, I ran back home with my tail between my legs straight back to online shopping.
It is daunting when you feel as if other people are judging you. Shopping should be an enjoyable experience and one in which you feel comfortable, and sometimes it simply isn’t. I once had a woman (a fellow shopper), ask me if I was shopping for my husband or boyfriend. I’ve had cashiers ask me if I accidentally picked up the wrong item. I’ve had changing room attendants ask me if I am really going to try that on. And it is honestly enough sometimes to make me throw my hands in the air and say to hell with being fashionable. I will just go home and wear sweatpants and oversized free t-shirts for the rest of my days. But then I remember why it is so important to keep going into the men’s section. Why it is important to tell those people that confront me about it exactly what I am doing because that is how we make progress and change people’s attitudes. Baby steps and exposure.
Shannon has a great message at the end of her video. She says to wear whatever makes you feel like YOU, no matter what that is. It could be a dress from the maternity section or it could be completely men’s clothes. It does not matter how you identify, you should wear what you feel comfortable in and shop in whatever section you damn well please. It should not be questioned or met with strange looks. Just do you. I completely agree.
DON’T LET THE HATERS GET YOU DOWN! SLAY ALL.DAMN.DAY
I will add the link to the video below if you would like to watch it and I suggest that you do. If you’re someone that thinks it is strange to see women wearing men’s clothes and men wearing women’s clothes, hopefully this gives you insight into what it feels like to be on the other side of the awkward confrontations and strange looks. If you are someone that has been scared to try something new and potentially taboo by society’s standards, hopefully this helped give you some confidence. Be you because you are beautiful and lovely just as you are.