WOW | Men Speak

How short is too short?

Women are often judged on what they wear. Either it’s too short, too revealing, too provocative, too loud, too tight or just inappropriate. Public shaming of women wearing too little or too much is on the rise, yet young women are adamant that they are NOT just about how they dress. It’s a worldwide issue but is it right to judge someone about their personal worth based on how they choose to explore fashion. If fashion is a form of self expression, does this kind of critique help a woman? Yet social norms deem otherwise. Here’s what Nischal Oli have to say on this topic.

Nischal Oli
Art Manager, British Council

Even the shortest dress would easily mask the real issue. What is ironic is the discussion that prevails when discussing ‘function’: Dress by the occasion for sure, but what they do with the individual – their expression? Without pushing boundaries you don’t really have a conversation. There is always going to be that tussle between social expectations and the individual, and for sure women will continue to bear the brunt of our superficial engagement. Throw in sexuality for good measure and you get an unpalatable and volatile dish that continues to serve subjugation in myriad forms, for women, men and other genders. I remember watching a documentary on the Korowai people of Indonesia. They make their homes atop tall trees of West Papua. Wearing close to nothing, the tribe institutes men-first ascension to the tree tops. Intriguingly even nude tribes have the foresight to regiment conduct to protect women from unwanted attention. For the sake of an equal future for all, we need to start asking real questions. Maybe start by recognising our inflated sexual senses and consumer identity exacerbating an already complex issue. There is more than what meets the eye.