Sorry, folks, I’ve never dressed in a way that compromised my true self. The fuck?
The question is literally asking me to make shit up.
i think this is an interesting prompt and one that actually gives minorities a chance to talk about the everyday ways that society is oppressive to them.
society asks us to dress in certain ways in order to be taken seriously or become successful all the time, these standards are based on middle-class, white, hetereosexual, binary-gendered norms. people who fall outside that norm are forced all the time to compromise their “true selves.” having been raised in a white, middle-class environment (although i’m asian) and being a cis-woman, i have picked up the social dress code necessary for success with little to no conflict. it is a privilege that i, as a relatively small, asian, cis-woman, have rarely felt forced to wear something i felt uncomfortable with in order to meet social expectations (though i was forced to wear a hanbok for a HS graduation photo by my white mother, but that’s a whole other story). the few times that i have felt uncomfortable about what i felt expected to wear was when i had to wear something more “feminine” (and i actually enjoy dresses and skirts - typically seen as feminine - but i don’t necessarily want to wear one in any and all situations). the few limitations i have felt on my style have been due to the fetishization of asian women - purposefully steering clear of anything that i felt might exacerbate that, though ideally i shouldn’t have to give a fuck about that.
not only do i have the luxury of what i feel comfortable wearing generally always being deemed as “acceptable” and “appropriate” by society, even in times when i want to look “hip” or fashionable, as a relatively small, middle-class-coded, asian cis-woman, i can do so without ever having to worry about looking dangerous or suspicious. that is, i can wear the exact same clothes that someone of another race, gender, economic class, gender identification can not wear without the fear of looking dangerous or suspicious, or the fear of harassment by others (including police). we see this all the time and this is why the appropriation of other cultures is not ok. miley cyrus, kei$ha, etc etc have the luxury of appropriating “black” culture in order to look “edgy,” without having to face any of the negative images of “poor,” “ghetto,” “gang member,” “drug dealer,” “criminal,” etc. that actual members of the black community face everyday. same for people who appropriate styles from immigrant cultures. a white woman can wear a bindi and people think she’s “cultured” or “worldly”… while an actual indian woman who wears a bindi looks “backwards.”
in short, it is a privilege to never or rarely be forced to compromise your style in order to be accepted by society. and it is a privilege to be able to appropriate “subversive” styles in order to look “hip” without feeling any of the negative effects.