At one of my first jobs I told a group of dude coworkers, as an aside to a long, yet interesting, story, "I'm not very feminine."
"That it is shallow to judge by appearances is a well-known saying. That it is shallow to dismiss appearances is a lesser-known truth" - Poet Yahia Lababidi*
"Yeah, no kidding!" my coworker responded, precisely .001 millisecond later.
I had no idea. I actually thought I was sharing a deep, unknown opinion about myself, not a hard fact. The resolute and lightning fast response truly shocked me.
I have the social perception of an felt tip pen so all this time, I figured my long hair said "I'm a lady-like lady!"
I didn't think I was being compared to ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE...not simply my coworkers. It's amazing how we can be clueless. I thought my long hair and occasional jewelry was saying something. I guess my deep voice, swearing, and swagger negated my sterling silver hoops and ponytail.
|The gloves and pearls say I'm a lady, fighting to get out!|
I felt defeminized. As in "I saw the most beautiful pig, Miss. Piggy and realized I'll just never be as much of a woman compared to her... I felt so defeminized" (thank you, Kal and Jill!)
|You, Miss Piggy, you are a Lady and a Scholar|
I learned clothing is not merely a tool to prevent awkward nudity, but to assert some statement which in turn, directly impacts how one is perceived.
Even if you don't pay attention to how you look, other people do In other words, dressing is a very personal way to design.
Quoted in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel and taken from The June 2007 issue of The Week Volume 7 Issue 312.