Social Question

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

What exactly makes us think that we have any say in what other people wear?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23285 points ) August 3rd, 2011

I did get this from the teenagers and piercings question, though I’ve seen similar comments come up so many times in other discussions about tattoos and piercings. People will express that some people “just can’t pull it off” or “shouldn’t wear this or that.”

I also see this mentality often when regarding a heavy person wearing tight or revealing clothing. Particularly women. And often just women in general, for example: “What was she thinking when she put that on this morning?”
Right away, my own thought is that if it isn’t hurting anyone, why should we care?
We have tons of makeover shows on TV, magazines are constantly printing articles about what you shouldn’t wear… but seriously, now, why is it any of our business what other people are doing with their own bodies?

Of course we all have preferences. Some things are attractive to us and some things are not, but I really think it goes beyond that. What is it about society and our, dare I say it, obsession with how everyone around us looks?

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24 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

The only people I feel like I have a say in what they wear are my children and I know that’s just temporary.

That being said, if someone asks my opinion, they will get just that, my opinion of whatever it is they are asking about (such as in the piercing question).

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Simply put,it is just that.An opinion.
Everybody’s got one.
Now as to what others think of someone else’s opinion on their decisions is up to them.
A confident person won’t let that bother them.;)

bob_'s avatar

You didn’t get the memo? I was recently named King of the World.

Cruiser's avatar

I would be seriously bored if people stopped playing dress like a clown, or piercing their foreheads and or coloring their hair pink! The wilder it is the more fun I get to have! I am grateful nobody had cellphone cameras when I was a teenager trying to get a rise out of my folks! They were expert as saying “that’s nice” no matter how hard I tried!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Of course, as I said, we all have preferences about what we like and don’t like. But doesn’t society as a whole have a strong interest in what people are wearing?
It’s one thing to say to yourself that it isn’t something that you would choose for yourself, or that you aren’t necessarily attracted to it…. but beyond that it is really none of our business.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf -I wouldn’t sweat that.
Some sheeple put too much emphasis on what others think and that includes society.To live one’s own life requires confidence.

Blackberry's avatar

We do all have opinions, but I wouldn’t take it passed that, like heckling someone. Sometimes people look funny in certain clothes and you do genuinely wonder what they were thinking (people of walmart). Judgment is a part of our society. We judge people on pretty much anything: race, religion, hair, skin, relationships, choice of music, choice of car, etc etc etc.

My only problem is people that make a scene out of it. A woman I dated always made her judgments a little too loud and once she made a comment about a guy wearing pajamas as he was walking past us and he turned around and confronted her. If you’re going to talk about someone, please make sure the coast is clear, it’s just classier that way lol.

YARNLADY's avatar

I do not have a clue. I am fashion blind.

incendiary_dan's avatar

In some cases, there is a particular sense of entitlement to have influence over others, particularly women. But I think in most cases people are just being nosy or opinionated and talking idly.

Hibernate's avatar

We might not have anything to say in most of the cases but I do believe when you are in charge over some people at work OR when you are a headmaster at a school/private school etc OR when you attend some activities you have a say over what they are wearing because some outfits aren’t suitable for those places.

But if it’s about how people dress or wear when they walk on the street or in their spare time we don’t need to point out these things just because it’s not out business. Though someone doesn’t need to be close to indecent exposure because he’s wearing things that do not cover up their body to well.

Seelix's avatar

I think that a lot of people are very preoccupied with what others think of the way they look (whether they want to admit it or not). Judging the appearances of others probably makes them feel better about themselves, in a way. By criticizing what they think is bad fashion, they’re asserting to themselves that they have good taste.

Of course, I think it’s ridiculous. Aside from certain societal conventions with respect to what is and isn’t work-appropriate, for example, I couldn’t give a shit what other people wear.

josie's avatar

Everyone is entitled to my opinion. When I want your opinion, I’ll give it you. :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Happens here on Fluther all the time. Just check out Jude’s eyebrow grooming question. It’s amazing, isn’t it…how much people will think it’s okay to say ‘she was beautiful but if only she weren’t wearing that or if only her eyebrows were groomed or her toes or her leg hair or her belly fat wasn’t there or her eyes were different colors of if her ears weren’t so pointy, etc etc’ – women do this to women even more than men do this to women…the realm of appearance have been handed down to women and they run away with it, they’re the judges and executioners and they’re merciless.

josie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I knew eventually, with patience and persistence, we would find something to agree upon.

Blackberry's avatar

Grabs Simone and Josie for an awkward group hug…

Vunessuh's avatar

Someone stating an opinion regarding someone else’s appearance, usually doesn’t think they have a say in how that person chooses to live their life. They’re just expressing an opinion of different taste and/or disapproval. I don’t feel it’s really about control, although for some, it could be. I can see where receiving an unasked for/unwanted opinion might be frustrating, but I wouldn’t give it too much credence, especially if it’s coming from strangers on the internet. Debating the opinion is fine, but developing insecurities from it isn’t that other person’s problem. Some people seek too much validation for their self-worth through everyone else. That isn’t healthy.

I just remember that these same people who consistently take issue with how other’s choose to live their lives are usually the same one’s who have a problem with how people choose to spend their money (often called “class envy”). What? You don’t like that I just bought my dog a whole new wardrobe? That money should have gone to charity? WELL, FUCK YOU. People who think they can eliminate your free will and “guide” you properly with force or patronization need manners and a punch in the head. Fuck ‘em.

woodcutter's avatar

I would love to follow Joan Rivers around in a Walmart. Oh would that be the shit.

martianspringtime's avatar

I think most people at some point (at least mentally) critique someone for wearing something we think they have no business wearing. I’ve caught myself doing it plenty of times, but lately I’ve just been thinking “Why shouldn’t they wear that? If they’re confident in what they’re wearing, more power to them, whether I’d wear it myself or not”.

I don’t know what it is exactly that makes us think we have a place in judging what other people should ‘be able to wear,’ but I guess it’s part of the culture most of us are surrounded by. Magazines comment more on celebrities’ bikini bodies and last season clothing than their movies or albums. Every advertisement for beauty supplies is usually framed so that we’re told we don’t look acceptable without them. We hold everyone up to what the media tells us a person that looks a certain way should wear. It’s not just that ads imply that we aren’t good enough without their products, but it’s that no one else does either.

I mean look at the movie poster for that movie ‘Bridesmaids’, for example. All of the girls are wearing the same exact strapless pink dress, except the girl who is a little bit bigger, who gets an entirely different dress. Same colour and style, but made differently enough so that we get the message that “girls that size shouldn’t wear dresses like those”.

For all I know, the girl in Bridesmaids may have requested that she had a different dress, but I think the point still stands as this is seen in a lot of different shows/movies/etc; I think Glee is another example.

ucme's avatar

Elitist bullshit?

Seelix's avatar

@martianspringtime – You’re absolutely right about the different styles on Glee. The character Mercedes, who is heavier than the other girls, used to wear differently-styled dresses when the cast was performing in matching outfits.

Interestingly, I noticed that in one more recent episode, since the character Lauren (who is quite a bit larger than Mercedes) has joined the cast, that Mercedes bares a little more and Lauren is the one who’s covered up. It seems that Mercedes has been losing some weight, so that might have to do with it.

And yes, the larger girls could very well have requested different styles, but it seems to be a trend.

Nullo's avatar

I always thought that fashion was about other people, society, et cetera. Like a boring MMO.

woodcutter's avatar

Maybe in a work environment there would be guidelines. If a business owner has a vision of what he wants the front end of their business to look like, then it’s their call.

JessicaRTBH's avatar

I judge everyone. I’m sure it comes from my inner bitch and the fact that I work in an industry based on appearance. I’m shallow and vain and have no issue admitting that. I think most people are yet haven’t come to terms with it yet. I know I’ve answered a number of questions about fashion, what not to wear, eyebrows, etc. I think on here I’d come off as much more harsh than in reality. In reality I’d never say those things I’d just think them. On a sales floor I’d just suggest something more flattering. It’s not my business to care what people wear but it is my business to dress people well so I may have issues separating the two.

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