Growing up in a Pakistani Muslim household, the basic values of modesty were always instilled in my life. And quite frankly, I never had a problem with it.
I love Islam and its values of modesty. I understand why it’s important to stay covered and look decent – especially living in a modernized society. But what I don’t understand is why my parents seem to overreact to the most harmless pieces of clothing.
When I was in elementary school, I was allowed to wear capri pants or tank tops because I was “younger”, and therefore, it was okay for me to show my body in ways that would be intolerable as my body filled out, I got my period, and I transited from child to woman.
As I got older, I understood this better and avoided bikinis and mini-skirts. Even to this day, I don’t see the need for me to show my legs. But that’s a personal preference. The thing is, I don’t feel comfortable showing my legs. So it’s not a big deal to me.
But honestly, I think I deserve to wear what I want if it makes me feel good and if I’m comfortable with it. I know my limits as to what I can and cannot do as a Pakistani and as a Muslim. But I don’t think wearing jeans with a slit in the knee is distancing me from either my religious or cultural identities.
Since middle school, my parents have continuously given me a hard time over what I wear. A lace shirt isn’t okay. Neither are rolled up jeans. Or even a chiffon blouse that’s slightly see-through. I’m glad they disciplined me when I was younger. But I’m almost 18, and its okay for me to make decisions about what I can and cannot wear.
Addressing the issue of my parents constantly criticizing my outfits recently came up again over the past few weeks. Last week, I came downstairs in a cute top and black jeans that had small rips in the knees. My parents were furious as to how I could possibly think it’s okay to wear such offending pants. God forbid I ever show my sexy knees to the world.
Strangely enough, this happened during the time I was coming to a much needed realization that I’m allowed to make decisions concerning my own body. If I want to be revealing, let me. Regardless of what I wear, I know that I’ll always stay true to myself and my beliefs.
This is my life, my body, my rules.
Wearing something that makes me feel good makes me feel empowered. I love looking good and feeling comfortable in my own skin. Doesn’t everyone?
I’ve struggled with body issues over the last four years I spent in high school. I was always “too skinny” and I hated the way I looked in certain clothes. I felt gross. I felt like I was never pretty enough.
Now that I’ve grown, and my body has changed with time, there are some things I love wearing that make me feel good. And I wear it despite what others think.
When I go out with friends, a cute black body con dress with tall boots is my go-to outfit. I love my body, and I love to embrace it in whatever I wear. And just because I show an inch of my knee doesn’t immediately make me slutty in any way.
I live in an area with a tight knit brown community. Sometimes it’s amazing, other times it’s incredibly frustrating dealing with aunties and their gossip. I can’t tell you how many times an aunty has made a comment about what I was wearing to one of my parents.
At my freshman year Homecoming dance, I was totally called out by an aunty who apparently saw me wearing a dress with my bare legs showing – which, by the way, my parents were okay with me wearing at the time. It’s times like this where I begin to question our trapped society and the small minds of some people.
Nobody has the right to make comments about another person’s child and what they’re wearing or doing. Heck, it’s called minding your own damn business.
I feel like that’s part of the reason my parents are so unreasonable with some of the things they limit me from wearing. It’s the fear of judgement from the community. My parents are more chill than others, and I’m super thankful for that. But, overall, I think we’re all doing a bad job of adhering to a Westernized society.
I’m finally off to college in the fall.
This means no more coming downstairs to get approval for what I’m wearing, and no more worrying about my parents freaking out over every shirt that isn’t a turtleneck.
I definitely won’t be abusing my freedom, but I’m looking forward to wearing what I please without the wrath of my parents.