Fashion, Impact & Young Women

Dr. Martin Luther King and Corbett’s Scott King

At the end of the summer there were several heated conversations regarding the way my daughter and her contemporaries dress.

She insisted that it didn’t matter and no one cared. I completely disagreed, but could not explain exactly why.

For myself and my daughters, I have a certain standard, and this standard does not change with the seasons or passing fashions. We have typically not done things the way other people do them, and collectively we do not follow the crowd.

My daughter was leaving for college soon, and it was very important to me that she took with her my values. As a person who loves words it was challenging to find the right words to convey my thoughts on this topic so she could truly understand. I did not want to deliver a lecture on my antiquated opinions on how women dressed themselves and how they were judged or perceived by others. She knew everything there was to know about how society objectifies women.

Finally, I came up with an example; Dr. Martin Luther King dressed impeccably, as did his wife. They presented themselves in a graceful and dignified way that made it inevitable that others would respond and act on their message of peaceful protest. Dr. King stood for peace, knowledge, and social change. The eloquence of his speeches and the manner and respectful way he delivered them while neatly dressed in a suit and tie swayed a generation. Against formidable odds he changed U.S. policies on segregation and remains a guiding force and inspiration to millions.

What I wanted my daughter to understand was that her ideas and what she brings to the world are the things that will make her the most impactful. How she presents herself and what she wears is simply the packaging. The package should never detract from or dominate it’s contents, but serve to support them.

Before she left for college we went shopping. She picked out clothes that we both could live with. Recently, she sent me a video of her walking across campus in the rain wearing a white turtleneck sweater. As I watched her walk the clothing receded from the frame and all I could see was her beautiful smile.

Do clothes matter? I would love your opinions. Please comment below.

Love and blessings to all.

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