Words Don’t Define You
By.. “Samnang Hor”
Clothing and styling have had a significant effect on self-esteem and confidence. Your style and the clothes you choose reflect and affect your mood, health, and overall self-confidence. Clothing is used to conserve privacy also be an expression of your personal identity and national culture and customs. For example, short skirts, small shorts, or any revealing tops are not very common in Cambodia, but traditional Cambodian fashion clothes define our culture and customs.
But things become different in these recent years, more trends and fashion are approaching society. For the past recent years, Cambodians have adopted more trend styles from the Western, such as Italy, France, Korea, Hong Kong, etc.
In the modern society, it is frequently to see young adolescent females wearing revealing clothes such as short skirts, tank tops, crop tops, or any revealing apparel. Do all of these girls be notified of positive reactions? Or it is all about insulting in negative aspects.
Going to work, school or outdoor, those girls and women often wear makeups, stylish fashion dresses, shorts or skirts. These people consistently get negative comments from men and older people. Those comments and criticisms are all about the revealing clothing are attention-getting and sexual attractions. For Cambodians, wearing this type of clothes (revealing apparel) means opposing the formal Khmer, cultural dressing styles. In school, female students are wearing short skirts cause a distraction to male students from studying, and teachers to provide a low condition of education.
On March 29, 2010, a report from the Phnom Penh Post news article has stated that “more than 100 people who came out to urge Khmer women to dress modestly.” In addition, San Arun, a Secretary of State for the Ministry of Women’s affair, has also stated that “Wearing short skirts and sexy clothes cause rape to occur, because all men, went they see white skin, immediately feel like having sex.”
Instead of telling women to stop wearing revealing clothes, why don’t we all start a marched against human right and male perpetrators who rape women and young child, the men who commit violence in his family each day and night or male teachers who sexually harass their female students?
A sentence Cambodian usually said it out loud everytime a woman wearing revealing clothes walking passes them, “wearing sexy clothing can cause traffic accidents”. By that those people are commenting on how wearing revealing clothes catches attention and distracts drivers on the roads.
Dr. Jennifer Baumgartners is a psychoanalyst of clothing. She recently published a book called You Are What You Wear. This book concerns body image issues such as dressing too old or too young for our age or too big and small for our size. You Are What You Wear is all about media’s sexualization of women. The book is the guide of having confidence in your appearance and being your true self. What Dr. Baumgartners is trying to emphasis on is how allowing the readers to feel understood and that she is not alone.
Media is a very powerful place to promote culture and custom, but it can also be very harmful. Young teenagers now get a lot of effects from social media, these teenagers will follow what they heard and saw projected in the media. In 2002, Prime Minister Hun Sen banned pop stars in Cambodia from advertising in revealing clothes when they appeared on television.
Quoted by Agence-France Presse (AFP), our prime minister Hun Sen said: “These singers who like to wear sexy clothes look like they have not enough clothing. Don’t bring them on to TV, let them sing in nightclubs or restaurants. This is not Cambodian tradition, and we have our own rich traditions and culture.”
In the present day, society has a tendency to jump to a quick and judgment in the name of propriety. In these few decades, there are a lot of painful public shaming of how women wear revealing clothes and how girls wear makeup to impress boys. This has been a really big discussion issue around the world, and more than likely, if you’re a woman, you’ve encountered all of the effects and judgments.
A makeup artist quoted, “We don’t wear makeup to look pretty. We wear it because we enjoy the process of putting it on. The ‘natural look makes us cringe & bright colors are more fun. We don’t do it for the boys, we do it for ourselves. Eyeshadow is our drug. Sephora, Ulta & MAC are our dealers. repost if makeup isn’t just materials, but your passion.”
We realize that society is very judgemental and complicated. Just because somebody dresses or looks a certain way doesn’t mean that’s how they are, people have different styles and tastes. Everyone has the right to express themselves. We’re living in a world where judging has become that nasty, even cough people can’t seem to get rid of. Life is too short for it, let’s lift people up instead of bringing them down.
Dedicated to all girls and women, every morning when you wake up, tell yourself to not worry about what others think of you because people’s words don’t define you. Always remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you’d ever imagined. No matter how old or young you are, no matter how tall or short you are, no matter how curvy or slim you are, no matter how or who you are. Wear whatever makes you feel beautiful, whatever makes you feel confident and buy clothes the size you want to wear.
Make your own definition of beauty.