Standards Impossible


We’ve all got Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Leonardo DiCaprio covered, but we missed the dresses. How could we miss the dresses? Did no one notice the new cool? It’s scraps, slits and transparent fabric. Whatever happened to proper dressing? Nudity is not a celebration of the human body. Healthy living is. But say it is. Still, the human body is not supposed to shimmer. And it is not supposed to be anorexic, either.

Lorde be like: We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair

But it’s not the dresses that are the problem. It’s the intentions. The moment you bare parts of your body in excess, you bare intentions. For one thing, it does not make you look beautiful. Bone-flashing from behind party gowns only makes you look like a fancy skeleton, and skeletons are supposed to be scary. There’s a reason they are used in horror movies and haunted houses.

But, back to intentions, must you absolutely flaunt that body now that you have it? You mustn’t. And if you are doing so, it is either because you want approval or because you want admiration. Approval comes from those already in your league, it is admiration that comes from the ordinary folk – men and women – and it seldom comes without idealization.

I don’t care what first-world elites wear to their parties. That’s not my world and these are not my problems. But it troubles me, when I come to think of it, of the standards that are being set for little girls and young women growing up in these highly current societies where trends matter and are kept track of… where these problems are real and growing. If you don’t believe me, just hear out Why thinking you’re ugly is bad for you by Meaghan Ramsey.

Emily: She’s doing it better than me. P.S. I know Emily’s not a skeleton

That is not how it is in Pakistan, though. For better or for worse, we have bigger problems here. And we have some, actually many, exceptionally talented designers who have struck a most exquisite balance between beauty and modesty. They deserve to be thanked for it because they have made us proud of our sartorial identity like we never were before, and because they never set standards impossible for our bodies to conform to.


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