Human minds are amazing- we can see one thing and think of something completely different simultaneously, just by the method of association. For example, we can see a cat and think of Captain Marvel or a deer can make us remember Salman Khan. Crazy, isn’t it? But what is even crazier is how society has trained and conditioned us to a point where we can assume a person’s whole lifestyle just by taking a glance at their fashion choices. If we are being honest, none of us can actually claim that seat on the high horse because intentionally or unknowingly, we have at some point or the other at least once judges someone based on their attire.
This attitude has been ingrained in our behavior so deeply that there even are single-word stereotypes correlating a certain type of clothing to a certain type of personality. Behenjis are always salwar clad God-fearing ideal Indian women; chomus or nerds are the soft-spoken, simply dressed, bespectacled bookish fools.
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But as Bob Dylan said, the times, they are a changing. As our views of self-identity and expression are shifting rapidly, one’s personality can no longer be really attached to their outer appearance. Sorry to disappoint you Bollywood, but just because a girl is wearing Indian clothing in her everyday life does not mean that they are not “westernized” enough, in whatever sense that is taken. Take last year’s Gudi Padwa celebrations in Maharashtra for example. Several traditional saree clad women actually held a bike rally riding bullets. How’s that for your Indian damsel in distress?
— Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) July 7, 2017
Or what about the times when Ranveer Singh stepped out wearing so-called “feminine” fashion. In traditional sensibilities, he would have been considered insane (for lack of better words) or a cross-dresser when in reality he is just a very normal Indian male secure enough in his identity.
The point is, just because someone is dressed a certain way, does not really prove they themselves are a certain person. Steve Jobs too dressed in a simple turtleneck and jeans every day, throughout his life. If we stick to our habit of translating someone’s fashion into their whole life, then Jobs would appear the poorest guy ever. But the reality and the iPhones in our hands say something quite the opposite. Different people choose to express themselves or not to express themselves in different ways. Fashion is hardly ever a reliable barometer to measure an individual.