Tag Archives: identity

Breaking the stereotype

We live in a society where being different is frowned upon. Expressing who you truly want to be is unacceptable and can make you an outcast within friends, family, and professional environments.

People can be judged on every small detail starting from how you carry yourself to how you dress. Clothing companies strive on stereotypes created by a society built on fitting into a certain category, making it that much harder to tear down the walls and expand out of what is expected of us.

Don’t you wish we could define ourselves however we want to? Can you imagine a world where we are allowed to wear whatever we wanted to without being judged or ridiculed for not dressing how the world wants us to? The first place we need to start is retail stores.

boy and girl
“There are “girl” sections and “boy” sections that are separated in halves. If you are a girl, you shop in the “girl” section and vice versa. If you even think about heading to the other side of the store, eyes follow your every move, confusion and judgment covering their faces.”

Clothing stores are the definition of stereotypes. There are “girl” sections and “boy” sections that are separated in halves. If you are a girl, you shop in the “girl” section and vice versa. If you even think about heading to the other side of the store, eyes follow your every move, confusion and judgment covering their faces. It’s not their fault, really. Society has constructed those people into thinking that gender comes in only black or white, boy or girl, masculine or feminine, but that simply isn’t true.

People should be defined as just that, people. Some identify as a boy or as a girl, but some people don’t. It isn’t fair to expect someone to fit into a specific definition when it’s way more complicated than that.

I’m a girl who likes to wear “girly” clothing but I also love to wear “boy” clothing. When I head over to the “boy” section of a store, I want to feel comfortable and like I belong there, not as if I am confused or out of place. Clothing companies owe it to us to give us the opportunity to be our authentic selves, not to be forced to be the person we think we should be.

Designers need to catch up to the 21st century and start designing clothes that are gender neutral. I’ve been dying to see clothes that have always been made for boys being made for girls. Start creating masculine clothing that fits my small frame. One of the most frustrating experiences is finding a shirt or a pair of pants in the “boy’s” section that I love but having it be way too big for me.

If designers starting making “boy’s” clothes fit girls, it would allow for the inclusion of all genders as well as let everyone wear the clothes they want to and to feel comfortable in those clothes.

Of course, I know that beginning to make clothes gender neutral doesn’t create the end all of gender stereotypes nor the feeling of not fitting in; however, I believe we have to start somewhere and allowing for those who don’t fit into society’s ideal of gender were to be able to express themselves appropriately through clothes, it would be a good start.

ISV Panic

It all started a few weeks ago. I heard that some of the Study Abroad Office members were having concerns. By interviewing sources, whom wished to remain unnamed, members of the Whim staff were able to gather pieces of the story

A representative from an organization going by the acronym ISV, visited several classrooms on campus. The young lady gave a short pitch, which was less than 30 seconds long, to the students. She spoke of her volunteer abroad program and distributed forms to the students.

Anyone can steal your identity. Graphic from Watchdog Nation
Anyone can steal your identity. Graphic from Watchdog Nation

All of the students interested in the volunteer opportunity filled them out. The forms themselves asked for just about every student detail, aide from social security cumbers. In one classroom, the paperwork was left behind and the professor didn’t want to leave so many student details vulnerable, where anyone could pick them up. Therefore, the papers were delivered to the Study Abroad Office. However, things got more complicated when the office stated they had no connection whatsoever with ISV.

The Whim team and I went to follow up on our investigation. Some of us briefly attended the presentation ISV set up in Heth Hall. The program involved volunteering in one of six different countries: Costa Rica, New Zealand, Australia, Dominican Republic, South Africa, and Thailand. During the international travel experience, you could be helping children or endangered species. It just depended on the program. After a few weeks of volunteer work, the second half of the trip is dedicated to adventure travel.

Although there was a hefty sum to pay in order to participate in the program, we found that it was legitimate. Despite that, there were still raised some concerns. Could just anyone get a room on our campus? What credentials do people have to present to get access to our campus?

We learned those details easily enough. Outsiders are, in fact, allowed to rent rooms on our campus as long as they first get into contact with Sally Cox, who coordinates with all room renters and their activities. College students are required to write down many personal details all of the time. The lesson we all gained from this event was a little scary though. We have to be careful with our identities because it’s easy for them to be stolen.