What is the purpose of clothing? Is it to express? To empower? To reinvent? Perhaps all of the above, depending on the day and your mood.
I read this lovely essay yesterday and it stuck with me. In "I Do Care About Your Party," Umm Adam, homemaker and mother of four, shares why she chooses to cover her body. "I believe the purpose of clothing, as defined by God in the Quran, is to cover your body and for beautification," she writes in Women in Clothes. "As long as my body is covered properly, I am fine."
My favorite part:
"When I cover myself, I am passing on a message to to others, saying: I respect myself, my body is precious and beautiful, I know that, but it is none of your business. It is my private business and I respect my privacy and will allow only those whom I please to allow into that private space... My interaction with you is not physical. I have a brain and a soul and am an intelligent individual, and that's what you need to interact with."
It's a long read, but worth it. You may agree with Adam. You may not. But I think it's important to see things from different perspectives. There's always something new we can learn from each other.
Knowledge is power.
Adam's essay originally appears in Women in Clothes.
Opening illustration by Georges Pilotelle.
Images from ArtLooper.com, authentichistory.com, Vanity Fair and "Girl Before A Mirror" by Pablo Picasso.