Time’s up. We’re ready for things to change, women and men alike.
It only seemed fitting that after the amazing stand taken by everyone at the Golden Globes yesterday, I wrote this to you.
It’s an age of social movement. Being seen is far easier with the popularity of social media and everyone is connected in a hundred different ways. The tough part is being heard. You can have the strongest message in the world but it seems that in some cases, without being seen by the thousands if not millions of followers, your message may not come across. It’s such a special thing to see the actors, actresses, bloggers etc who have these monumental followings, use them to start change.
The letter titled ‘Dear Sisters’ was one of the most striking things I have read in a long time and it helped me relight the fire behind my message. Written as a response to the ’the original letter of solidarity by 700,000 female farmworkers to a legion of Hollywood actors’ and the #metoo movement, it addresses the lack of gender parity and the yearning for equality for everyone. (Take a peek here to find out more about the movement www.timesupnow.com)
I’m lucky to be supported by people around me in my ventures but even I have come across people who make odd remarks. Those who speak before they think about how what they say will make someone feel. Those that ogle at you as you walk down the street. Have I got something plastered on my forehead? Get a grip, people. I will do what I want, I will stand out as much as I’d like to and you have no place to make me feel like I’m asking for it.
For me and by default, for the label, fashion is a tool for empowerment. It’s a way to embrace who you are and wear it with pride. This notion that what happens to you is affected by what you decide to wear is ridiculous. Of course, wearing black was an option, but it was an option to stand together in union with men and women who believe in the progression of society. Those who believe that every person is equal to the other regardless of gender, skin colour, creed or sexual orientation’. I must admit, my tolerance for ignorance is so low.
It’s infuriating that people think they have the right to judge someone based on who they are. If you don’t like me, please don’t talk to me. I have absolutely no issue with that, but I do not need to be told that what I’m doing or the choices I make mean I am inadequate. It’s a harsh way to put it, but the actions of many really do send that message across.
Adding fuel to the fire, treating people in such a derogatory way in a work environment is just a losing battle. Undermining women and men in the workplace lead to a multitude of other problems. Loss of motivation, anxiety and in extreme cases, suicide. This isn’t okay. Can you imagine the uproar if a guy was groped by his female boss? Why is it fobbed off because it’s the other way around? I know many women who have suffered at the hands of a boss or partner and let me tell you something; there is absolutely NOTHING more satisfying than seeing the same women slay in whatever they do.
The #metoo campaign brought with it an awareness of all these famous faces we look up to, who have been through exactly the opposite of what you’d expect. These headstrong, amazing women who were undermined and treated like objects. A damning statement on society, it’s just proof that we are all the same. If every person can be affected, then why can’t we stop this for every single person too?
While there was talk about the red carpet looking funeral like and depressing, it was a gorgeous affair. It was full of elegance and chic ensembles. Using black to lift any perceived restrictions. It’s gone from ‘who stands out the most’ to ‘who embodied themselves’. Many sported trousers – most definitely a middle finger to the expected ‘every woman dons a dress’. My current obsession Tracee Ellis Ross rocked the red carpet. She wore a dress and turban by Marc Jacobs and a sneaky pair of leggings underneath. Debra Messing left me in awe in her Cristian Siriano get up of trousers and a hi-low tunic dress (I have to add, I sat there and watched the first episode of the returned Will & Grace and yaaaassssssss! WATCH IT!) Last but nowhere near the least, Chris Hemsworth. Floral brocade suit. Need I say more?!?
Here at Sejal Anujah Shah, we have a dream to help empower men and women alike. Whoever steps through our doors, staff or client, we want to make you feel like you run the world. Sunday’s showcase of solidarity is a lesson worth absorbing. It’s a new age of accountability and everyone deserves respect.
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