A View from Within: Samantha Baker Speaks
University student Samantha Baker was asked to speak about society's interpretation of the way women dress and the comments that Chef Ayesha Curry made in December regarding the way women dress "nowadays".
Today there are more women dressing how society wants them to dress instead of the way they want to dress. Video vixens and Instagram models are poorly leading the way to what an appropriately dressed woman should look like in the public’s eye. These half naked women are being praised by this generation, when they were considered streetwalkers back in my grandma’s day. With everyone wanting to become a model these days, it’s a shame to see a naked girl pose for a camera and call it ‘art’. Don’t get me wrong, nude art is exquisite when it’s handled carefully. But when it is shot with a poor quality camera in a low quality setting, it’s no longer of excellence; it’s raunchy.
The overall root of this issue is the statement ‘not good enough’. Women climb to put themselves on a high pedestal just to end up with misogyny, arrogance, and sexism tearing them down every chance they get. This problem shows up in the movies women watch, the music they listen to, and even the friends and colleagues they have surrounding them. No matter how hard we try as a unit, women will be labeled as ‘not good enough’. Feminism is the first step a woman takes to realize that she can fall out of this phrase and become her own form of woman. This form does not need the approval of anyone, and can feel liberated by no longer following standards.
Times have indeed changed. It is now considered socially acceptable for a 16-year-old girl to date someone ten years her senior. With this idea in mind, the way young girls dress has changed from the typical jeans and a t-shirt, to a thigh length dress with the back cut out and five inch heels; and that’s only to go out to dinner.
Women can wear whatever they choose and we are constantly putting the guard up of not caring what anyone thinks. But a specific outfit can change the way people see you, and having a bad connotation with your name is not what any woman should want for herself.
Q. What's your view of the issue in general?
A. Women and men are finding that dressing provocatively for the world is the new standard and anyone who doesn’t comply is considered a prude. When I go out to the club I want to be comfortable yet stylish, and I firmly believe that many can achieve this without dressing appropriately.
Q. What underlies your thinking?
A. I grew up in the church where I quickly learned what was deemed appropriate and inappropriate. My loving parents also let me experiment with what I wore, not so much in the church as for school. When I did, however, put on a dress that was inappropriate for church, my parents would tell me that I needed to change and then let me know why.
Q. Do you agree or disagree with the comments made by Ayesha Curry?
A. I wholeheartedly agree with the comments made by Ayesha Curry. People never stop growing and style will never stop changing. As a girl soon turns into a woman, she will learn the importance of why she can’t wear certain things to certain events. The comments that were made to Mrs. Curry were immature and adolescent. How do women expect men to take them seriously if they are wearing the most provocative piece of clothing in public for every man to see. It goes along with the old proverb, “if you’re cooking, cleaning, and tending after a man’s every need and you’re nowhere near marriage, why would he consider marrying you if he’s already comfortable?”
Q. What are the implications of women's attire being a societal issue?
A. Some outfits that women wear today suggest that they are easy and are down for whatever. Society associates low cut outfits to be inviting and alluring to the male eye. It is nice to let your hair down and slay the competition with the best combination of hair, makeup, and dress. However, it is also another thing when society thinks that the outfit isn’t fitting for the designated occasion.
Q. How should women dress? Why?
A. Women should not only dress according to the environment they’re in, but also to how they are personally feeling. Wearing clothes that feel comfortable can automatically boost a woman’s self-confidence tremendously. Women are known for changing the status quo of the fashion industry and the meaning of ‘style’ itself. However, I personally do not believe that wearing a tight dress that comes down just under a woman’s backside to church is appropriate, and nine times out of ten it will not be comfortable.
Q. What makes Black girls fly?
A. Black girls are magic simply because they are effortlessly flawless, educated and have the self-confidence and drive of every ancestor that came before them.
Samantha Baker is 21 years old and was born in Jacksonville, FL but raised in the Holy City that is Charleston, SC. She is currently a fashion merchandising and design major at the illustrious North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. AGGIE PRIDE!