As we enjoy the longer, warmer days of summer, it is important to remember to check our biases and inclination to judge others’ bodies and clothing choices.

Comfort and expression motivate how we dress and they are personal and different for each of us.

Criticizing how others are dressed is invasive and provides no benefit.

If you are uncomfortable with someone’s choice of clothing, I encourage you to ask yourself why.

In a work setting, there is, typically, a dress code or expectation.

Holding an employee accountable to that is appropriate. However, pay attention to who you are consistently holding accountable.

Women, girls, and femme presenting and identifying individuals are often targets for restrictive policies that inherently sexualize them.

This objectification contributes to rape culture and victim blaming.

We can each do our part to stop perpetuating this culture and actively fight against it.

In addition, not all body types are treated equally. Bodies deemed larger, or “plus-sized” have more limited clothing options.

These options are typically more expensive, creating a systemic barrier for people with these body types to dress as expected by society and work cultures.

I encourage you to read more about weight bias and how it influences childhood development, mental health, and discrimination in hiring.

As individuals, we might not be able to topple these systemic injustices overnight. We can, however, check ourselves and resist criticizing others for their clothing choices.

Emily Smith

Moscow

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