I just turned forty.

It’s freeing.

As in, “I don’t have to put up with ______, I’m forty now.”

So here it is, my no-guilt, I’m-forty-now clothing manifesto:

  • Clothing that looks crappy on me is crappy clothing.
  • There is nothing wrong with my body.  There is something wrong with deliberately making clothes that do not flatter.
  • Any clothing that prevents, restricts, or discourges functionality is crappy clothing.
  • Clothing that hampers my functionality does not “look good.”  It looks like sexism.
  • I do not need to look “feminine” to look good.  “Feminine” means lacking muscle tone, lacking freedom of movement, providing easy access to stuff we generally don’t want handled in public, and often providing lots of floppy cloth/jewelry bits that are easy to grab on to in case I need to get the hell out of a situation in a hurry.
  • I don’t need to be uncomfortable in order to look good.
  • Clothing is a language, and I don’t have to censor myself if I don’t feel like it.
  • Mirrors at clothing stores are warped and have the crappiest of all possible lighting.  They are not there to make you feel good about yourself.  They are there to keep you addicted to chasing the shopping experience, which will somehow “fix” you, even though it’s deliberately designed to make you feel bad about yourself.
  • It is not a point of pride to be able to run/fight in high heels, tight skirts, corsets, etc.; it is Stockholm syndrome.  And my ass looks mighty fine without five-inch stilettos, thank you very much.
  • That being said:  if you want to wear heels and corsets and whatnot, that’s your lookout.  Because I will back your choices up.  Unless you start giving me crap about mine.
  • I will not, conversely, hassle other people to back up my clothing choices.  There is no need for me to get anyone’s approval but my own, whether or not it makes my ass look fat.  Compliment me if you like, but I didn’t dress this way to make anyone but yours truly happy.

Pants that automatically give anyone who isn’t a stick a muffin top.  Pants and boots that don’t leave enough room for our calves.  Fake pockets.  Skintight pants that don’t stretch, so we can’t bend over.  Dresses that constrict freedom of movement.  Heels that require immaculate balance and posture while screwing up our tendons and giving us corns.  Thin “dress” clothing in winter.  Purses designed to give us health problems as well as carry around solutions to every other person’s possible problems.  Sleeves that bind if we have any arm muscles.   I mean, any.  Shirts so short that they automatically bare our midriffs if we do anything other than walk or sit.  Shoes that pinch our feet to make them look more narrow and pointed at the end.  Shoes that pinch our heels so the shoes don’t fall off.  Shoes with no traction on the soles.  Shirts cut so that we can’t have shoulders, arm muscles, or bosoms.  “Large” sizes that are smaller than “women’s” sizes.  Models with no muscle tone.  Itchy fabric, especially lace edging on bras to make them look more “feminine.”  Bras that have no appreciable relationship with the size stated on the band.  And so on.  Take a look at any given piece of women’s clothing.  Does it say, “Looking good for other people is more important than your comfort.  Be weaker.  Be smaller.  Be slower and easier to catch/beat up/rape/steal shit from”?

More than likely, yes.  Which is why I’m forty and and have to make a manifesto saying, “I get to wear clothes that don’t put me at a physical disadvantage in any given situation.”  Because the default is otherwise.

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Oy!  It’s exhausting writing good content all the time.  Subsidize my nap and chocolate addiction by checking out my latest release, Alice’s Adventures in Underland: The Queen of Stilled Hearts.  It’s a story about Alice and the gentleman zombie who tries to help her overcome the Victorian mores she’s surrounded and trapped by.  You can read the first episode for free.