Women are delicate creatures.
By delicate, I mean PMSing even when they’re not PMSing, never having anything to wear, eating burgers while complaining about their Winter muffin top, and bitching about their girlfriends while they emoji-flirt with their local barista on Instagram.
And so, by some terribly scientific (anthropological?) formula of deduction, I’m here to address the million dollar question of how one satisfies their sartorial tendencies in public without the rest of the room thinking you’re a total douchebag.
In all seriousness, there isn’t a day when a girl doesn’t stop me on my merry way on the street, on Tumblr, Twitter, or Instagram, with the same old: cool outfit, but don’t you feel out of place, uncomfortable, weird, too different, in that? Celebrity culture, a perfection-driven social media game, and the mere existence of Doutzen and Adriana, have evolved a lot of the world’s women into intermittently terrified, second-guessing, and self-depricating-as-a-joke-but-secretly-not-a-joke Gollums, with the burning desire for peer approval and OMG BABE YOU LOOK AMAZING.
What you wear serves a very simple and fulfilling function – aside from leaving at least something to the imagination (but if going starkers is your thing, I am right behind you until you get arrested, upon which it definitely was not my idea). Regardless of whether you’re into “FASHION”, or even think you have any form of “PERSONAL STYLE”,* what you wear is a reflection of your personality and creativity, with no implications for any other woman (or sassy man) who happens upon your get-up on your way to the train station. The fact that so many women are scared to take an aesthetic risk that they have been dying to try for fear of their co-workers’ you can’t sit with us, or sideways passenger glances on the bus is amazing to me. By all means, wear what makes you comfortable, but don’t dress for other people.** If that means lions, floor plans, and no bra, good for you. If that means snow nudity, embrace the frostbite. If that means geode embroidery, sheer hems, leather trackies bed hair, and no makeup, then you’re probably winning, because you get a free gift with that.
At least, in my logical hypothesis, the less women feel threatened by fellow female judgement, the less they will feel the inclination to judge others skin-deep.
*Pronunciation: FARHSHUN and PAHSOHNAHL STAHL
**unless you have a school uniform, in which case the wrath of your Principal will surely dictate any modifications
Margaret Zhang 章凝 is an Australian-born-Chinese director, photographer, consultant and writer based between New York and Shanghai. Since establishing her website in 2009, Margaret has gone on to work with global brands including CHANEL, UNIQLO, Swarovski, YEEZY, Bulgari, Gucci, MATCHES, Under Armour, and Louis Vuitton in a wide range of capacities both in front of and behind the camera, while completing her Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws at The University of Sydney. Margaret’s directing, photography, and styling has been employed by the likes of VOGUE, L’Officiel, Harper’s BAZAAR, NYLON, Marie Claire, GRAZIA and ELLE internationally. She has been listed in Forbes Asia’s 30Under30 and TimeOut’s 40Under40, and her work has been recognized as shaping the international fashion industry by the Business of Fashion BoF500 Index for the past four consecutive years. She went on to be the first Asian face to cover ELLE Australia. In 2016, she co-founded BACKGROUND, a global consultancy for which she specialises in Western-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-Western cultural bridging for a range of luxury, lifestyle, and brand initiatives. In 2017, she exhibited a series of 39 unseen photographic works as a solo show in Sydney, and premiered her first short film – a 15-minute exploration of her visceral relationship with classical music on both performance and abstract planes – to critical acclaim.