#Opinion

Ripped Jeans Twitter Is Proof That Women Are Done With Dress Policing

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Ripped jeans Twitter: On regular days, social media is an ugly battleground that, for the sake of their mental health, many dare not step into. But on odd days, something like Ripped Jeans Twitter comes along and entirely overturns the online world into an empowered, shared community where everyone – regardless of clothing, personality, nationality, gender, colour – has a safe place to truly belong.

When Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat made remarks about ripped jeans wearers (especially women and parents) bringing about a moral decay, which would apparently lead to a consequent “breakdown” in Indian society, little would he have thought that it would prompt the stirrings of an online movement to defend a piece of garment.

It was only expected since this particular piece of garment isn’t without its own years of history. Denims have been a symbol of anti-establishment and counterculture rebellion against the status quo since the 1960s when they gained mainstream popularity in the West and subsequently trickled into countries across the world. The fact that it has been tailored into ripped fashion now only takes its symbolism up several notches.

For Rawat to raise questions on what kind of “message” ripped jeans send out is entirely valid. Valid for the gaze it turns back around on the kind of patriarchal society women inhabit and are rising up against. Women posting photos through ‘ripped jeans Twitter’ seem to be saying: Enough of restricting our voices. Enough of limiting our choices. And enough of empty lectures on false morals.

So yes, our ripped jeans are definitely sending out a message. A strong message that relays we’re unshackling ourselves from the misogynistic terms and conditions society has governed us with.

Ripped Jeans Twitter: Women Say Enough Of Policing Us

The argument however goes way beyond the cultural significance of denims into a territory best known to women everywhere: dress policing. All that’s in our wardrobe invites social scrutiny. With shorter clothes like skirts and dresses, external judgment is inherent for the amount of skin it shows. But even longer items like jeans aren’t safe from objection now, it seems. Hide yo’ knees, girls. 

The unfortunate bit is that Rawat isn’t alone in taking offence to ripped jeans. There’s a whole army of people behind him, an army of nameless, faceless, thousands of Indian parents and their relatives who seem to be unable to make sense of why torn – stylishly torn – clothes are fashionable.

If I had a penny for the number of times a stray family member taunted at my ripped jeans with ‘Give, I’ll sew them’…

How and why is it that we’re still – after discourse upon discourse – failing to rise above telling people what to wear and what not to? Why do power-wielding men still feel entitled to grumble about others’ clothing styles that no one is forcing them to adopt? How is society making this farcical connection between the number of rips in a mother’s jeans and the number of “values” she is capable of imparting to her children?

And therefore it’s a delight to see that ripped jeans-wearing moms are giving Rawat’s remarks the kind of treatment they deserve.

So are all the other women. Here’s a look at the wonderful outpouring Ripped Jeans Twitter caused online: 

Views expressed are the author’s own. 

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