Many philosophers, politicians and other figures that are deemed significant by people in my environment, often brag about how free we are in the West.
I used to believe this statement. I say “used too” since I still do believe we are relatively free as a society, but maybe less free than we would actually think. I could write a whole academic paper and explain what freedom actually is. However, if you want too read about this, please go my uni – enough philosophy there. My goal is not to provide my opinion about freedom im the West, but to give a small example about how experience freedom
“A tale about my wardrobe.”
It’s quite strange how you think you are free untill you are given more freedom.
From my 1st until my 4th year of highschool, it was mandatory to wear certain certain clothes at school. A blue skirt, dark shoes, a blue pulover and a white shirt. Although our freedom got restricted in that sense, something way more fun arose: challenging authority.
Challenging this authority was great and easy, this because the only figures we tried to provoke did not mean a lot to us at that time. While wearing ridiculously short skirts to school we did not get judged by the people that mattered to us which were our friends and families, but by people who wrote down those rules. The same people that would judge us by our grades and performances. In this scenario we had the freedom not to care, which -in my opinion- is one of the greatest freedoms that can possibly exist.
Turning 16 and being able to be free to wear whatever I wanted at school was a great improvement in terms of freedom. I am quite an artistic person and I enjoy expressing myself through my clothing. Clothing is one of the objects that you carry with you every single day and the way you dress yourself is just a way of saying:” I AM… ” without using words.
– at least, that’s how I see it, feel free to disagree
Ok, so -to recap- that’s why I was excited. HOWEVER, after three months of being wearing my own style of clothing, I realised that a lot of the freedom of expression through clothing was gone. Being able to choose what you wear and making a statement every single day is difficult and obviously takes a looooooooot of time in front of a closet. But this is not where I am getting at…
The people that would judge you on your clothes weren’t the people you did not care about you any longer. People much closer to you, your actual fellow students, would take over that task.
Having turned 20, I realise that -also- I ask myself questions why people are dressed in a certain way. More than I would actually want to. As I see clothes as a way of communicating and representing ones self questions such as: “Why do people dress up to go to the library?” pop to my mind quicker than I would expect.
Telling this story, the question that I would like to ask is:
Is it because of those judgemental thoughts be that some people intentionally dress according to the masses to fit in somewhere?
Do we lose our “freedom of not caring” while growing up?
Therefore, are we really that “free”?
I don’t know.
I’m sure you have to think about this as well.
That was my intention.