From the Garden of Eden, what human beings use to cover their bodies, and their poodles’ bodies, has never been simply to cover the body.
Dresses, skirts, shirts, earrings, hats, necklaces, wrist-watches, trousers, blankets, coats, jackets and everything else you can think of that humans put on their bodies is part of how they communicate, whether they do so intentionally or not. Others too read us from our dress and jewelry and hairdos. They class us from the labels we wear or don’t wear, and so do we. They adore or dismiss us, befriend or avoid us, just because of what we don’t wear or wear.
Who are you wearing, is a stupid but unavoidable question in the age of celebrity.
That is how I came to wear dresses. Because I came to understand why Ghandi decided to abandon his sharp suits for nappies. I now know why wearing wax print, ethnic print, Kente cloth, ‘African’ skirts, trousers, or dresses is more than just covering one’s body. It is more than styling oneself, although the people must, will and do enjoy how they look. Clothes are about enjoyment, for those who can afford them; and even more so for those who can’t.
But wearing ‘African’ clothes is also more than just a cultural statement. It’s about the body in space, how it moves, how it wants to be seen, how it stands. So do check this.