Mark Zuckerberg wears the same work clothes every day: jeans, a gray t-shirt, and a hoodie. Sometimes, he adds Ray-Bans and sandals. In a recent New York Times article, he explains his rationale behind his look: “I’m in this really lucky position where I get to wake up every day and help serve more than a billion people. I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything, except how to best serve this community.” But could a woman in a similar position of power do the same?
(Photo Credit: JD Hancock/Flickr)
HuffPost Business managing editor Emily Peck asked that very question on Twitter.
Is there a woman powerful enough to do this? The Men Powerful Enough to Wear the Same Thing Every Day http://t.co/y392quo2vN
— Emily Peck (@EmilyRPeck) April 3, 2015
The replies were instructive. One person suggested Angelina Jolie; another, Mother Theresa. Others namechecked Wonder Woman, Super Girl, and Judge Judy. In other words, sure, you can be a woman with a uniform – but you better be an actual superhero or a celebrity on par with one.
“Around my office, many colleagues told me they thought it wasn’t OK for a woman to wear the same thing every day,” wrote Peck at The Huffington Post. “A few, including fashion editor Michelle Persad, were emphatically in favor: ‘My vote is yes yes yes yes yes yes women can wear the same thing to work every day,’ she said.”
Peck decided to try it out, wearing the same gray, short-sleeved dress twice in one week. She was not apparently drummed out of the office. That’s not, of course, exactly the same thing as wearing the Zuckerberg uniform every day for years, or donning Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck, or even trying on Wonder Woman’s sparkly duds for size. But it is a good first step.
Even if you love fashion, minimizing the number of choices you make in a day is a good thing – especially if those choices are ones that only women absolutely have to make. Letting go of the expectation that women will wear different work clothes every day could be an important step toward real equality, just like the option to wear our hair short or skip makeup.
In other words, it’s not fashion that’s the problem – it’s the expectation that every woman, everywhere, needs to give a damn about it. Especially if she’s got bigger decisions to make.
Tell Us What You Think
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