Less is more.

During the turbulent era of the ‘60s, “blue jeans were a feminist weapon against” the oppressive gender norms that many felt afflicted by (89). It was an “emblem of liberation” for many women who were limited to wearing “feminine” clothes.  However, as society progressed jeans began to lose its symbolic value and became mere commodity. Similarly, I don’t wear jeans as a symbol of freedom. Rather, jeans are merely clothes that are convenient to wear in any kind of weather. However, as Professor Ewen seemed to imply, while jeans allow women to utilize our physical bodies in ways dresses or skirts do not allow, they also constrict us in other ways. For example, sometimes girls were jeans that are skin-tight which may be not only restrictive, but also uncomfortable. Also, while wearing skirts and dresses can be viewed as succumbing to sexist ideologies of femininity, I often find that they are actually more comfortable than jeans because they are more lose (though they do come skin-tight as well).

Ultimately, I contend that giving symbolic meaning to clothing is dubious. Nonetheless, it cannot be ignored that clothing continues to carry significance. Indeed, jeans are no longer “the vestments of liberated women” in the twenty-first century (89).  Rather, it seems that the way for women to express “freedom” is by wearing the least amount of clothing. Apparently, it is reflective of the notion that women, like men, are sexual beings and should be free to express their sexuality.

– Tae Hee Koo


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