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Political fashion: Students express political views through fashion choices

Sophomore+Isobel+Alm+makes+a+statement+with+her+shirt%3B+%22I+Believe+Survivors%2C%22+made+by+HerSpace+back+in+November.
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Political fashion: Students express political views through fashion choices

Sophomore Isobel Alm makes a statement with her shirt;

Sophomore Isobel Alm makes a statement with her shirt; "I Believe Survivors," made by HerSpace back in November.

Julia Baron

Sophomore Isobel Alm makes a statement with her shirt; "I Believe Survivors," made by HerSpace back in November.

Julia Baron

Julia Baron

Sophomore Isobel Alm makes a statement with her shirt; "I Believe Survivors," made by HerSpace back in November.

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Political and opinionated statements in fashion have become a recent trend that has engaged many students at SPA. This nationwide trend recently gained attention and became popular with the pantsuit nation, where supporters of Hillary Clinton wore pantsuits to express their support of her candidacy for president in 2016. In the same presidential election, supporters of Donald Trump wore red hats with the slogan “Make America Great Again” to express their support of his candidacy. This trend has made its way to SPA with students wearing shirts, button, sweatshirts, and pins to express their opinions and beliefs.

“I think [political statements in fashion] are a good way to use your freedom of speech, and express your political views and demonstrate to the world what you believe,” Junior Anjali Tadavarthy said.

Junior Martha Slaven agreed.

“I have a My Body My Choice button on my backpack.”

The SPA student club HerSpace sold black t-shirts with “I Believe Survivors” screen printed on them. Many students and faculty members purchased these shirts, and wear them to school. Sophomore Isobel Alm purchased a shirt from HerSpace, and wore it, pairing it with a high neck black and white striped shirt.

Fashion is a good way to share beliefs because it’s a way for people to show their values and personalities without actually interacting with people,” Alm commented.

Sophomore Lyle Menard doesn’t participate in opinionated statements in clothing but does have some stickers on his laptop expressing his beliefs.

Not so much through fashion, but I have some stickers. I have a gender equality sticker on my laptop, though I’m not sure that is a political statement. I don’t think that should be a political thing. I also have a Women’s March sticker” said Menard.

Although Menard doesn’t choose to express his opinions through fashion, he supports others who do.

Fashion is a good way to share beliefs because it’s a way for people to show their values and personalities without actually interacting with people.”

— sophomore Isobel Alm

“I think it’s cool, you should be able to wear whatever you want, within reason. If you believe in something and you want other people to know, then there’s no problem with it,” Menard commented.

Although many students agree that expressing beliefs though fashion is positive, there is some discussion about when it might go too far. Slaven believes that the day after the 2016 presidential election, students may have been taking it too far, by wearing shirts specifically bashing candidates with slogans like “Hillary for Prison” written on them.

“The day after the election was definitely an issue. That may have been taking it too far just because tensions were running really high,” she said.

Although Slaven may have not agreed with what some students wore, she still believes that it was their right to wear it.

“It felt like the sole purpose of why they were wearing them was to attract attention, but I wouldn’t say ‘no you can’t do that.”

Personally I think it was their right to wear whatever to support whoever their candidate was, I think it goes too far when it is put out there to directly hurt a person or a group of people, or when it has inappropriate language or inappropriate connotations.”

— junior Anjali Tadavarthy

Although Tadavarthy also didn’t agree with these students, she acknowledged that they should still be allowed to express their beliefs.

“Personally I think it was their right to wear whatever to support whoever their candidate was, I think it goes too far when it is put out there to directly hurt a person or a group of people, or when it has inappropriate language or inappropriate connotations,” Tadavarthy said.

Menard also agrees that students have the right to express their beliefs through clothing, but thinks that some things can become offensive or harmful. “Targeting people or using slurs [is taking it too far]. I think there’s a difference between expressing an opinion and forcing it on someone”

Although Slaven, Tadavarthy, and Menard all have witnessed instances when sharing beliefs has gone too far, and become offensive, they still acknowledge and understand student’s right to wear whatever expresses their beliefs, and think that fashion is a positive way to express beliefs and values.

This article was originally published in the January edition of The Rubicon. 

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About the Contributor
Julia Baron, Sports Editor

Julia Baron is one of the sports editors on The Rubicon. This is her second year on staff. Julia joined The Rubicon in 9th grade because she is really...

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