Pakistani women do not see other women by their intellectual level or character rather they are always judged by their looks and especially what they wear or how they wear. It does not matter how much they are successful, ambitious, kind, or talented, if they do not wear attractive clothes, they are not much appreciated.
This societal complex was on display with footballer Hajra Khan shared her Eidul Fitr outfit on social media, a gender-neutral navy blue shalwar kameez and the online moral policing could not handle it. She did it without any discomfort regardless of what society thinks. Her world record hat-trick didn’t matter and all it mattered was what she wore in defiance of adhering to conventional standards.
Clothes she chose to wear were not too revealing but they were masculine. Like always, society criticized it too. Many people on social media made fun of it like; “all ladies outfits ran out of the store, poor girl had to wear his brother’ eid wear.” “Bhai bechara washroom me baitha galiayan dy raha hai oski namaz ki eid nikal hai hogi” etc.
Some people highly criticized it but some talked about it in a good way to avoid gender stereotypes like such dress does not need to be very spectacular and girly type rather it is simple cuts, clean line, and bye to skin-tight clothing. Hajra Khan did not wear such a dress to show or prove something but she wore it because she felt comfortable in it as she put up the following in her Instagram story, “Clothes have no gender” and “Any clothing we’re going to choose to wear will be inevitably gendered.”
In another story, she wrote, “We should not have to live in a world where people have to justify how they feel. Having the concept of gender-neutral clothing is important because it allows everyone to feel comfortable in their own bodies. Everyone deserves to feel free and beautiful without judgment. And like James Badwin said, took many years of vomiting up all the filth I had been taught about myself and halfway believed before I could walk around this Earth-like I had the right to be here. I have the right, you have the right, we ALL have the right.”
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