The debate about what women should be wearing in China is not something new. In a society that’s still trying to strike a balance between being able to wear what you want versus traditionalist perceptions, outfits that are oft considered commonplace elsewhere can still be considered risqué.
Unintentionally, at the centre of the storm stands actress Reyizha Alimjan whose airport outfit last August served as the catalyst that reignited the discussion on what women should be wearing. Remember this outfit worn by the The Longest Day in Chang’an actress when she arrived in a yellow spaghetti strapped top tucked into a pair of jeans? While most of us would think nothing out of the ordinary with a camisole and jeans combo on a hot summer’s day, the actress unfortunately got bullied online for her fashion choice – accused of being attention seeking for revealing too much flesh amongst other things.
Since then, articles have been written defending Reyizha’s choice of attire and the freedom of Chinese women to dress which have since gone viral on the platform WeChat. In general, some netizens think that dressing sans judgement from others is a right that every person should have. However, others also believe that as a public figure, the actress has the added burden of setting the right example hence should’ve been more careful. Both ideas have merit but maybe netizens could’ve been less judgey and more constructive instead of attacking her looks and calling her fat or unsightly?
Anyway, Reyizha once again proves she’s one cool customer. In a recent interview with the show 出圈 HOT, she said that she won’t let the online criticism bring her down because she believes these people have not yet developed wisdom. The actress believes that a mature society should be able to embrace diversity and that at this day and age how women should be dressing up should not even be a topic of discussion!
It’s clear that the actress has developed a true sense of self and an enviable confidence, trying to stay positive despite having suffered from depression which in part was rooted on the pressure of the constant scrutiny (and judgement) she was under. Most importantly, Reyizha says she’s happy – which, to a person suffering from severe depression, is a great thing.
Policing women bodies never gets old, I see….