All good rebels know that there are certain rules for dressing if you want to make it out of the house without a fight, and avoid hearing your mom bemoan what she did in her previous life to make you turn out this way.

This may pose interesting challenges when it comes to defining your personal style. But, don’t hide your “real” clothes in the bushes outside your home just yet! In this series, we’ll explore some of these seemingly outdated rules and ways to overcome them.

Rule #1:


There’s that period when you’re young enough to wear shorts and can still be considered cute and innocent. However, that pretty much ends around the time you turn 10 and those Indian hormones start making themselves known via your chest size and facial hair.

For some reason, wearing shorts becomes the difference between being considered decent versus being known as the loose girl trying to lure men with her unwaxed legs.

“You might as well walk around in your underwear!” scream the conservative opponents, who possess an unbeatable (and impressive) flair for making everything dramatic.

I love me some good denim underwear

I love me some good denim underwear

To be honest, there haven’t been many reasons I’ve found convincing. Without stirring the pot on gender inequality (and don’t even think about saying a woman should be the one to ‘stir the pot’ because she belongs in the kitchen!), there are unarguably some double standards allotted to women in the name of safety and protection.

It’s as if shorts should come with a warning label that says “Caution: Wearing these may cause boys (and every nosy auntie) to stare at you like you’re the last piece of paneer on earth.” Isn’t this inappropriate reaction the very thing that should be altered, instead of making the wearer feel uncomfortable for her wardrobe choice?

Skirts don’t garner as many ogles or heated arguments. Why is that? They both expose varying degrees of skin on the lower half, they both aren’t pants, and they can both can cause major chafing. I’m not sure I see the difference here.

Also, in case you haven’t realized, they’re just shorts! Shorts! Trousers for little people. Jeans for a baby.

Which, of course, lends itself to the quip: “Oh, you couldn’t afford to buy the fabric that would cover the rest of your legs?”

The reality is there are still people out there who wouldn’t agree with this irreverent and nonchalant way of thinking. So what’s a rebel to do?

(I’m not sure if I meant to set that up as a rhetorical question, so I suppose I’ll try to answer it anyway.)

In my opinion, being an effective rebel doesn’t mean offending others (well, purposely anyway). It’s knowing when to stand up for yourself and what you believe in – sartorially and otherwise. If you feel good about yourself in shorts and/or live in a climate where your sweat develops sweat, then why are we even talking about this? Go put them on now! If anyone stares at your supposed immodesty, respond by making out with your non-Indian boyfriend to really give them something to talk about.

Or, you could always compromise on the acceptable level of coverage from the thigh down with whomever holds you accountable for your outfits. Don’t forget to throw in the, “I can’t wait till I move out so I can wear whatever I want!” for good measure.

But if you really want to ensure that shorts will have a permanent place in your closet, it’s actually the haters who have had the best answer all along: Go bankrupt so you actually won’t be able to afford the rest of the fabric to cover your legs!

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