This post is for this month’s Carnival of Aces hosted at Asexuality, Unabashed. This month’s topic is appearances.
This topic struck me as interesting as I’d recently been to a meetup where we were walking around a shopping precinct with lots of clothing stores and was asked by one of the other people present if I thought aces had less interest in fashion.
My response to this was to consider that there appears to be less of an interest in fashion amongst the asexual community but whether this is a general case is too hard to tell as the vocal aspect that we see tend to dress down to avoid being seen as sexually attractive and to avoid attention. However until the community gets more diverse it is a difficult call this the norm in the asexual community and risks creating stereotypes.
My personal style is generally low-noise clothing with little marking or symbols, unless they’re humorous (and nerdy). However my main aim is to dress comfortably, in a way that I think looks good. I’ll take into account what other people think but I mostly dress for myself (after all there are times when you have to dress in ways you’d rather not eg. special events, work) and want to be comfortable in my appearance. At the end of the day if I’m comfortable I don’t care what other people think and simply don’t care, in fact it can be a point of pride in what could otherwise be an embarrassing situation. (I’ve walked down the street in a dress after one of the final days of high school as all the students in my year switched uniforms with the opposite gender that day, I was the only one that didn’t change back as the person I’d switched with left before I could, but I got no comments as I looked comfortable in it).
I’ve found in my experience and interpretation (not that I’ve paid much attention) that many of the aces I know dress more for themselves in how they present themselves (mostly they tend to be modest and low attention, or quirky in some way). This does not mean that they are not aware of how they are dressing or how others may see how they dress, or that they can’t identify the indications or intent of how others are dressed. In many cases though they’ll ignore what other people think and dress that way because they want to. And if other people want to take an issue with how they dress (attractive, sexual or not attractive enough), they get rather offended as they don’t see why other people have the right to put that view onto them. This attitude can mean that we are less likely to follow fashion trends, especially if they’re using sexual attraction to sell the trends as we’re less likely to want to portray ourselves that way.
I don’t think this is something that exist within asexual culture but is something that is more common and that the aces are more conscious of, as appearance can lead to unwanted attention in ways that many aces can feel more uncomfortable with than most other people.