Individual Fashion Sense is a First Amendment Right

Introduction

Mr. Libertarian Defense Atheist [LDA], what are you even talking about?

I am talking about an argument any true defender of the US Constitution can make the next time any debate happens to be about whether to regulate anyone’s personal fashion sense!

See, I have learned this morning before going to work and then coming home and then deleting my Facebook [lovely decision by me!] that fashion does not just include clothing, but also makeup, tattoos, body piercing, and fashion accessories [i.e. hair tying bands].

Fashion as Expression

This next section is about the ways I can name off the top of my head of fashion being a mode of expression, including what it may express:

  1. Myself wearing a black shirt with the cover art for the Lamb of God album “Ashes of the Wake”, an expression of my love of Lamb of God’s rock musics
  2. A woman taking a button down and tying the arms around and to her waist to make a skirt-like structure, to express her creativity and/or independence from “whats in style”
  3. Some guy modifying a long sleeved shirt to have a short sleeved left arm in order to symbolize that he writes and draws well with his left hand
  4. Myself wearing a bowling hat whenever I get bored of cycling in place of walking during the springs, to express my enjoyment of weather that is not hot but warm
  5. Myself wearing a knuckle length sleeve coat and knee length trousers with a low-reaching short sleeved shirt on a summer evening, to symbolize that I can adapt to summer on my own
  6. A woman putting eye liner on her eyelids to enhance the color and/or shape, as to express her pride in… her eye color, for example

But my random examples are not the only symbols of fashion being expression. There are many historic examples, I can name some cultural examples if you’ll keep reading:

  1. In Medieval Europe, Knights wore silks of different colors over their armor to symbolize their different nations
  2. In Ming Dynasty era China, people typically wore very brightly colored silks and finery, even their military. Both cases I suspect it was to symbolize their passion for foreign trade
  3. In the Indian subcontinent, there are many motives for people there wearing turbans, as there has been for many thousands of years. I would list sample motives but that would take us away from the point of this post
  4. In the Islamic World, men cover everything from chest line to knees and then women show only hands and faces in public for the same reason: Koranic ideas of modesty

Fashion in America

In Twenty first century America, there are many different fashions, different motives and even different perceptions and/or judgements. These days in this exceptional nation, fashions are typically motivated by a desire to express something. So I say…

It is Unconstitutional to regulate fashion

Under which Amendment? Is it in the original Bill of Rights?

First Amendment Right to Free Expression

Yes, people, I am legitimately ruling that the right to one’s own individual sense is a part of the right to free expression, for a multitude of Historical reasons. I can wear a shirt with a print of the Middle-earth character Sauron reaching his right hand frontward and facing the viewer and have it be my expression of my love of the fictional character, all without me saying anything or being verbal in any other ways.

Yep, just as with writing and drawing, fashion can also be a non-verbal, non-physical means of expressing one’s individuality.

And one more dose of brain food before I conclude:

  1. Do It Yourself is an individualist concept, just as the Founding Fathers’ vision of America was and is supposed to be
  2. Do It Yourself is also the wildly popular individualist concept in the fashion community, including the only one I can really identify with: cosplayers.
  3. There is an entire “maker culture” revolving around the individualism of Do It Yourself.

Conclusion

Well… I think I am done proving the First Amendment includes the right of Americans to express themselves through fashion. Thank you all for learning this idea,

~LDA

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