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6 uncomfortable truths of ladies’ wearing crop tops in public

By Winnie Mabel February 28th, 2024 3 min read

They either come as bralettes or shortened length tops and tshirts that are meant to expose the midriff. Some adult women go as far as wearing kid-sized shirts as crop tops if they find that there are no adult sizes that fit them. Crop tops are now fashion statement pieces in many girls’ and women’s wardrobes having emerged as a popular fashion staple.

Daily, young women will be spotted going about their day confidently flaunting either flat tummies and waist beads, or stomachs tucked in high waist pants and dresses paired off with a crop top in a variety of fashion-forward styles.

While most people would hardly bat an eye at this trend, there are some people who find themselves irked or disappointed by the ‘epidemic’ of crop tops in public spaces. Be it personal preferences and prejudices, cultural background or simply a distaste for the style, you will never miss the odd face (or 10) of people expressing their dislike using facial expressions- and sometimes, this dislike can manifest in safety issues for the crop-top wearing ladies.

Nairobi News now explores how wearing crop tops in public can pose certain personal safety dangers for women below:

  1. As earlier mentioned, crop tops are magnets for attention. They attract unwanted attention especially if they are particularly shorter and worn among a conservative society that does not embrace ‘Western’ behaviors. This attention can lead to harassments or unwanted advances despite Kenyan women demonstrating ‘my dress, my choice’ years ago.
  2. Some crop tops restrict women’s movement- especially if they have risky designs such as plunging necklines, no straps, snap on fasteners at the back or strings out of every corner to keep it together. This can be inconvenient for the woman, leaving her having to constantly adjust it and feeling uncomfortable in certain situations such as having to hold on to her chest if she finds herself in dangerous crosshairs. At this point, she is at risk of being sexually harrassed by curious onlookers/perverts or facing law enforcement for indecent exposure.
  3. Some people do not know the meaning of respecting someone’s autonomy or freedom to enjoy human dignity. Some men and woman have no qualms touching someone else without their permission and by constantly exposing the midriff, these women are at higher risk of being grabbed or touched inappropriately, especially in crowded or unsafe environments.
  4. Constantly wearing crop tops can lead to social stigma or judgement that one is a sexually lose woman who craves attention. Such women are treated indifferently and can even be ignored if they find themselves in public drama, especially if it involves a man and she was dressed ‘indecently’. This stigmatization especially happens in societies where wearing such clothing is seen as inappropriate or disrespectful to the elderly and those older than the crop-top dresser. Some hold it that if one cannot wear a crop top in front of their father out of respect and fear, why should they have to wear it in public in front of thousands more men who are their father’s agemate or older…
  5. If you have health issues, such as eczema, constantly wearing crop tops exposes you to changes in weather conditions that can cause flare ups with your skin. This leads to great discomfort- especially the scratching and scarring. Other health issues can include heat exhaustion, flu and allergies among others.
  6. Last but not least, a woman constantly wearing crop tops may find herself having body image issues if certain outfits do not look good on her like it did with her friend. Among some women, this can result in image insecurities leading them to take drastic measures in getting their bodies to look a certain way, or self objectification whereby you are highly critical of yourself. This affects your mental and physical health in the long run.