I was ten years old, and one day I discovered a box containing my father's old things. And in it, under a handful of his college books, There was a pair of bell velvet pants. She was in a terrible state - Moldy and eaten by moth - Of course, I liked her a lot. I had never seen anything like them. Until that day, All I wore was my school uniform, I was actually thankful to him, Because since I was young, I realized that I am a little different. I was never like boys my age. I was bad at sports activities, You are probably the least masculine boy ever.
(Laughter) I was vulnerable to bullying. So, I noticed that in order to survive I have to be invisible, This school uniform helped me So that I don't look any different from any other child. (Laughter) Almost. These have become my daily prayers: "My Lord, please make me like the rest of us." I suspect that God responded to this immediately. (Laughter) Finally it became clear I was not old enough to be the boy my father wanted. Sorry, Abi. No, I wasn't going to magically change. Over time, I grew older and I was less sure I wanted to change. So, on the day that these black pants entered my life, Something happened. I did not see pants, But I saw an opportunity. The next day, I wore pants and went to school, It does not matter what might happen. Once I wore these pants, Immediately developed a sense of shame. (Laughter) All the way to school, Then I was on my way back because I was sent home immediately (Laughter) It has turned into a brown skinned rock star.
(Laughter) I no longer care about adapting to people. On that day she suddenly celebrated it. Instead of being invisible, I chose to be a person looking at it, By wearing different clothes. On that day, I discovered the power of what we wear. On that day, I discovered the power of fashion, I have loved her ever since. Fashion can transfer our difference to the world on our behalf. With this simple act, I discovered that those differences, It no longer caused us shyness. Our expressions have become, Expressions of our unique identities. We must express ourselves, We wear what we want. What is the worst that could happen? Are fashionable police going to arrest you because you are wearing an old fashion? (Laughter) Yes. Unless the fashion police mean something completely different.
Nobel laureate (Malala) survived a Taliban attack In October 2012. However, in October 2017, you faced a different enemy, When cyber bullies attacked her photo She is wearing jeans at the time 20 years old. Comments, And the hatred that you faced, Started from "When will you remove the veil?" So, I quote here: "This is why the bullet hit her head A long time ago." When any of us decide to wear jeans, In a place like New York, London, Milan, or Paris We don’t think of that as a privilege, As something that could have consequences elsewhere, And as something that can be taken away from us one day. My grandmother was a woman who enjoyed a lot Dude. And their costumes were colorful. The only color of her favorite dress was the only thing Who expresses it, And the only thing she can choose Because she is like most of the daughters of her generation in India, She was not allowed to live Beyond the boundaries of traditions and customs.
She got married 17 years old, After 65 years of marriage, when my grandfather died suddenly, Her loss was not possible. But on that day she was going to lose something else, too. The only thing that delights her: He is wearing colors. In India, according to customs, When an Indian woman gets widowed, It is only allowed to wear white From the day her husband died. No one forced my grandmother to wear white. But every woman I knew lived after her husband’s death, Including her mother, I did that.
This was persecution internally, Is very rooted, So much so that she refused the choice. She died this year, Until her death day, She only wore white. And I have a picture with her in the previous happy times. And in it you cannot see what you are wearing - Because the image is black and white. But from the way she smiles in the picture, You can tell that she is wearing colored clothes. This is what fashion can do as well. It can fill us with joy, Joy is free to choose how we will look like ourselves, And how do we want to live - It is a freedom worth fighting for.
The struggle for freedom has many forms. Thousands of widows in India are like my grandmother They live in a city called (Vrindavin). So it was a sea of white for centuries. But in 2013, Widows began in Vrindavin to celebrate the Holly Festival, Indian Colors Festival, And who is forbidden to participate in it. And on this only day in March, These women take the party color palette Some of them are colored. And with every handful of powder thrown into the air, Their white clothes are pigmented with color. And do not stop until you cover completely In all colors of the spectrum forbidden to them. And as the colors go away the next day, Except that this moment, Their beautiful objection. Objection, And any form of disobedience, It could be an obstacle we cross in the fight against persecution. And fashion, It can make a visual objection to us Or, literally. Challenge lessons have always been given From the great fashion revolutionaries: Stylists.
Jean-Paul Gaultier taught us that women can become kings. And (garlic brown) We learned that men can wear high-heeled shoes. And in the spring of 1999, Alexander McQueen Using giant robotic arms in the middle of the viewing platform. And when the model (Shalom Harlow) starts spinning between them, These giant arms made, Slowly and then strongly, Spray colors on them. And so McQueen did, Before his suicide, By teaching us that our bodies are a painting, We have to color it however we like. One of those who loved the fashion world It was (Karar Nushi). He was a student and actor from Iraq. He loved his vibrant, selective clothes.
However, he received death threats for his clothes. And it did not bother him. He stayed awesome, Until July 2017, When his body was discovered on a busy street in Baghdad. He was kidnapped, He was tortured. Witnesses reported that he sustained several injuries. Stab wounds. And two thousand miles away in Peshawar, Transgender Pakistani activist (Alisha) was shot in May 2016. I was taken to the hospital, But because she was wearing women's clothes, She was not received in the women or men section. What we wear can become a matter of life and death. Even in death, sometimes we cannot choose. Alisha died that day She was buried as a man. What kind of world is this? It is where it is natural to be afraid, To be terrified of this observation, And this violence towards our bodies and what we wear on them. But the biggest fear is that once we surrender, And we got mixed And we disappeared one by one, The more this fake comfort looks natural, The more surprising this persecution becomes. For the sake of our children, Injustice today can become familiar tomorrow. They will get used to it, They can also see in the wrong something different, Something to hate, Something to be erased, Just as the lights are out, one after another, Until darkness becomes a way of life.
However, if I am today, Then you are tomorrow, And maybe more of us one day, If we embrace our right to look like ourselves, In this world that was violently defeated, We will become arrows of colors that penetrate it, Like the widows of Vernaven. Then, with many of us, How would a rifle scope To choose Karar, Or (Malala), Or Alisha? Will they be able to kill us all? It is time to rise, To appear. Where symmetry gives security, With something as simple as our clothes, We can draw every eye to ourselves Let's say there is a difference in the world, and there will always be a difference.
So they got used to it. And we can say that without saying a word. Fashion can give us the language of the opposition. It can give us courage. It can literally make us wear courage. So wear it. Wear it as a shield. Wear it because it matters. And wear it because you are important. thank you.