People dress to get vaccinated. Here’s why.
When was the last time you dressed? Or better yet, the last time you dressed for a real occasion? I can’t remember an experience from last year where jeans and a t-shirt weren’t enough. Then again, I’m not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and as a result, I didn’t have to pick an outfit for what Brooklyn-based actress Ashlie Atkinson – someone who received her first vaccine – calls “the event of [the] an. “For her, the answer to the above question is simple: She wore a long sequined dress to her immunization appointment. Wearing a long sequined dress to my vaccine appointment because it ‘is THE EVENT OF MY YEAR pic.twitter.com/zkqxT8KvME – ashlie atkinson (@ashlieatkinson) February 23, 2021 “When I finally had a date I was really excited. It’s the most thing. important thing that I’m going to do this year, “Atkinson told Refinery29, days after her appointment. The dress, which had accumulated dust in the back of her closet for over a year, was originally purchased for the annual gala of Atkinson’s roller derby league since the cancellation last September. Not knowing when or if she would have another chance to wear the formal dress, she wore it for her first shot – complete with white plastic boots and resistant to slush, heirloom earrings that had been passed down from her grandmother to her mother, and a face mask given to her by one of her best friends. “I fully represented all of my relatives,” she says. Atkinson had meningitis as a child and 10 years ago suffered from pulmonary embolism, which, in part, qualified her for the vaccine. When she received the appointment, she was delighted to finally have the opportunity to go to the hospital under optimistic circumstances. In the past, Atkinson says she’s often felt the urge to dress when she goes to the doctor, due to the way people make assumptions about her based on her weight. “I don’t have the luxury of wearing UGGs and yoga pants,” she explains. “As a fat person, I always dress as a measure of self-preservation. I do this to make them understand that I am valuable, that I care about myself, and that they should care about me too, even though I’m not normally in glitter. Getting a vaccine was Atkinson’s way of disguising himself, not as a defensive tactic, but as an expression of joy. “I really wanted to celebrate this moment,” she says. In Cheshire, England, Bethany Hughes, an airline customer service and sales agent, was also recently vaccinated. She has also planned an outfit for the occasion: a white T-shirt printed with The Fortune Cat, symbol of good luck and protection in Chinese and Japanese culture, on her pocket; a pleated skirt and tights, with the caption. “I chose my T-shirt for two reasons: (1) It was recently Chinese New Year,” she says. “And (2) I was feeling a little nervous about the vaccine because it was my first in almost 10 years, and the lucky cat denotes good luck. Additionally, she says she wanted her outfit to show off her tattoos because they are part of her self-expression. “My black, high-waisted flared skirt made me feel feminine and powerful, swaying me around the local rugby pitch where the vaccines were being administered.” According to her, the tights were a welcome escape from the baggy joggers she lived in. Brooklyn blogger Yvonne Morel tweeted ahead of her date, “I have my outfit ready for my shot on Sunday. I am going to be so extra. It is deserved. As a type 1 diabetic, Morel has spent most of the last year at home worrying about her health and thinking that she “would never see the end of it all,” she tells Refinery29. “However, as things started to improve, I started to take advantage of the few times I was able to comfortably go out and make sure to dress.” For the occasion, she teamed her favorite ASOS pants with Adidas sneakers and a sweatshirt with the phrase “Immigrant’s Daughter” printed on the front. The latter comes from a brand of the same name, which was founded to thank all parents who have “courageously crossed borders” for their children, according to the site. “I always said I would wear this sweatshirt when I get my vaccine because my mom – along with my dad and my brother – are really the reasons I was able to stay as calm and positive as I was during this pandemic. She said. “She was born and raised in the Dominican Republic.” Chloe Tear, a disability blogger and content designer for a disability charity called Scope, also considered her outfit before heading for her first vaccine in Leeds, England. She wore a flowered mask, overalls covered with tiny cats (French!) And a yellow raincoat. “I chose this outfit to give me power,” she tells Refinery29. Despite qualifying for the vaccine due to her cerebral palsy, Tear wrote on Instagram that she was initially dropped from the list for England’s Group Six qualification. She had to fight to get the vaccine – which she recognizes is a problem, not only for her but for all people with disabilities. “It’s not something we should be fighting for,” she said, “but these overalls gave me the power to keep fighting for my rights and to help others do the same.” Shelley Benhoff, of Orlando, Fla., Wore heels and a tiara to her vaccination appointment on Friday. Like Tear, these items made her feel powerful and confident. Because she is at high risk of serious illness from COVID, Benhoff has barely left her home since last March. “Like so many others, this last year has been very difficult for me,” she says. “Fashion is a way of expressing myself that I have been denied for a year now.” In a way, her appointment marked the end of this chapter for her. Atkinson echoes this sentiment. “We didn’t have much to hope for. So, it was really nice to have something to turn on. After all, it’s not just a doctor’s appointment. These are the after-times finally visible on the horizon. Like what you see? How about a little more R29 goodness, here? Why are COVID vaccines only in wealthy communities?