Performing Femininity: Aprons, Capes, and School Uniforms
Dress is often celebrated as one of the most freeing mediums of self-expression. But in two short films in the Singapore Shorts ’21 selection, Home Economics with A Stubborn Bloom by multidisciplinary collective A Stubborn Bloom, and Elsa by Jen Nee Lim, dress is instead employed as a gendered form of control. In both films, dress is preened, primped, indulged in, and played with. It is also choreographed, instructed, and imposed upon. Against the backdrop of Singapore’s education system, dress becomes a site of reinforced gender norms and ideals of femininity.