"I just feel like I'm staring at your chest!"
Look, I get it's weird. I'm walking around an event with a sash that scrolls text across it. Or I'm wearing a skirt with text that goes across the leg. It IS weird. You have to look, you have to read text in a place that is not normally associated with reading. Your gaze has to hold in a place that is somewhat sexual.
You say the above. 'Oh my God, what have I done, this guy is staring at my chest! Maybe this isn't appropriate. Maybe this is a mistake.' My mind races. Maybe I don't belong here.
I talk about putting the LED array across my shoulders because it's one of the very few visible, non sexualized places it could go. But, it hasn't been a priority for me because it's a bit too vulnerable. I can't see the text and everyone else can. If there's a problem, I'll need someone to tell me. It's next on my list of things to make, but I'll be wearing it very cautiously. Also, I'd have to wear my hair up enough so it doesn't fall below my neck.
I can't win - my back is sort of it. Anything below the knees is non visible and will be kicked around. Anything on the front of my torso gets comments. Anywhere between my waist and knees gets comments. It's either insecurity about the text or insecurity about what's under it.
Do I design stuff and only have men wear it in public? They have a much broader area of places that can be stared at without people feeling "naughty." I like wearing what I create. I am constructing clothing on my own, so I size things to fit me.
Do I keep everything I wear off my body and on a mannequin?
I think there's a better course of action: If you don't want to hold your gaze on a part of my body that is vaguely sexual but under several layers of loose fitting clothing, or can't without thinking naughty thoughts, PLEASE look away. Your attention is absolutely not what I want.
And, if it's too late for you to feel weird, please don't comment on it.
I've done my best to build totally loose, non-sexual things. If that's still not enough, I can't help you. The only thing I can do to help is leave, and I'm not going to do that.
If you see yourself as a past commenter (there have been several) and you're wondering 'hey Kristina, why didn't you say something at the time?' please understand I was busy evaluating the comment when you expressed it. As I've pursued LED clothing, I've thought about the criticism and have concluded that at this point it's no longer my problem to solve. I'll be letting future commenters know that from here on out.