These-days, there are so many varieties of style we can wear. Some things are driven by sports, or music, others by tradition. Many styles are simply evolutions from previous ones, that began when someone famous decided to do something a bit different. In ancient England, if the King had a new look, then everyone wanted to do their own version. This theory lives today with famous people. It only takes a photo from a celebrity with a new dress or colour and the sales increase.
With modern culture, the media has the privilege of mirroring society back to us with the stories it chooses to promote. Often we have an element of extra drama in order to appeal to hungry consumers, and this then goes in as a learned experience. The mind can't really determine the difference between reality and fiction unless we are aware personally. So at the time we may be able to continually remind ourselves it's not real, the emotional responses will still be there and because they're biological in origin, the effects matter. This is where emotional learning happens, and we find ourselves responding the same way next time we experience something similar, after so much exposure to the fiction.
The way culture has portrayed the hooligan and the criminal means that certain types of clothing and style have become associated with that. More to the point, we have a situation where people feel the need to be who the media describe them as, and this is due to the expectations and projections of others according to what they have seen. It takes a very strong person to not become defined by society when the description is simply not available, we like to feel that we fit in somewhere and if we can't, it doesn't just affect us but it also affects how others view us as people. If we didn't have the media continually repeating stereotypes back at us, with an added dose of spice, then the need to reflect that back again wouldn't be so great either.
To put this into perspective using a common example. Remember Krusty the Clown from the Simpsons? Let's not think about tattoos, leather boots, ripped jeans, or even hijabs, lets think about a clown. Imagine a clown in the supermarket, buying a weekly shop. He's got his trolley, and his list. You may expect him to do something funny, seeing as he's dressed like a clown. We see his red nose, his green hair, his crazy trousers, we just know he's a clown and its his job to do funny stuff.
You may even avoid the clown so you don't get drawn into the show. We have seen them so many times, we just know what they do. But clowns are people, and their clothes are a form of work clothes. Like a uniform, or an overall. They take them off after, and this is why we don't see clowns in the supermarket. We just walk on by and we don't even know they're clowns.
What if their clothes were not their work clothes, but what they chose to wear everyday? Although not being a clown, like we have have seen them to be, and have learned that they are, they just act like a normal person.
Like Krusty, in the Simpsons, he may tell jokes but he doesn't act out a routine unless at work. It's that easy to make assumptions about people based on how they dress and by how we have been educated to perceive this.
The thing is, often our education is incomplete, and fairly biased. We all know that bad news travels fast, and good news is often distorted to speed it up, taking away the goodness. So maybe we just don't really know as much as we think we do about pretty much anything that we haven't seen in our own lives and around us all the time. Try to hold off judgments and concerns based on appearances. It is our behaviour that defines how we are perceived, and we each are responsible for our own. No matter how we choose to dress.
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