Impact of Clothing
Ever wondered about the huge impact of clothes on our lives? A person dressed decently is taken as a better employee than his co-worker. A child dressed shabbily is often perceived as the culprit of any mischief in school. A lady dressed in a rich sari is taken to be from a wealthier background than a comparatively soberly dressed woman.
When we dress well and are properly groomed, we feel confident and happy within ourselves as well. Dressing up in rich clothes somehow automatically uplifts our spirits. And getting compliments for our dressing drives our happiness; that’s priceless. On the other hand, we’re very conscious when not dressed well. We lack confidence when dressed poorly, or sometimes, even normally. It’s something like, “If you look good, you feel good. If you look bad, you feel bad.”
Dressing smartly is not only about wearing good clothes; it also involves wearing the right kind of clothes at the right time. For example, wearing an ethnic outfit to a western gig is highly inappropriate. Similarly, walking in a wedding in a tank top and cool shorts is absurd and frowned upon.
Now, let’s move our attention to a problem-Judging people based on their style of clothing. Like judging girls based on the length of their clothing, girls with short clothes are perceived as CHEAP, CHARACTER-LESS, and APPROACHABLE; girls with long clothes are GEEKY and CULTURED. Boys with jerseys of their favorite team are FREE-SPIRITED and SPORTY; boys with ethnic outfits are DULL.
Looks are deceptive
Such stereotypes really don’t make sense. How a person dresses are their personal choice and judging them based on this is insane. A girl in short clothes might be a bold and comfort-loving person. Her intention can never be to attract attention though people with cheap mindsets may think otherwise. A lady with “proper” clothing might be cunning and wild. Her look might create a good mental image in the mind of a person seeking her out; after all, LOOKS ARE DECEPTIVE.
Clothes also create some social and economic barriers. Like seeing a person with a turban or a person with a hijab, we immediately think about their following religion and hence, make certain assumptions based on it. Or in a crowd, if a well-dressed person hits you accidentally, an apology suffices. But the same incident if happens with a person in rags; he is abused or assaulted. And these are just some basic differences, and there are many more complex and hurtful differences that one encounters in our society.
When I went to the market, a young woman approached me for alms, with her little son smiling in her arms. Ordinarily, I would smile back at a smiley child, play with him or make faces to make him laugh, but this was different.
I really felt awkward about doing the same for this baby. I thought people might judge me for doing so, as I was dressed in formals and him in rags.
Ever wondered how these differences are created? As children, we never personally feel any variation between a person in rags or silk. Somewhere, as we grow up, we grow judgmental. Society grooms our brain to judge people based on their appearance and clothes and not their work and thoughts.