Good morning, friends!
We're still in nag-free Monday mode here at MPB, at least until the weather feels more fall-like.
Today, I'd like to touch on something related to Friday's sagger pants saga and a reader comment that has been on my mind since. Nancy K called the sagger pants look (as well as the Thom Browne highwater suit) "attention-getting" and that term really struck a nerve.
Is there anything more shameful in our culture than admitting that you want to be noticed?
Be honest: when you see someone whose appearance seems to be a desperate cry for attention, do you intentionally (or somewhat reflexively) look away so as not to give that person what they so obviously are seeking? (Or am I the only cruelly withholding one here?)
How much energy do we spend denying that we want to be seen, that we want people to take notice of us but not look like we do (by cultivating a studied cool demeanor, say). We're not supposed to want attention. Or at least, that's the message I often got growing up.
It seems strange in a culture where celebrity worship is so commonplace that we're not supposed to show how much we want to be seen.
I was raised in a family where one didn't seek to stand out except through one's grades, and certainly not by virtue of appearance. I have so many memories of my mother's highly critical remarks about this friend or that colleague who dressed in what she considered a flashy, attention-getting way.
Can you imagine someone like me in a family like that? I was a natural attention-getter -- outgoing, dramatic -- and I really suffered. Maybe now you can understand why I was destined to have a blog like Male Pattern Boldness!
How many of you got a similar message growing up?
Do you consciously dress to be noticed? If so, who is it you'd like to notice you?
Conversely, do you think it's wrong somehow to seek others' attention -- positive or negative -- through the way you look?
I think for many people -- particularly the poor and/or disenfranchised -- dressing for attention can feel like the only voice they have to express themselves, and it's certainly effective.
Think how many groups -- greasers, punks, skinheads, preppies -- use clothes as a badge both of belonging and of not belonging, i.e., of rejection of traditional authority and morality.
Don't we all want to be seen in this world? Doesn't it make sense that we'd use our clothes as a way to achieve visibility even it's with pants sagging below our butt?
I remember reading in some psychology-related book that a child's biggest fear isn't a parent's anger but rather being ignored, being treated as if she were invisible.
Makes sense to me.
Your thoughts, please, wise readers!