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Modern Fashion or Dressed Like a Bum: What Happened to the Value of Personal Appearance?

sloppyDress.jpg

Dressed Like a Bum by Whose Standards?


What is acceptable when it comes to personal appearance is dictated by personal opinion and by official dress codes of establishments such as a person's place of employment. Dress codes as well as personal opinion, however, can be influenced by changing times and attitudes. Up until about the 1980's, most people knew that they would be considered dressed like a bum if they wore jeans and a t-shirt to Sunday church service. They would be frowned at for wearing jeans and a t-shirt to services such as a wedding or funeral. This was the case even when people wore jeans that were ironed, vibrant in color, and free of holes. Nowadays, many jeans are made to look like they're in such a funky condition at the time they are purchased.

What happened to the mindsets that once embraced showing pride in personal appearance? There's more than one factor behind people dressing for special occasions like they would dress to do yard work. Despite the many technological advances of modern societies, people are busier and under more stress than they were in times past. Understandably, they want to dress more comfortably and be more relaxed when it come to personal appearance.

But, what has that to do with a good number of teens who go out dressed like a bum, many of whom do not have even a fraction of the stress that hard-working adults do? Why does being more relaxed in everyday dress have to turn into a refusal to at least preserve willingness to dress up for Sunday church service, funerals, and other events and functions not attended on a daily basis? Have people become too relaxed? Again, that would be a matter of pure personal opinion--or would it?

Reflections of Personal Appearance


No matter how much they say not to judge a book by its cover, it happens; and it will continue to happen. How does this relate to people going around dressed like a bum, in the opinion of some? Some say that each generation should be allowed to express themselves in their unique way. Others point out that differences in each generation should be tolerated only if those differences do not cause deterioration in the society as a whole.

How could someone being dressed like a bum be related to the deterioration of a society? Are there not criminal minds that go around dressed in suits? And what about people who wear mohawks and color their hair the colors of the rainbow? Are they not sometimes more sane than those who take so much pride in personal appearance that they would shudder at the thought of going out into public dressed like a bum? These questions can be answered in the affirmative regardless of anyone's personal opinion on fashion.

However, is it not a fact that most modern societies are now plagued with violence, crime, sleaze, and disrespectful people of all ages? Yes, it is a fact. We see "relaxed" forms of dress and very relaxed forms of behavior--too relaxed. Nowadays, many teens find it okay to cuss at their parents and other elders. They remain "relaxed" and "loose" no matter whose presence they're in. Many elders likewise think nothing of using vulgar profanity in front of even very young children. There are now many "ladies" who can keep up with the most seasoned user of profanity. There are now as many "gentleman" who never take notice of the presence of true ladies. They continue using their filthy and disrespectful vocabulary. The use of words of common courtesy such as "please," "excuse me," "thank you," and "you're welcome" has shamefully declined as well. Why bother? Why not just be relaxed and talk like you want to? Why bother to be courteous if you don't want to? After all, everyone's relaxed now.

Despite the changes in dress and fashion of modern society, there is a surprisingly high number of people who still agree on what it means to be dressed like a bum? To them, going out in public in clothes that can't be distinguished from sleepwear is shameful. They see no intelligence in dressing oneself in pants that look like they are falling off of one's derrier. They find no respect shown in attending a funeral or wedding in jeans and a t-shirt. Wearing clothes that are skin tight is a sign of a sleazy mindset to them. Purchasing new jeans that were manufactured to look like old, dirty ones reflects a silly desperation to be different, and the list could go on.

All of these statements regarding being dressed like a bum are nothing more than pure opinion. Nevertheless, right or wrong, we often desire and need to make favorable impressions on others. We just never know when we might miss out on important things such as a good job or a date with a cute guy or girl because we are always dressed like a bum.


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