By Kembet Bolton
“A LOT of young people have indulged in physical intimacy and done drugs,” wrote a teen newspaper columnist. “But you have no right to think that all teenagers do,” he continued. “A lot of teenagers don’t.”
You, too, like the young columnist may resent the notion that all teenagers are pot smokers and promiscuous, just because some teenagers are. You may have seen the effects drugs and illicit intercourse have had on your peers and do not wish that for yourself.
You may be tired and pissed with always being judged as a “teenager,”. You are an individual and want to be viewed as one. And as an individual, you may feel you have choices and rights, including the right to choose your cloths, right? And yes, you do not want people to judge you by what you wear. They are just cloths, or, aren’t they?
What do you wear? What kind of clothing’s appeal to you? What appearance do you give to others by your choice of clothing? According to a researcher named John T. Molloy, ‘’The way we dress, has a remarkable impact on the people we meet and affects greatly how they treat us.
People do “look at things according to their face value.” It is just human nature and would be folly on our part to try to ignore it.
So, what kind of cloths do you wear? Do they reveal who you really are? What factors influence the styles you choose?
Trendy Today -Old Fashion Tomorrow
There is hardly a wind as unstable as the winds of styles and fashion. What is trendy today is often very quickly out of fashion tomorrow. Over the past few years, in some countries love beads have given way to neck chains, granny glasses to contact lenses, miniskirts to slit skirts, wide lapels to narrow lapels and tapered slacks to straight-legged slacks. Really, the bible describes it well, ‘’the fashion of this world passes away ‘’.—1 Corinthians 7:31.
It is not wrong in itself to be in style.
However, some have made themselves slaves to trends, wearing themselves out with the struggle to wear certain styles or brand names. Maria, aged 16 lamented: “You see a great pair of pants that everybody else has at the shop and you say ‘Mom, get me those pants,’ and she says, ‘No, I can make them at home.’ I say, ‘But you don’t understand. I want these pants.’”
Why is Maria obsessed with that particular set of pants? Because the one mum will make will not have the brand name.
The recent designer-jean fad illustrates how easily people are manipulated. Jeans suddenly became high fashion. A baffling array of blue jeans sporting the names of designers such as Calvin Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt came on the scene. People were, and still are, willing to pay extravagant prices for pants that, in effect, turned them into walking billboards.
Why? “People want a name,” says Eli Kaplan, quoted in Newsweek magazine. He is president of the company manufacturing “Sergio Valente” jeans. Who, then, is this Mr. Valente, whose prestigious name is so conspicuously sewn on jean pockets? “He doesn’t exist,” reports Newsweek. “Who was going to buy Eli Kaplan jeans?” asks Mr. Kaplan.
Succumbing to every whim of fashion designers can strip you of your individuality, obscure the real you. So don’t let yourself be controlled by provocative ads and slogans.
Remember, you want to be judged as an individual. How can your dressing influence the judgements you receive?
Appropriate dress can also help to impress others favorably. For example, the Bible tells of Queen Esther’s needing to appear before her husband, the king. Such an unbidden appearance was a capital offense! Esther thus fasted and no doubt fervently prayed for God’s help. She also gave attention to her appearance by “dressing up royally.” And “as soon as the king saw Esther the queen standing in the courtyard, she gained favor in his eyes.”
Your being dressed in an appropriate manner might thus help you make a good impression at a job interview. But what is appropriate? Vicki L. Baum, director of a Career Development Center, observes: “Some women get confused when they go for an interview. They think it’s like going on a date, and they look seductive.” The results? “It takes away from your professionalism.” She therefore recommends: “Forget about the slits in your dresses, your sweater dresses, things that are tight or suggestive or sexy in any way.”
Young men, too, should strive to wear well-arranged clothing when job hunting. Writer John T. Molloy says that successful businessmen, whom you likely will encounter, “have their hair combed and their shoes shined. And they expect the same of other men.”
Immodest attire can damage your relationships with others. Psychology Today refers to a survey taken among adolescents that showed “a lowcut top, shorts, tight jeans, or no bra” would likely be interpreted by males as a sexual come-on. As one young man confessed: “I personally find it rather hard to think only pure thoughts about younger women when I see the way they dress.” Following the Bible’s counsel to dress modestly allows people to appreciate your inner qualities. Wouldn’t you rather be attractive to others because of the way you are inside, rather than merely because of how you look?
Of course, there may be times when being physically attractive seems to go a long way. Yet, you need not be preoccupied with your outward appearance. Remember, it’s the inner person that is important. The apostle Peter thus encouraged Christians to let their adornment be “the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible apparel of the quiet and mild spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of God”—yes, and in the eyes of others!
Do your clothes, therefore, reveal the real you? Or are you sending out the wrong message? Do you let people see your inner beauty? One who is inwardly beautiful will be attractive to others—even if the clothes are not of the latest style or are “tattooed” with silly, even phony, designer labels.
Who knows what fad will next send youths stampeding into the stores? You, however, can be different, no longer enslaved to the thinking of others. Your holding to high standards of dress and conduct will gradually gain for you the respect of others.
Yes, your cloths reveal who you are. Choose wisely!