When What You Wear Defines You

Have you ever received a death stare from a cute old couple because of your clothing? Have you ever been treated with disrespect because your jeans are too tight, or your midriff is showing, or because you have on baggy sweatpants and a hoodie?

As teenagers, our apparel puts targets on our backs. The Trayvon Martin shooting is an example of this. Trayvon Martin was found to be suspicious, not only because of the color of his skin, but by his clothing. The big hoodie, something to keep him warm, was assumed to be a symbol of bad intentions.

We walk around and are judged on a daily basis; it’s a sad reality. It’s assumed that we’re judged by the color of our skin, but that isn’t the whole truth, it’s one factor. Sometimes, the way we dress is to impress that special someone, but it ends up rubbing someone the wrong way.

Although we think of ourselves as the victims, we need to realize we are guilty of the same thing. We have all heard snide remarks when a guy walks past us with their pants at their feet or have personally called a girl a not- so- nice word because she is showing a lot of skin.

Slut Shaming, a new term for judging a woman because we think she is too “out there” with their sexuality, demoralizes her and treats her differently, as if we have that right.

Stereotyping is so common in this day in age; some teenagers excel at it so well at it that it becomes a part of who they are. Not only have we made assumptions about our fellow peers but our teachers and other adults as well.

Trayvon isn’t the only teenager on the planet who has been targeted because of the clothes he wore. Whether we dress like a stoner, thug, or goody-two-shoes, we are judged by the adults and peers around us.

I found an anonymous quote on searchquotes.com that I think hit the nail on the head.

“Don’t judge me by my color, my size or my appearance. Because if you do, you will miss who I really am.”

I think we should stop passing judgment on people before we get to know them.