There is a person that I see every now and again who makes me think to myself “What’s this guy’s deal? He needs to get it together.” Unfortunately though, I’ve never really had a conversation with this guy before, but honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted to even if I had the chance. My shallow impression of him was that he was dirty, socially inept, and uncomfortably odd. And before you go guns blazing and harshly judging my inconsiderateness, let me first explain why.
I often see this gentleman on my daily commute to work. To paint the picture, imagine a 5-foot-10, brown haired guy in his late twenties with a slight beer belly. What looks like an oily, dandruff-filled handlebar mustache dons his face, and the hair on his head is equally as unkempt, shagging out in any which direction. Now that’s all fine, but as you go below his neck, it starts to get a bit weirder.
From what I’ve seen, this guy rotates between only two T-shirts. One with a graphically drawn tuxedo on the front, and one that is bright neon green, and far too small for his body. The tuxedo shirt has literally started to yellow at the pits and stomach (why the stomach, I don’t know), and the neon shirt seems to get tighter and tighter by the day… oh yeah, did I mention it’s neon?
Now when you get to his pants, he’s always in the same pair of jeans, and they’re a pair of light skinny jeans. Probably okay right? Wrong, they’re clearly three sizes too small, and I can not only make out the full shape of his manhood, but there happens to be a small hole right around there for all to see.
Okay, so I’m sorry for being so harsh. I mean I don’t even know this guy! Maybe these are the only two shirts and pair of jeans that this guy can afford, who am I to judge? Also, I’m cool with unique personal style and signature looks, and clearly this guy has his own thing going on here, so, respect right?
Well, one day on the bus, I got a slap in the face telling me just that. I happened to be standing pretty close to him while he was chatting on his iPhone, talking somewhat discreetly to a family member, and I not only learned that he had a fairly prestigious job, but was also an incredibly interesting person, just based on that phone call. He was eloquent in his speech, starting a non-profit food business on the side, and financially helping his family with some medical problems they were going through. I didn’t expect “that guy on the MUNI who wears the dirty tuxedo shirt,” to be so awesome as a human being. Suffice it to say, I felt like a terrible person for judging the way I did.
The moral of the story here: 1. Don’t be so judging, like me, you’ll make a fool out of yourself. And 2. Whether fair or not, you will likely be judged by those around you just by the clothing you wear. By stepping out into the world, you’re sending a certain message to folks by donning an oily mustache, unkempt hair, pit-stained T’s, and jeans that look like they’ll rip to pieces at any given moment, even if on the inside, you are the exact opposite of what you look like on the outside.
So, as awesome as you may be as a person, please take care of your appearances as well, at least to some extent. Put on some decent clothing, groom up a bit, and look somewhat respectful if you have the means. People will interact with you under a more favorable pretense, which I think is always helpful in life.