Sunday, August 26

Fashion sense vs common sense

I don't get all of my news from Yahoo! but I do confess that occasionally I am sufficiently tantalized by a deliberately provocative headline to skim the story.  This one is titled "Airlines can say: You can't wear that."

I travel fairly frequently and usually for business, so dress accordingly.  I remember my grandmother and even my mother talking about dressing for travel, but that was way, way back in the day when women wore hats and gloves and people could still smoke in theaters.  I remember people gawking and gasping when young people just wore any old thing to go shopping but there were times, only a generation or two ago, when "going out" was a social event and it meant dressing with care.

The anecdotes, selected for specific reasons no doubt, are interesting.  Would I want to ride on the plane with the individual who wore the T-shirt bearing the words "Terrists gonna kill us all"?  Would I find it an appropriate anti-racial profiling phrase?  No and no.  I give Arjit Guha a big red X for lacking common sense.  Yes, protest racial profiling but not in that way or on a plane.  Not clever.

Do I want to see anyone's boxers or briefs because he's wearing low-hanging pants?  No.  Do I want to see a middle-aged cross-dresser? Well, not if he's wearing only women's underwear.  I don't want to see women wearing only underwear.  But if he's well-dressed, I don't care.

I understand the argument of people being able to wear what they want when they've purchased a ticket, especially because travelers feel harassed by what seem to be fees for everything.  But that sense of entitlement isn't going to lead anywhere nice or good.

Instead, I much prefer John Gordon's observation: "It's an unspoken rule that when you go out in public, you should be respectful."

And if it isn't an unspoken rule for everyone to try to be respectful of those around you, perhaps it should be a spoken and even written rule.  In my mind, being respectful of others starts with being respectful of yourself.  If you have self-respect, you are more likely--in my personal opinion and based on nothing other than my opinion--to be respectful of others. 

Herewith: "When you go out in public, please be respectful. . . of yourself and then of others."

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