Rabu, 07 Mei 2014

Why is the tattoo'd unkempt prison look so trendy?

Q. If current fashion were a class war, it's pretty apparent who is winning... Why is this? Lately, I see so many classy, attractive women with guys that look like they couldn't find their way out of a cardboard box... It's disturbing. It seems very primal - painfully barbaric... What happened to appreciating guys that dare to dream - guys that want to do something with their lives - guys that are educated, etc... You could say that I'm rushing to conclusions by judging people on outside appearances - but the way you choose to dress and act says a lot about who you are... I can't think of a single person who had a tattoo when I was in high school - now it seems like everyone has at least one...
It's not just tattoos - it's the whole baggy pants, spiked this and that, tattoo'd that, etc. It's a bit overwhelming after a while...

A. I understand and sympathize with your frustration. Be patient; smart women know the value of a man with class, intelligence, and ambition, and by their early twenties, when women start looking around for a man to be their life partner and father their children, they're usually really not interested in the "bad boy" look.

However, to answer the bigger question, the elite have always turned to the underclass for fashion guidance. In ancient Rome, the Empress Messalina thought it was amusing to dress up like a prostitute. (By law, prostitutes had to wear blonde wigs; it was a way of forcing them to identify themselves as not respectable.)

The super-wealthy of France in the time of Queen Marie Antoinette thought it was clever to dress like poor peasant women (in very fancy versions of peasant clothing) and go off and have picnics in the fields.

In the U.S., fashion in music, slang, and clothing has always taken inspiration from the underclass (the "criminal" class, the very poor, or oppressed racial & ethnic minorities) because the fashions of these groups have always been seen as "edgy" -- novel, new, exciting, different. For instance, black jazz was popularized by whites who felt they were being very daring by visiting black clubs.

All this edginess, newness, and daring-ness eventually adds up to being fashionable or even glamorous. The same thing happened when Elvis dared to adopt black performance style in his singing (in his dancing and some of his phrasing).

The "bad boy" look has always been exciting, and the movies (see James Dean or Marlon Brando) and later, TV, really promoted this. American culture loves the idea of the wild guy, the loner, the rule-breaker (see any Bruce Willis movie).

So, today's gangsta fashions are just an extension of that. Once, just wearing jeans meant you were a "bad boy," an admirabe rebel (or it meant you were dirt-poor and couldn't afford anything else). Now, people mimic the prison look: clothes which don't fit, shoes with the laces missing.

Tattoos are another story. There are a million reasons for people to get tattoos: to bond during military service or sports, for religious or cultural reasons, and so on. However, the fashion of covering yourself with tattoos in OUR time seems to me to be based on a couple of trends:
-- looking like you're jailin' -- that is, that you're such a bad bad boy you've been to prison
-- in women, rebelling a little against old standards of beauty. Supermodels, who have NO independence about how they dare to look, started the trend by getting ankle tattoos about fifteen or twenty years ago. Women from economic classes that traditionally did not get tattoos took this as permission, and got tattoos to show that they have a wild side
-- a strong rejection of mainstream values by Generation X and the generation since them; a way of rebelling against the mainstream Republican-and-Religion conservative style being enforced by the elite from about 1985 on up to the present.
-- peer pressure

You said, "the way you choose to dress and act says a lot about who you are... " -- yes, you're right, but sometimes, all it says is, "I haven't grown up yet and I'm desperate to look like all the cool kids my age and NOT look like my parents."

It might get you punched out, but aren't you ever tempted to say to one of these mismatched couples, "Hey, guy, she looks like a million bucks and you look like last week's laundry. Couldn't you dress up for her just a little? You look like her lawn man, not her date." Woo-hoo!! :)

Help please?
Q. I need a name. I'm about to start an online clothing store for women. I'll be selling trendy clothes, both career and casual as well as shoes and accessories. I really need a catchy name that's easy to remember. Thanks so much for any ideas-10 points to my favorite

A. These are from the link below
the Suitcase
Trendy Girl
Ms. Miss
Bags of Rags
Boutique Critique
Smashing Da'ling
Snazzy Gazzy
Bling Things

My suggestions
Et al..
Jaimies Jewels
Full Moon
Half Moon
Miss/Ms/Mrs. YOUR NAME (First or Last)
The Classy Rack
My Yahoo name - Rosemarie's :-)

Let us know when & what you decide! :-)

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