This past Monday, six senators- all from NY- donned hoodies for the late Trayvon Martin during session in the senate chamber. The gesture is certainly moving, given all the racist backlash and ignorant undertones surrounding Trayvon’s death, but I do think it’s interesting to point out just how much the appearance of the educated & professional men below is altered upon addition of a simple hooded sweatshirt.
These men literally go from legislative dynamos to slum-bred marijuana enthusiasts in the blink of an eye. As much as I’d like to kick Geraldo Rivera in the shins for running his unintelligent mouth, I can’t help but ponder on modern stigmas surrounding things as inane as hooded sweatshirts. Clearly, I feed into these disillusions myself, so it’s crucial we take a step back and reflect as a society.
Instead of blaming the sweatshirt (don’t be an asshole), I think there is an urgent need to revamp social perspectives. My personal experience with hoodies is limited to high school, a 4-year effort aimed at battling perpetually uncombed hair and shitty skin. In a day and age hyper-focused on appearance, I don’t think it’s fair to penalize people- especially the youth- for wanting to hide under their hoods. Growing up, I remember my hood making me feel just an ounce better on days when I felt too insecure to be alive.
Maybe I’m being melodramatic, but what 17 year old isn’t?
My point is, everything needs to be put into a context. A 43-year-old man wearing a hood is more conspicuous than a young boy because we expect the grown lad to have it more “together” (aka, no bad hair days or undefeated insecurities). The allegation against the hood is ill-rooted and instead of vilifying the article, we should just learn to accept who can wear it & when.