Letters to the Audience

To the fashion-oriented: Most Americans don’t know what it’s like to live in a totalitarian regime where one is stripped of their freedoms and are censored from speaking out, but we know what it’s like, don’t we? Every strand of rainbow hair, every tattoo, every piercing, is an expression of bravery. It is an expression of the truth. It is an expression of American ideals: freedom. Why else would we wear items of bondage (corsets, dog collars, etc.)? Because we are in bondage. When America does experience such a state, such that will make us seem like a Middle Eastern country, most will be shocked at how their freedoms are stripped away, but we will not be surprised for we have experienced it every day.

Why do you think modern art is so prevalent? Because it doesn’t cause one to think. I understand you. I understand that what you are doing is to get people to think by what we wear. Sadly, we can’t. Clothing is too easy to misconstrue. People are not going to get it until we talk to them about why we wear what we wear, peacefully and constructively.

Don’t be angry, instead “forgive them for they know not what they have done.” (Luke 23:24). Most people don’t intend to be mean or hateful and those who do are crying out for love. Awareness is the key here. Awareness is what we need to spread throughout the nation and every nation.

However, if you do not dress to express your inner being, if you do not dress for art’s sake, and if you do not dress to get others to think, then I want to say this: If you think you get a lot of attention, you don’t. And you wouldn’t want it either. Some of you are beautiful by society’s standards. Just imagine how much attention you would get as a quadriplegic, or as a Siamese twin, or as a bearded lady. You do not even have hypertrichosis, or werewolf syndrome. You ain’t got nothing on attention-getting. I, or anyone else, would never do business with someone who only dresses radically to get attention. It makes everyone else who dresses  to send out a message about one’s inner being, or about observation’s of the surrounding culture, look bad and not brave. This is what makes people think that we do not deserve respect or to be treated as an intelligent human being, even though we are.

To the mainstream: In Switched at Birth, ABC Family TV show, the character Bay comes back from the Galapagos Islands with a feather in her hair. Her brother is not a fan, but she tells him something to the effect of “There’s nothing you can say that will make me take it out.” This is how the fashion-oriented feel when they are told how to dress for an interview or just to go to work to pay their bills. An example of this is tattoos. Tattoos are seen as a no-no to interviews. However, many tattoos are religious, military, related to love (e.g., “I love Mom” tattoos), or symbols of self-expression (even if the expression is one of humor).

Some Israelis bear Holocaust tattoos to remind others to remember the Holocaust or to bear the mark of pride that they are descendants of survivors: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/01/world/middleeast/with-tattoos-young-israelis-bear-holocaust-scars-of-relatives.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

To reduce it to an embarrassment or like a mole is to be disrespectful to the nth degree.

I have learned the importance of boundaries and what I will or will not tolerate. I will not tolerate people who inadvertently attempt to nullify one’s entire existence, which is what people do who do not understand the fashion-oriented. I will not tolerate those who attempt, even if unknowingly, to eradicate my pride or anyone else’s pride. Most tattoos, and other items of fashion, are a symbol of pride, perhaps showing that one is a survivor or showing that one is in love. Anyone who disregards the importance of symbols also disregards the importance of the sacred. To believe people will be willing to sacrifice a reminder or expression of the most significant moment or thing in their life for a paycheck (which is what employers do at interviews), is inhumane, cruel, hateful, and accepted.

If you are a religious person, if you wish to do no harm in this life, or if you do not want to feed the oppression, then I would encourage you to help spread the awareness of how the fashion-oriented are being dehumanized daily. Your neighbor’s ignorance is unacceptable when all you need to do is have an open conversation. The next time you see someone who chose self-expression over a paycheck, do not feel pity for that person, feel inspired.

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