The other day I went with my older brother John to our local mall in Jackson, MS. The mall used to be the “place to go” for shopping. However that has changed, and it has become a place that I once used to spend hours on end… to a place where I run in and run out! There is one store in this mall called Pacsun. It is the only Pacsun in town and my brother who has a broad sense of fashion LOVES this place. He mainly goes there for their hipster (I guess) graphic tees! As I walked in the store with him, I noticed that they had just gotten a new shipment and the mens section was stocked with SO MANY GRAPIC TEES. My brothers eyes lit up as he carefully examined each one. He is very picky about his graphic tees… (not too much graphic, but with just enough graphic with a not so tight fitting tee… you feel me?) He came across one however that was really graphic… It was a baby blue crew neck with a very suggestive picture. It was a black and white of a woman holding a gold gun to her mouth. My brother picks it up and goes “WHOA..I like this but I dont think I can pull this off..” As I was telling him what I thought, he leans over to a Pacsun worker and asked him would he wear the shirt. The guy he asked, I had seen him before on other Pacsun field trips with my brother. Every time, he is wearing the same thing, so I knew immediately that he wouldnt be a great style advice advisor. He looked at the shirt and looked at my brother and said “No…I wouldnt wear it.. but its because I’m white..” WHAT THE WHAT THE WHAT THE… I literally think my eyes rolled to my stomach and I turned into Natalie Desselle in BAPS… I said “So you think my black ass would wear it?!” (I know not very lady like at all… I dont know what came over me…I was auditioning for BAPS 2 okay?). He looked at me and was like.. YEAH… So naturally my head exploded and before I destroyed Pacsun with my bare hands.. I walked out of the store.
I was so mad. I didn’t think that clothes were based on skin color. Maybe I overreacted a little bit, and as I am typing this, I know I did. However, it was one of those situations where his responses were so quick, that he didnt realize what he was saying could be labeled as offensive. I didnt appreciate how he assumed that because we were black that would be the type of shirt we were down to buy..
That shirt was TACKY… Black, white, blue, purple…. Anybody could pull it off… If you dont mind causing a disturbance, if you like getting gawked at, and if you are just feeling a little tacky that day.
My point is, we are so quick to stereotype people all the way down to the type of clothes a person wears. Yes.. I have been guilty of it, but it wasn’t until this incident where I had to step back and realize that is a dumb way to think. Assuming ones character/style/personality/clothes/etc. by their skin color is wrong. We must look deeper into a person before we decide who they are. We must think before we speak. We must consider all options before we make assumptions.