Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hooded

There are lots of things in life that are very much love or hate. Marmite is a classic example, skinny jeans on guys, Twitter, Cheryl Cole, Converse, and I'm quite sure that you could all add at least another 20 to the list.

Personally, I've just found another thing to add. And for me, they're a big no. Hoodies. Sound odd? Well anyone who's a student, take a look around next time you're in a lecture or on campus. If you're on a bus, a train or a tram, start counting. How many people can you clock wearing a hoodie?

Now I'm aware this might seem an odd thing to loathe, and I've got to confess to owning 2 hoodies from my University, but upon returning last week to crack into my final semester, I suddenly noticed the sheer volume of students wearing our university hoodies. Not in the gym, as part of sports teams, or lounging in flats, but in public, with "proper clothes", loud and proud. I'm beginning to think of them as a uniform. To be a proper student I must: be wearing a brightly (and unflattering) coloured hooded sweatshirt with university's crest, my name and something semi-witty embroidered onto. Admittance to the college strictly forbidden to those out of uniform. Alterations and abuse of uniform shall be punished.

We had a school uniform like the majority of British schools. It was pretty inoffensive as they go- navy blazer, pale blue shirt and school tie. I never had a problem with wearing a uniform at school, it put everybody onto an equal level and reminded me that I was in a system, I was there to obey the rules and get on. But 4 years on, aged 21, in an environment where I'm supposed to be fully responsible for my own well being, security, studies and thinking, I object.

I've never had a burning desire to be "different". Sometimes it's good to go unnoticed- you pick up all sorts, and frankly, there is such a thing as bad publicity. If people want to talk about me and what I'm wearing, it needs to be because it looks good on me, and accentuates the positive. Thing is, there's a distinct difference between being relatively camouflaged within society and being uniform.

And this lead me to the conclusion, I hate them. Well in the public domain anyway. My hoodies remain strictly relegated to gym trips and over my PJ's in the flat. I am not 16 years old. I am not uniform. For me, uniform is not appropriate, and I refuse to be made uniform by my peers.

There is an irony here. I'm hoping to join one of our armed forces when I finish university and I will be proud to wear the uniform of a group of people who serve our country. Thankfully, last time I checked hoodies were not a part of military uniform of any type. There's hope yet.

Anybody else feeling vengeful towards an item of clothing right now? Disagree? Got a uniform of your own that you love or love to hate?

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