A common misconception lurks amongst the youth today: To care about how I look is to be ‘shallow’ or ‘unnecessarily indulgent’. A lot of us today have begun to feel alright with our unkempt hair, jeans in need of ironing, flip-flops worn out with the continuous effort to get us to our respective destinations as we drag our feet and sip on caffeine kickers like colas and coffee.
When asked about this now common culture by their cultureshocked parents, a common response is, “I don’t care, it’s not important.” The ‘I don’t care’ crowd is populated with a rather dominant species and I like to call them– The Baggies. Walk across a college campus and you are sure to find at least ten per hundred metres.
The average baggy boy prefers attending college in a football club jersey that looks like it has been washed a gazillion times teamed with hideously checked shorts (on good days). On other days, he allows us to get a sneak peek of his boxer brand as his deliberately purchased, loose jeans insist on sliding to his knees. The average baggy girl on the other hand, is most often an intellectual tomboy, spotted with wild hair that helps her feel ‘free’ and wears a tablecloth for a t-shirt. She sports regular jeans that don’t even have to be touched let alone pulled, allowing her to walk fast and free with no worldly bounds to block her expeditions.
Baggies are usually people who take themselves too seriously, or worse, don’t take themselves seriously at all. A lot of us believe that to reach a certain level of intellect or to provoke an interest in scholarly activities, we must lose interest in being fashionable, or even presentable. Here’s an unfortunate reality for most of you: the world does not have the time or the inclination to know the ‘real you’ or your ‘inner beauty’. Your submission to the top university or your dream job almost entirely relies on that first impression and how well you carry yourself.
Dr Sujaya Banerjee, chief learning officer of the Essar Group, shares her experience recruiting people as she states, “A first impression, in terms of grooming and appearance, plays a vital role in assessing a potential candidate. The non-verbal signals that a candidate’s grooming radiates, shows that the candidate wants to present the best of what they have and this certainly creates a halo effect on those assessing him or her. However, this well-groomed candidate must be backed with competence so as to avoid a classic case of style without substance.”
Today’s youth, unfortunately, feel compelled to choose between style and substance. It is a tough choice, perhaps because it is not supposed to be made. Success inevitably follows people who have achieved a balance between the two. These people deal with pressures, insecurities and the continuous assessment of their competency, but not once do they have the option of slipping into a pair of baggy shorts and slouching their way to the answers. Dressing well provides a certain dignity to every task you perform and makes it feel important. After all, every day at school, college or work is an event that tests your best.
Volume 2 Issue 1