Yesterday wasn’t that great of a day. Everything politics and anger took over my Facebook feed. I came across this one post from the Humanist Report where they were dogging Bill Maher for saying that there is a general “slopification of America”. I didn’t watch the video, nor did I watch the Humanist Report that started the discussion, but I caught the comment thread.
I couldn’t miss it if I tried as it was a holy ball of fire.
In a nutshell, Bill and his panel were being called “elitists” who were “telling the commoners how to dress”. I happen to make the comment that the slopification in general is sort of true. I relayed my experience of being in the courthouse and often seeing many people dressed in pajamas.
Fuzzy ones with cartoon characters or sports teams. Wearing this while talking to a Judge is beyond my understanding. The next thing I know, I was being lit up.
“Smug women telling the peasants how to dress”
“Poor shaming. Are you happy now?”
Here’s the thing, I never said sloppy = poverty.
I’ve seen people holding $700 iPhones who were sloppy. Sloppy is a mentality. You can be sloppy with how you act, your finances, your emotions, your personal life, your weight, your health, your diet, your house, your car, your belongings, your relationships, your communication. You can be sloppy at your work product, and you can be sloppy with your mind.
Sloppy has nothing to do with socio economic status.
54.6% of Americans earn $40,000 per year, but the average car note is $36,000. That’s sloppy. Wearing designer clothing when there is no food to feed your child…that’s sloppy. Fist fighting in the middle of the street…that’s sloppy. Being so drunk that you need an ambulance….that’s sloppy. Not using the internet for anything other than to watch world-star or follow the Kardashians…that’s sloppy. Not attempting to gain or sharpen skills to make you more marketable…that’s sloppy.
Sloppy is despite having the capability of instant knowledge, as well as the capability adapt or do something different in the face of adversity, someone choosing to keep their habits the same and therefore de-evolve as innovation continues.
God forbid anyone calls that out.
Let’s go back to the original argument – that sloppy only means that you’re a poor dresser and no one should blame you for that because you’re poor. (That is what the commenters on this particular thread were basically saying.) When I said that a pair of khakis is $3.00 at the Goodwill, I was crucified by one women who said that that $3 was for food, rent, or medication. That’s a keep-them-as-a-victim argument, and is actually in and of it’s self oppressive. That comment takes away a poor person’s free will to change their circumstances for the better…which they will be unable to do if they show up to a job interview in fuzzy pajamas.
Let’s be honest…people are going to buy clothing no matter what their income. I’ve already shown how to get quality clothing for very cheap. I’ve also shown free ways to polish your image. In this information age, if you don’t want to take care of yourself or present best self so to bring in new opportunities…it’s a choice you’ve made to stay small. End of story.
Never the less, you can’t say those sorts of things on Facebook because you’ll just keep going around and around so I decided prove my theory outright.
How not to be sloppy…for cheap.
I have with me a pair of jeans that I bought at the Goodwill for $5.00. (I can wear jeans to work when I have no clients coming in. But if I couldn’t and a better investment would have been a pair of black or tan pants for my $5, then I would have bought them instead.)
I bought the shirt for $3.00 on the same trip.
I’m pairing them with a pair of shoes and a belt that I already own. They don’t need to be ironed, but they are fresh from the wash. If they did need to be ironed, then I would do so.
Now before that oppressive illogical women pops out of nowhere claiming that no one can afford an iron…I bought one for $6.00 at Target before. I’ve since upgraded to a $20 iron, but that’s only because looking like a responsible adult is important to me.
Alas, for those who wish to remain iron-less, I once saw a video of a poor man living in a hut with no electricity, who was ironing his nice button down shirt with the bottom of a pot full of hot water because he had an interview later…
…I’m sorry…what was the excuse again ravenous Facebook commenter?
Now, because my shirt is a little “cleavage-y”, I’m wearing a grey top that I already own underneath it. I’m also tucking it in so that when I bend over there is zero chance of anyone seeing my underwear because showing underwear to the public without a pole being involved…is sloppy.
In terms of my face and hair – I went into the Dollar Tree specifically for this post and purchased make up. To prove my point, I am going to do my make up with a $1 eye shadow palette, a $1 mascara, and some BB cream that I already owned that cost about $9 but has lasted a year. I am also using a .99 wet and wild eyebrow pencil. The lip gloss I’ve had for years but I saw some for $1 there too.
My face and hair are clean, but I was too tired to straighten my hair or put in curlers last night. So it will get brushed – with a $1 brush from said Dollar Tree, and I will pull it up and out of my face with a hair band that cost $1 for a pack of 10.
Am I ready for the runway? No. But I am presentable. If I had to go to the courthouse to drop off a filing, I would be acceptably dressed. If I had to go into my child’s school, take him to the doctor, or need to stop by the mayor’s constituent’s office, I would be taken seriously.
There is no more excuses to dress or act “sloppy”. Sloppy shows the world that person is apathetic and doesn’t care about anything least of all themselves. That’s just the way things are. It is ok to smile and present your best self to the world…and to strive everyday to make yourself better and smarter than you were the day before.
I’ve heard many people say that when they get money they will get their life together. Unfortunately for them, it’s the other way around. You get your life together and then you’ll get money. So the next time a person who considers themselves poor has $20.00 to spend on clothing, I would have them consider the following…
Target Pjs vs. pants from ThredUp consignment site;