Fashion is something people deal with everyday. Even if some people who say they don't care about what they wear, they still choose clothes that other people can say a lot about who they are and how they are feeling. Fashion is revealing. For me, gangster rappers and iconic sports figures have always influenced my sense of attire and appearance. This is not the case now. However, back in high school, this was the case and the theme of my style of fashion was trying to be "gangsta", and that got me into a lot of trouble as my clothing not only challenged and violated against my school's dress code policy, but also the society within me. Here's my story/crime:
During my freshmen year in high school, my friends introduced and advised me to listen to a new upcoming rapper named The Game. Being a fan of hip-hop, especially gangster rap for many years, I agreed and became instantly hooked on this sensational rapper. His aggressive and cocky attitude and dominant flow had me "on his jock". Everyday I would listen to him on repeat, downloading all of his music and watching all of his music videos. I would spend hours and hours researching about him on the internet and reading as many articles about him as I could find. I was so obsessed with this rapper that I wanted to be just like him. Since our characteristics aren't exactly the same, or way off, I realized the only way to be like The Game was to dress like him. I started wearing baggy jeans, hoodies, tall white T's, and I would always wear Converse shoes, just like The Game. I even shaved my head and started to collect baseball caps in order to look like him. All I was missing were some tattoos and pierced ears. But here comes trouble.
When my parents saw my new look and my sagged pants, they were so furious that they wouldn't let me out of the house unless I pulled my pants up and wore a belt at all times. They told me this wasn't how they expected me to dress and that I was suppose to dress conservatively - regular jeans and a t-shirt, something plain and simple. They lectured me on how people who wore baggy clothing are the people that are associated with the fringes of society, such as hobos, drug dealers, and prisoners. They warned me that people would taunt and downgrade me in society, especially people of my own race (Asians). Even though I wouldn't listen, no matter how hard they tried to lecture me, I still would sag my pants and turn my hat around whenever I leave the house. However, my parents were right. Since I live in Cupertino, wheres its peaceful and the population is predominantly Asians, wherever I went, I could feel the negative vibe surrounding me and I could tell people were bothered by my presence. The trouble didn't stop there as I began to wear this style to school. The ways my teachers looked at me were in shock and disappointment. I could tell some teachers would grade my assignments more strict and they would treat me differently than other students. Wherever there would be trouble, all heads would be turned to me. Everyday a teacher would purposely ask me if I wore a belt, and if i didn't, they would give me a yellow caution tape and I would have to strap it around my waist to hold my pants up. This became a daily issue and I was called into the principal's office. Like my parents, he lectured me on how my attire violated the school's dress code, and if it happens again, I would be suspended. He told me that the way I dressed disrupts the studies of other students because I bring fear upon them. He also told me that the first impression people present to others is not by the way they look or by the way they act, but by the way they dress. Although the way I dress doesn't necessarily make ME think I'm a bad person or a trouble maker, but almost everyone else around me will think I am. Trying to avoid suspension and more trouble with my parents, I reluctantly threw in the white flag and promised my principal I would dress properly. Since then, there was no more trouble with the way I dressed.
Fashion is a manner of self-expression that entitles people to take on many roles in life. For me, my role was to be like The Game.