Tuesday, February 12, 2008

be confident, young men

It all started with Kevin Costner.

Once this sappy thespian decided to cry, along came Ben Affleck and metrosexuality. Now, guys are one big insecure mass of self-awareness and image-shrouding. But they don't cry, at least not in public.

They wear hats and hoodies.

And they're wearing them in school. And yes, it annoys me to the top of Mt. Poopy.

Somewhere along the line, they became burdened with pounds of insecurity and self-loathing. I don't see bravado. I don't read it as fighting the system, and I'm a fairly literate soul. If Hat Removal Refusal is indicative of anything, it's a waste of argumentative energy.

When a teacher ask any male student to remove his hat, he invariably reacts as if you have taken one of his progeny. Give me back my son flat-billed New Era hat.

I'm trying hard not to date myself on this one, but try as I might, I’m just plum unable to come up with any element of my adolescent wardrobe that I would’ve fought and protested before removing.*

I know there are far more important things to post about and I'm quite certain that I've just gained membership into the Yep-You're-37-Now-Club, but an issue that has lived here for the last five years has finally irritated me beyond the walls of the faculty lunchroom.

Every school has its own dynamic environment that makes it oddly frustrating and special, and in truth, I'd settle for omnipresent hats over the one moment of on-campus student suicide. But something tells me that the constant testing of the rule is anything but a test; it's a cry for intervention. These boys are hurting on the inside and their outward appearance is a hat-shrouded reduction of their once proud, teeming identities.

We need to help them. We need them to remove their hats and tell them that it's okay.
We don't expect you to be Orlando Bloom.

The world doesn't need anymore Hayden Christensen's.

Stop crying! You sound like Kevin Costner!
Take your hats and throw them in the pyre!

Let us celebrate an effigy of insecurity.

And head, unencumbered, let your identity and confidence awake itself anew!
* Notable exceptions: acid-washed jeans and Jams.

1 comment:

Mr. Chase said...

I like reading what you write. Thank you. And, it's not just because you're 37.