I live in Anchorage, Alaska, in case you forgot. Home sweet freakin’ home. (Sarcasm in there somewhere).
You wanna know something funny? When I was in London in 2012 for a summer art internship during the Olympics, I learned a very fascinating fact. According to polls taken by Travel and Leisure magazine, my sweet frozen hometown of Anchorage was named worse dressed city in America. Seriously, look it up. (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/anchorage-named-worst-dressed-country-worst-nightlife-poll-article-1.1088515)
Never mind the fact that Anchorage also has the most racially diverse neighborhood in America (Mountain View) or the top three most racially diverse high schools in America (Bartlett High School–my school–East High School–my mom’s high school–and West High School). We can dance in a flurry of racial rainbows around the southern states of the Lower 48 that vary rich gender, race, and religious inequality. We, Anchorage citizens, still totally suck at dressing good. F minus.
Do we live in an age where it actually is that important? Apparently. If we wake up one morning and see a story on the internet about how you’re are actually a very terrible dresser, then yeah, I think we definitely live in an age of appearance. In fact, I think we always have. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely laughed at this discovery, and now, I’m much more observant of the way people dress around me, including myself. It’s pretty hilarious.
Maybe we’re more about function than appeal. When it comes down to the wire, would you rather look sexy and die a beautiful hypothermia death, or stay warm and look like a teddy bear from hell? I choose the latter, Betty.
(Who is Betty?)
The way I’ve dressed throughout my life, at least beginning where I started to choose my own apparel, has varied largely. Let me remind you that we’re all products, in some fashion or another (see what I did there? No? Go away.), or our environments, societal or otherwise. For example, hip-hop, for me, became more than just a genre of music. It, very much like punk rock, is a culture–all “rap” is, as a noun, is the music of that culture. So, being a part of that culture and investing in it, I started to dress “hip-hop”. We looked pretty ugly. XXL-sized everything, baby blue or black with tan Tims. Fubu and Southpole. Pele Pele. I mean sure some individuals like Common, Russell Simmons, and Andre 3000 of Outkast has their own individual styles of dress, but here’s the truth. Love him or hate him, we legitimately didn’t start dressing decently until a young Kanye West blew up in 2003. Then people started wearing whatever he wore: Pink polo shirts. Jeans that actually fit and didn’t sag. Cats stopped rocking the large throwback jerseys and oversized pants and started wearing button-ups and bow-ties like they belonged to the high school chess club. Now we’re obsessed with what they’re doing in Europe, for better or for worse. In a nutshell, let’s just say we’ve been bringing the 80s and 90s back. (Heaven help us.)
So Anchorage may be the worst dressed city in America, at least we were in 2012. But now, America is probably the worst dressed country on Earth. Congratulations.
Men, I dare you to tell me every time you watch Quantum of Solace, you don’t want to hit the mall and try to get fly like Daniel Craig’s brilliant iteration of James Bond.