There are a couple of trends going around that caught my attention as I watched the NCAA tournament and saw my bracket busted almost immediately and the NBA, so some of my observations may be due to my somewhat irritated disposition. There are some fashion trends that have invaded the sports arena and by proxy the cities of America, which require some attention. Granted I am nobody’s fashion police, but I think I know a little bit about style. The reason that I am writing about these trends is that it speaks to what is happening with men today. The styles and fashions that have become acceptable for men have me wondering what kind of men are we raising, which speaks directly to what I do for a living.
The first trend that caught my eye about a year ago, but there were only a few guys doing it so I didn’t really give it a second thought. I mean there is no way that men would begin to wear tights again, right? I mean that whole middle ages thing, but that was before pants. Well, the craze has gone through the roof with both professional and college men doing it. Now being an ex-athlete I understand the desire to want to keep your body warm while you are playing, but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. The sight of grown men running around in tights is almost making it so I can’t focus. There aren’t many fashion rules for men, but two that immediately come to mind is that real men don’t wear capri pants and tights. With names like “mantyhose” and “meggings” these tights are threatening become a staple of men’s fashion.
I have to admit that one of my main complaints is the same that I had about biker’s shorts; I don’t want to have to walk the streets with some guys bulge in my face. I don’t know how women feel about it, but there’s something un-masculine about it to me. So let’s stop this trend before it goes too far. The idea of men in tights and tutu’s is more than my fragile psyche can take. I mean while men and women are equal, we are not the same and we should embrace and celebrate our differences instead of trying de-genderize each other. And while we are on the subject, those shorts that guys are wearing now that come down to their calves or ankles. Really? Make a decision wear short pants or long pants; it’s really not that hard.
And finally we come to the Swaggy P. For those who are not current on the latest trends there is a basketball player playing for the Lakers named Nick Young, alias Swaggy P. In addition to playing professional basketball for the Lakers he is also dating a pop-star called Iggy Azalea which gives him some cool points with folks who follow that sort of thing. So anyway Swaggy P debuted a new hair style that caused my first reaction to think of Buckwheat of “Our Gang” fame and who Eddie Murphy remade on SNL in the 80”s. It can either be shaved on the side or faded and the top is this nappy mess. I thought there was no way this would catch on, but just to once again demonstrate my lack of appreciation for modern culture it has taken off like a rocket. Almost every black and bi-racial kid in the NCAA tournament was sporting the style. And now it is coming to a neighborhood near you. I have started to see the “nappy” look appear all over the metro.
Ok, so if you are a millionaire or soon to be millionaire athlete, I get that you can be a little indifferent to the styles and behaviors the rest of us have to follow. But if you are some kid with barely a high school diploma you need to get somebody to give you a chance and I have bad news – going in looking like Buckwheat is not going to get it done. This idea that a person can do whatever he likes and the rest of us just have to put up with it is not based in any reality that I am aware of. But it ties into the whole reason I started ReEngage our young men have been given this false impression by their mommas, grand-mommas, and baby mommas that everybody else is wrong and they are right. Well let’s look at how that is working out for them, from my vantage point not so good. They are over-represented in the criminal justice system and under-represented in the educational system, but I know that’s completely due to racism. Not that they haven’t been prepared to fail from birth, but that’s a different post.
So let me tell you how not to get a job. Go into the interview with your pants saggin’, a bunch of tattoos all over you, the Swaggy P, and speaking slang. If you want to be successful and have a good life, please contact ReEngage and put in the work that it takes to be successful. There is no easy way to be successful. You have to put in the work and have a plan. We have come so far and yet it seems like we haven’t traveled anywhere.