Over the course of the last seven days, I have been scolded by three different people – all women – for wearing shorts. In each case, I was either heading to or from the gym, but I’ve also been known to wear shorts in cooler weather simply because they are comfortable and I don’t require the warmth of a pair of pants.
I was also repeatedly chided all winter long for wearing my winter coat of choice: a blue hoodie.
I own an actual winter coat. More than one, in fact. But with the exception of a few New England Patriots games, I wore a hoodie all winter long and was perfectly fine. Warm and toasty.
Except that wherever I went, friends and strangers – also only women – admonished me for not wearing something warmer. People at the grocery store and outside restaurants and in parking lots told me to put on something warmer. Stop being ridiculous. Act my age.
Many of them also warned me that I would catch a cold if I continued to dress this way, disabusing themselves of hundreds of years of germ theory and reverting back to a time before science when it was assumed that a cold was caused by the cold.
Honestly, I don’t understand this.
Who cares if I’m wearing a pair of gym shorts on a 38 degree day?
Why would anyone be concerned with my choice of outerwear on a winter afternoon?
How is what I wear in order to stay warm anyone’s business other than my own?
And why is this form of criticism exclusively female?
For the last year, I have attempted to avoid any negative comment about anyone’s physical appearance, regardless of their physical eccentricity. And I have become fairly adept – albeit a little smug – in doing so. In fact, I’ve reached a point where thoughts about a person’s physical appearance often fail to register as well.
When they do, I push them back, reminding myself of how petty and cruel and absolutely juvenile they are, even when said behind someone’s back.
I realize that scrubbing your mind and voice of all comments on physical appearance is a ridiculous goal, but can we at least agree these admonishments over seasonal appropriate clothing should be eliminated from our societal lexicon forever? If these women – and perhaps there are male critics out there, too, but I have yet to encounter one – want to go home and tell their loved ones about the man at the grocery store wearing shorts and a hoodie, fine.
They are heathen, unkempt trolls for doing so, but still. Who cares?
But why must they verbally reprimand me in public for not dressing to a standard that they feel is adequate?
I had a mother. She passed away in 2007. I miss her, but honestly, I’m fine. I don’t need any ladies – young or old – treating me like I ‘m a ten year-old boy in need of verbal reprimands about the warmth of the clothing that I’m wearing.
Even my mother didn’t do that.
Please leave me the hell alone. I’m fine. If I wasn’t, I’d put on a pair of pants and a warmer coat, jackass.