Recently an American actor, Waris Ahluwalia, was detained in Mexico for refusing to remove his turban during a security check for an Aeromexico flight back to America from Mexico. For all of the gritty details check out any reputable news source. The short story is that he stood his ground and was rewarded for it. In 2016 there are a great many factors pulling at men in the world of fashion. Many concessions have already been made, and many more will. Walis has given us a great example of how and when to stand your ground. Certainly, an issue of religious importance, as the turban is for Sikh practitioners, adds a layer of gravity to this particular situation, of which I have no intention of trivializing. However, I do want us to take a moment and reflect on whether or not we know when and how to take a stand for fashion.
Ask yourself how many times you have second-guessed a decision of what to wear, or how to wear, a specific article of your clothing because of someone else’s impression of it. Was it socks and sandals? Stripes and Polka dots? Maybe your hair was unkempt; your khakis wrinkled; your t-shirt ill-fitted; your blues mixed with your blacks. Did your girlfriend make you throw away your favorite shirt because it was old and full of holes…later she became an ex-girlfriend but you never got that t-shirt back did you? The comfort of something you identify with your Self was gone forever because of someone else, who didn’t know YOU, tried to force a new style upon you. It sucks right?
So what can we learn today-from a fashion point of view? Stand your ground. Be you. Yes, that does mean that you will be misunderstood by some, that people may mock you, might fear you. Your response? Let us all take a cue from Mr. Ahluwalia and respond with compassion and push for education of those who misunderstand us. Men are, in general, very logical creatures which can put as at great odds at an industry dominated by females and the myriad rules and regulations that exist for them, which when applied to our own fashion choices can be overwhelming, and oft times completely unnecessary.
Understand this about yourself: You are a man. You are a fixer, a doer, a rock to be leaned upon when times are hard, and a captain to lead when no one else will. You are not a slave to anyone or any rules. More important than the brand of the jacket you wear is if you are willing to share it with someone who is cold. More important than the pleats in your khakis is how far you are willing to walk in them to help a friend….or a stranger. If you want to be fashionable, as a man, be helpful, be honest, be as strong as you can be today. And when an opportunity comes to make a difference, don’t walk away, stand your ground. When you do, you are exuding the fashion sense that has helped carry this rag-tag group of a species through trials and tribulations for thousands of years. Thank you Waris Ahluwalia, for standing your ground. It’s an honor to be living on the planet with men like you.