It is said first impression matters. What influences the first impression we have of a person? The way they talk, how they are dressed, what they portray? Yes, the first impression says a lot, but, can we really say what influences our first impressions is all there is to a person?

I once saw a post on social media that read, “If you decide to dress how you want, I also have the reservation to decide to respect you or not…if I can’t tell you what to wear, you can’t tell me what to respect.”

We live in a society where we are so concerned with appearances, to the extent that appearance blinds us from reality.

To us, the dress style someone wears determines who the person is, or who they hang out with, etc. We are now set to be prejudiced. This might have been the norm of society, but, is it time we had a restructuring? Is it time we started seeing the people behind the First Impressions – clothes, hairstyles, etc.?

As seen in small research carried out by Allure, more than 60% of people gain access due to their appearance.

One might say “Physical Attractive Stereotype” is the foundation of it all. A situation where it is perceived the beauty of a person determines their personality traits. Kendra Cherry says in “Why the Halo Effect Influences How We Perceive others”, its impact is in Education, the Workplace, and Marketing. But, how far is this really going as the halo effect determines how a person is treated in the workplace, at school, and at social events. 

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As indicated in Mental Health Foundation Body Image Report, due to people’s perception of what we should look like, a lot of people have suffered mentally. They feel unaccepted by society. So, they turn into loners, vampire-like, away from prying eyes – not wanting the world to see them.

I want to say, what we wear doesn’t determine who we really are. The case of sexuality is now turning sour. But, it’ll be good if we don’t kill or raise people based on their outward appearance without knowing who they really are behind the masquerades and camouflages. Most times, we make awful judgments based on our outward appearance.

Rapists and Sexual Abusers have now come to a place where they can confidently say because of how the woman dressed, she was calling for the abuse.

Yes, there is a need for decency in how we dress, but, it doesn’t mean every decent-looking person has good manners. A decent dress doesn’t mean a good personality trait, exactly how the so-called indecent dress doesn’t mean a bad personality trait.

We are in a world where women wear clothes men wear. Now, we find ourselves in a world where men are intentionally wearing clothes meant for women. 

I get judgy when I see a lady wear an inappropriate dress in a public setting. But, I also sometimes can get attracted by that inappropriate dress. By all means, I shouldn’t come to a place where I disrespect a lady because of what she wore. Maybe she doesn’t know better, but, one thing’s for sure, disrespect is not the answer.

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Sometimes, I ask myself, why would men choose to wear clothes meant for women. I do not know the answer. Because of what society teaches, I straightaway assume they’re homosexuals. What if they aren’t? What if they’re just wearing what they feel comfortable in? Why are the rules changed when men decide to wear clothes women wear?

In College, students get sacked from class because of a hairstyle or dressing. Lecturers choose favorites due to how a person looks. We all know, when a Lecturer doesn’t like you, you suffer in that course. It is assumed, because of how you portray yourself in class, you are no good for a better grade or even being a Teaching Assistant.

As a worker and in most public spaces, most at times, I’m queried on why I leave my beard. I’m queried on the dress style I choose to wear. Sure, some clothes will not help in some environments I’ll find myself in but, it still doesn’t change the fact that what I wear doesn’t determine my knowledge or the work I do. Maybe it’s time we did a counter-culture to the Casual or Official outfits. Wear what will not cause someone to sin, and most importantly, wear what will make you comfortable.

This is not an article in support of Homosexuality nor a challenge against dressing decently or dressing as the occasion requires. All I’m trying to relay is – Everyone has an opinion on how a person looks. But, we forget different people have different tastes. Everyone has a right to feel comfortable and confident in whatever they wear.

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As Bryan Collins once said, “Never judge a book by its cover until you’ve read the pages that are inside the book”.

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