- Growing Up Bronx
I live and work in an area that is mostly filled with professionals. There are courts, law offices, small businesses, and a few restaurants. Most of the people around here are what you would call professionals.
I’m not here to pass judgement, but to make an observation. See, I know the weather is hot, I was sweating on my way back to the office from lunch. So I get that, it’s hot. Most people here are working, having lunch, going from one courtroom to the other, or just heading home after a long day, and they are hot too.
But can you blame them for staring when they encounter a young man with his pants to his knees, exposing his underwear, and not wearing a shirt? Odds are very high that they will stare at this person, and probably not think too highly of them. Some businesses will request proper attire, but the kid will get offended and claim he’s being picked on. Trust me, I know problems exist, but I also know what is appropriate in any given situation.
People aren’t staring at you because you are shirtless, or because we can see your lovely polka dot underwear, but because this is not the appropriate context for that. Think about it, there is a difference if you see that at the pool, the beach, or even the park. But what worker wants to stand on line at McDonald’s or La Rondine Pizza Shop, during their lunch break with a guy who’s half naked, and with his drawls all visible? It’s just not cool.
This kid would be the first to complain that people are staring at him, or giving him negative attention because he’s a minority. Well, no kidding bro, of course they are going to stare at you, look at how you are carrying yourself. Get dressed and no one will care about your existence. This isn’t the pool, it’s a place where people are working, and you can’t blame them for taking notice of you. You kind of stand out, a lot.
I’m all for freedom of expression, and being who you are, and all that. But if you were having a wedding, would you be okay with that? Or would you expect them to at least wear a tie? Outside of the beach or pool, no one wants to eat a big mac next to a shirtless guy in underwear. Sorry, but that’s the truth. So yes, they will stare, and you totally attract that attention to yourself.
Just a life long New Yorker sharing the journey through my lens. Please take note of a post’s date. The views I express here are subject to change and evolving as I grow and learn.