So you have no problem wearing that ZZ Top vintage concert tee shirt but the thought of a “Don’t Frack With Us” shirt makes you gag on your spirulina shake? Why is it that message shirts, and wearing our hearts quite literally on our sleeve is considered tacky, but wearing a bacon stache’d hoodie is considered cool? What do you tell the world when you wear a mustache shirt? How they read to me is – please accept me as cool and invite me to your party… Aka .. are we still in middle school?
It’s time to get with the times, The New York Times, who said – in article titled “Telling the world what you think: the T-shirt as message” by Jessica Michault;
Celebrities and citizens alike have stopped wearing their hearts on their sleeves and decided to take a more direct route to communicate to the world. Call it the mini me version of Internet blogging, the “message” T-shirt is now the hippest way to make a statement, express an emotion, or share a political view with the masses.
It’s cooler to stand for something than to fall for anything. Nothing is hotter than knowing what you’ll ethically tolerate and having the chutzpah to stand behind it.
Case in point – when I wear my NO FUR pin on my coat – it’s an open invitation for dialogue or an unspoken political statement or expression. When my son wears a little shirt that says “Not a meat eater” it almost always creates a dialogue.
Feel that swell? That’s the widening of our collective conscience. That’s the fellow Mom in the park who after seeing my little guy’s shirt and talking to me for five minutes about veganism or environmentalism, gets home and does some googling and switches from cows milk to almond milk. That’s how change happens. It’s as easy as a tee shirt sometimes.
So the question then becomes why wouldn’t we wear message shirts?
I’m more of a dress and heels kind of gal, but almost always when I have a chance to wear something casual in the mornings when I’m taking the kid to school or doing yoga – it’s a message shirt. Message wear sends off a signal that people must take in – consciously or subconsciously – that lingers. And it lingers in me too. It reminds me of my mission here and makes me proud of where my ethical compass points. If I have to walk by meat stinking restaurants all day long – the world will have to tolerate (and even consider) my message de jour.
Throwing on a walking billboard for something we deeply believe in is far stronger cosmically than a big Ralph Lauren insignia or Lulu Lemon label. What do our labels tell people about us.. or about what we do (or do not) stand for? When we become less afraid of confrontation, a peacefulness comes over us because we know a little better who we are.
Have a favorite message item? Leave the link in the comments section below and tell us a little story about what sort of reaction (positive or negative) it brought to your life.
Here are some (some subtle, some not at all) to start with.. and when I see you wearing one of these (or something powerful) you’ll get a big fat thumbs up from me;