From the beginning of time, clothing has symbolized more than just bodily covering. It indicates social status, birthplace, personal beliefs, religion and ideologies. Most times these clothing indicators are harmless – other times, not so much.
The pictures and stories of the London Riots are seared in our minds. I followed the story mostly through Twitter and a few UK bloggers who were witnessing the events first hand from their homes. The pictures displaying the hooded rioters are easily identifiable. Those basic hooded sweatshirts became an emblem for the rioters. The look sent the same dark message that the car fires and store-front lootings.
I wonder if the rioters realized the clothing that was meant to shield their identity would also work to cause chaos and fear in the heart of the public. I can imagine Londoners commuting to work, seeing a hooded sweatshirt and instantly being afraid – no matter who was wearing the item.
Forget functionality, a hoodie is now equivalent to crime and civil upheaval; and we, even if unintentionally, feel an emotional response at the sight. It’s amazing a little piece of unassuming material can pack such a message.
(pic from atlantapost.com)