UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s notorious advice that we should all ‘hug a hoodie’ has been much publicised and discussed. Following the London riots it has come under scrutiny again. Hoodies, certainly among the older generation, have evolved all kinds of negative connotations. Many young people, however, don’t realize why this should be so.
For many totally law-abiding teenagers, the humble hoodie is a warm, comfortable clothing choice and nothing more. Personalised hoodies have become especially popular amonst the younger generation, being a smart way showing your support for a club, team, group or cause. Lots of youngsters get hooded sweatshirts composed as a keepsake from old schools, or fun group holidays. Hoodies are generally used as a way to remember positive experiences. Why do hoodie-wearers have this type of bad reputation?
One possibility is that, although the the greater part of youngsters wear hoodies, the only real ones who make it in to the media are the ones that are around no good. This could lead the elderly to assume that it’s young thugs and criminals alone who wear hoodies. This may imply that all hoodies, even friendly personalised hoodies, get unfairly judged and maligned.
Exposure to perfectly nice youngsters who wear personalised hoodies, or hoodies in general, may help the older generations to realise that the image of the dangerous, out-of-control youngsters in hoodies, isn’t the norm.
Another element which can make people cautious with hoodie wearers, whether they wear personalised hoodies or elsewhere, is the physical shape and style of hoodies and promotional hoodies. You will no doubt have observed signs in shop windows which read: ‘NO HOODS IN STORE’. The fact that hoodies have an, eponymous, hood might sound obvious but it is something which can make people nervous since it obscures the faces of wearers.
The images in the media of faceless gangs of youths in hoodies, even in personalised hoodies, can look particularly menacing, simply because their faces are hidden. When you are unable to start to see the faces of large groups it could seem scary because of the lack of human connection. Mostly, however, this prejudice against the humble hoodie is really a media construct, mixed with just a little bit of class snobbery and fear of the young…a distressing cocktail when you think about it.
Why not show that personalised hoodies are just as fun, lovable, stylish and friendly as the next item of clothing. Since personalised hoodies are fully customisable it is possible to spread any message you like using them. Use personalised hoodies to demonstrate school pride, university affiliation and club membership.