That Looks Uncomfortable!

This conversation explores the ‘price’ we often willingly pay for the privilege of fitting in our social or job-related groups.

Our choice of clothing is one of the easiest and fastest way of telling the world about who we are – or who we want the world to believe we are. We all want to be loved and appreciated. Clothing sends messages about our gender or faith or social status or favorite teams or … the list goes on. Sometimes these rules get defined for us. For example, for centuries in China women bound their feet to keep them small – because small feet were considered beautiful. In the western world, corsets squeezed the breath out of women so they could meet society’s expectations for a small waist.

See if you can come up with some ways that people today put up with some discomfort in order to make a ‘fashion statement.’ (High heels, jeans worn so low they are about to fall off, body piercings, facial waxing, hair straightening, cosmetic surgery, skin lightening.)

Discuss some of the ways you ‘endure’ either uncomfortable clothing or uncomfortable grooming practices. Share why it is important to you – and that it is okay. A little. Stepping up to your group’s ‘look’ can be a healthy way of demonstrating respect and belonging. But it can go too far.

Imagine some expectations that might come their way. What if you were a member of a sports team and all the other members wanted to get a team tattoo?