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 on the list of older generation, have evolved a variety of negative connotations. Many teenagers, however, do not understand why this should be so.
For many totally law-abiding young people, the humble hoodie is a warm, comfortable clothing choice and nothing more. Personalised hoodies have become especially popular among the younger generation, being a smart way showing your support for a club, team, group or cause. Lots of youngsters get hooded sweatshirts made up as a keepsake from old schools, or fun group holidays. Hoodies are frequently used in an effort to remember positive experiences. So why do hoodie-wearers have such a 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 those that are up to no good. This may lead older people to assume that it is young thugs and criminals alone who wear hoodies. This could mean that all hoodies, even friendly personalised hoodies, get unfairly judged and maligned.
Contact with perfectly nice youngsters who wear personalised hoodies, or hoodies generally, 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 wary of hoodie wearers, whether they wear personalised hoodies or elsewhere, is the condition and style of hoodies and promotional hoodies. You will no doubt have seen signs in shop windows which read: ‘NO HOODS IN STORE’. The point that hoodies have an, eponymous, hood might sound obvious but it is something can make people nervous because 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 see the faces of large groups it can seem scary as a result of lack of human connection. Mostly, however, this prejudice against the humble hoodie is a media construct, mixed with just a little little bit of class snobbery and fear of the young…an unpleasant cocktail when you think about it.
Why not show that personalised hoodies are simply 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 show school pride, university affiliation and club membership.