Skip To Content

August 18, 2020

Some people are unsure, or even scared, of a person with a stand-out outfit. Imagine someone dressed in drag asking around for directions in a random neighborhood. They're bound to get more negative reactions than someone dressed in plain clothes and a face covered by a beard or sunglasses.

But I'd be more suspicious of the second person. The harder it is to pick someone out of a line-up, the more comfortable they may feel doing that could put them in one. It's similar to the logic behind people in the military having the same outfits and haircuts: to minimize individuality and therefore lower their sense of personal accountability. Then they're more likely to follow orders with fewer questions. Even if those orders are violent and horrifying.

I see someone in a generic, hard-to-recognize outfit, and I worry about their sense of accountability. I worry if that'll affect how they act towards others, society, or even themselves. If doing something horrible won't bother them nearly as much as those around them.

This long-form comic about how style can normalize ideas of force and violence, called "About Face," goes into this with far more detail I could ever hope to know myself. It's a long but worthwhile read.