Thursday, January 15, 2009
Can A Brutha Be Sharp?
Maybe it is the mentality of some of the people I work around? Maybe I just look that good? Maybe it is a just a way to stay on my good side. Maybe it is an homage to a brutha breaking through a perceived ceiling. Please don't think of me as a guy with "the big head" but the one thing I like to pride myself on is looking good. I see it almost as breaking that stereotype that some of my bruthas showcase sometimes. You know what I am talking about: the pants around their kneecaps, wear a ridiculously long t-shirt, or have a baseball cap turned a little to the side. Again, no individuality. The look like everybody else they see on TV.
At work, I walk through the building with a suit, shirt and tie. On some days, I get a little fancy with a handkerchief and a lapel pin. To me, it is nothing out of the ordinary. But to several women (and the fellas too), make me feel like I have just stepped off the pages of a fashion magazine. Now of course, that kind of attention can dangerously fuel the ego if you do not have your head on straight. Some women stop me in the hall and have to comment on my style of dress - which to me isn't even a STYLE. I have nicknames such as "Pimpalicious" (which started off as a joke and turned into a whole other monster). I had one female co-worker that just called me "Suit and Tie" in a slow seductive voice. It is as though these particular black women have never seen a black man in a suit before now. I got male co-workers that check out my tie everyday and ask if they can have it (if they like it). Of course the answer is no. I love my ties.
Now, I do not get "aggressive compliments" from my white female (and male) counterparts. It is almost as if it is expected of me a a member of the management team, so why even say anything to me. I may get the "love that shirt and tie combination" or "looking sharp" from time to time but no big production. Now, some of my white female friends outside of work (who love the swirl) do bump it up a notch and the compliment is just the right level where a brutha can feel a little debonair and not running around with a "swoll" head.
I personally call it professionalism. I have to be out there in public eye when people come to my place of business and the last thing I want them to think is that we don't run a first class establishment. When I am working, I am coming in contact with celebrities, politicians, and captains of industry. I do not see what all the "hub bub" is regarding the way I dress.
The only thing that I hope for is that anyone who sees me realizes there is something better and that if they put forth the effort, they can achieve it. I have worked hard for everything that I have and part of that is dressing for success.
So the question is still out there, Can a brutha just be sharp?