What To Wear To The Protest

It’s hot.
You need to walk, or to be outdoors, for hours.
You need also to be dignified and not look like a wacky hippie no one needs to take seriously.

WE LIVE IN A VISUAL AGE. Remember that.
No matter how stirring your rhetoric or how burning your passion for justice, this is about image.
As you well know, one image of a child weeping for his mother has been more powerful than a thousand editorials decrying the Trump regime’s cruel policies.

You are part of that story as it is being told and reported.
We will be out a lot this summer, I suspect.
Get an elegant sunhat.
Groom your hair, your skin, your clothing, your visible legs (if they are visible), your feet.
Being out of doors does not automatically grant any of us permission to look like we’re on a camping trip just because we’re exposed to the elements.

No whining.
Dr. King marched in a suit. No one is asking you to wear a suit.
No one is telling you to march in heels and cocktail dresses, although it has been done and you won’t die.
No one is asking that you wear petticoats and corsets, although that too has been done.

Be NEAT.
Do not throw together a bunch of floppy, patterned garments, put a stole over those and consider yourself ready to represent moral authority. Your stole does not miraculously bestow dignity upon the wearer: trim your beard, wash your hair, put it back or cover it neatly. Cotton pants are better than shorts for protecting your legs from the sun: consider white linen or cotton pants.
Bras need to fit. Yes, no one likes foundation garments in the summer but they’re mandatory for those who want to look professional.

It is true that fannypacks are back in fashion, sort of, so make that work for you. However, check that the belt around your waist isn’t hiking up your skirt or making a mess of your shirt or blouse. Stick to neutral colors.

Please consider the tone and gravitas of your selfies: are you there as a social event, to self-promote, or to keep the focus on the victims of injustice? I’m not saying you can’t have fun or be joyful, but it is jarring to compare the suffering of the vulnerable with the “WOOT WOOT LOOKIT ME/US” images splashed across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Virtue-signaling is a real thing and it’s not a good look on anyone. I personally don’t need to see the tonsils or up the nose of any self-congratulatory white liberals “WOOTING” into their cameras on social media today. Call me cranky. I want us to have an impact.

Stay hydrated.
Participate however you can – marching is just one way.

Whatever you do, don’t stop with today. We must continue to engage and to equip and mobilize ourselves and others for action.

Blessings.
And yes, I meant what I said about fannypacks (hat tip to Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg for confirming the terrible truth about the Return Of The Fannypack).

2 Replies to “What To Wear To The Protest”

  1. I like wearing an unobtrusive passport neck pouch. It’s black and generally blends in with whatever black shirt I have on, and puts my phone/camera in easy reach. (Rule #1 in protests: the picture of the thing is as important as the thing, sometimes more.) A fanny pack would also hold a few energy bars and a wee bottle of water, though. AND if you’re standing at the mic or just being photographed above the waist, it doesn’t show at all. Hmmm… A Janie clerical collar from Women’s Spirit is worth every penny – custom-fitted and can be worn under a lot of things, especially a jewel- or crew-neck top, without adding a layer.

  2. “Virtue-signaling is a real thing and it’s not a good look on anyone.”

    Thank you for this.

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