It has been said that “black and brown” people at Georgetown isolate themselves from everyone else because they dress differently. They dress “like they’re still in the hood.” While I don’t have a full understanding of how we “black and brown” people are supposed to dress, I can testify that I have yet to see someone at Georgetown dress like he or she is from “the ghettos.”
Now I may not be from Paris, but I’m from an equally fashionable city. Here’s bit of background on me: I have lived in New York City since I was six years old. No, I don’t mean Staten Island or the Bronx or Brooklyn or Queens… I really do mean Manhattan. But, not all of New York City is like the glamorous streets of Fifth Avenue, or Madison, or Broadway. Actually, there are more places like “the hood” than one would care to imagine. For example, the place I call home: Avenue D. Now, I bet there’s a spot you’ve never heard of when you hear people talk about NYC. Avenue D is located in Alphabet City and Alphabet City is a part of the East Village/the Lower East Side. While the rest of Alphabet City has begun the process of gentrification and a hipster vibe has filled the streets of the Lower East Side, Avenue D is still the same place it was when I moved there in 2000. The whole Avenue is lined up with government subsidized housing from 1st street to 14th street with the majority of residents being “black and brown.” At this point, you can surmise that I am from the stereotypical “hood.”
Before I continue, I want to point out that the hood I come from isn’t like the prominent hoods of East LA, Detroit, Chicago, or even parts of DC; but, for argument’s sake, let’s assume, like the author of Confession 4576 did about the “black and brown” people of Georgetown, that all the hoods across the US are alike and have the same fashion. In my hood, the basic dress code is as follows: Guys – baggy jeans hanging at their knees with a fake Gucci belt, the latest, most expensive sneakers (Jordans, Nikes, etc.), a Rugby or Who.A.U shirt and maybe an Obey, Supreme, or sports – related snapback. Girls: Rugby shirt or crop top, skinny jeans or leggings, bamboo earrings, moccasins, UGGS or equally expensive sneakers with a just-as-fake Gucci or Louis Vuitton purse. Every now and then, someone (usually, the older men) might sport Coogi. I’m hoping you can see the images I’m trying to paint here.
I may be wrong, but I have yet to see a girl or guy wear all that at the same time at Georgetown. Yes, some people own the staples I’ve mentioned, but do they actually rock it like they’re in the hood? (Has the author of the confession ever even been to the hood? Like, really been there…not just seen “the hood” in a music video or driven by one, but has actually spent time in one?) And yes, maybe on a Saturday night or at a Hoya Court party, you’ll see a girl dressed like she is from “the ghetto,” but it’s not an everyday occurrence. And basically, yes, you’re right: most of the minority students at Georgetown do not dress like the rest of Georgetown. Nevertheless, did it ever occur to the author of the lovely confession that maybe, just maybe, us “black and brown” people that dress “like we’re still in the hood” cannot afford the clothes from Brooks Brothers, Vineyard Vines, or Ralph Lauren? Or maybe we simply don’t want to conform to Georgetown and wear Nantucket red pants and pastel colors. Maybe, possibly, who knows: everyone has his or her own style.
There are many reasons why the minority community of Georgetown doesn’t look or dress like everyone else and I can only deduce a few. Nonetheless, to the author of Confession 4576: please keep an open mind next time you make an observation. The conclusion you come to may have bigger social forces and implications behind it. And for future references, you might want to visit a “hood” or “ghetto” before you generalize your views to a wide range of people from all over the US.
Yerlyn Rojas, Fashion Staff Writer