Until very recently, I never had any problems with someone giving me harsh judgment for wearing a T-shirt embedded with one of my favorite cartoon/video game characters (except maybe in 6th Grade, but that’s another story). Precisely one month ago, I was going to my World Geography class wearing a pink Classic Sonic shirt and denim jean shorts–it was already too hot for me to wear pants of any sort in South Florida. My stepdad looked at my attire for the day and said that I looked like I was going to kindergarten instead of a college class. I couldn’t tell whether he was telling the truth or joking about it, but I didn’t give a shit regardless. The next day was worse. I planned on going to another campus wearing my Black Butler tank top, black shorts, and Ed Hardy converse shoes. Cute, right? Not to my stepdad, who still had the audacity to tell me that what I was wearing was “not age-appropriate for college,” even though the Black Butler shirt was women’s medium and I bought it from Hot Topic. I cried almost the entire time I was in my Western Civilization class, barely writing down the notes about Ancient Rome that my professor wrote on the whiteboard as he was lecturing. I asked my classmates and the professor if they deem me immature for wearing such attire–they said no.
Yesterday, I told my mother that my bathing suit–a two piece that’s designed to look like Ciel Phantomhive’s green outfit–was ready for pickup at Hot Topic. My older brother asked me what kind of bathing suit it was, and when I told him “Black Butler” he groaned. To make matters even worse, my mom said that someone asked her how old I was the day before simply because I was wearing a red Hello Kitty shirt (which I bought from the juniors department at Wal-Mart, by the way). I got extremely pissed off at hearing that someone thought I was 12, not 21. I was even more enraged when my own mother and brother mocked me for wearing clothes that featured my favorite video games and cartoons/anime.
So I beg the question: Why the hell is my family judging me for wearing clothes based on my interests in video games and cartoons/anime? It may have a lot to do with how society views people in the gaming community: man-children who would rather spend every waking hour of every day playing video games and watching cartoons/anime in lieu of attending school and/or holding down a job. I find this to be an extremely vicious stereotype, and I can’t believe that this is coming from some family members who claim that my teachers will downgrade me for exhibiting my interests in such popular forms of entertainment despite the fact that I take my schoolwork very seriously and that people will take advantage of me for doing so–both of which I never had to deal with.
I firmly believe in the basic human right to freedom of speech and expression, and if I want to wear my Classic Sonic shirt, my Black Butler tank top, or a My Little Pony T-shirt, that is my right. I shouldn’t let anyone tell me otherwise.