“Scruffiness is a privilege,” Rosie Leizrowice writes in an article.
This was eye-opening to me. I’m often scruffy, but I’ve never thought of it as a privilege before.
According to Leizrowice, scruffiness “is the privilege of those who do not need to worry about being taken seriously, about being looked at and dismissed”.
My scruffiness is unintentional. On days when I do leave the house, I mostly dress based on convenience and comfort.
This means that I sometimes wear streetwear to client meetings, pyjamas out for brunch. I tend to avoid restaurants with overly formal dress codes. I would wear the same thing every day if I could.
In spite of my scruffiness, I rarely get stopped at roadblocks. It doesn’t bother me if someone comments on my messy hair. People in stores don’t watch me like I’m about to steal something.
A line in the article that stood out to me was this: “If people judge me in a negative light for how I dress, their judgement is not dangerous to me.”
Privilege is when you are unharmed by judgement — when your career or standing in society or personal safety is not affected by someone else’s opinion of you.
How many of us are really that privileged?