The Clothes That Show You Care

by Debbie Harris — October is Breast Cancer Awareness month which is indicated by wearing pink ribbons and pink clothing. This isn’t the only cause assigned a color. Also on the calendar is women’s heart awareness day, for which we wear red. More recently we wore red to support women’s contributions to society. I missed wear purple for Relay for Life this year, but wore green instead. I was redeemed when I discovered that coincidently that day happened to be organ donor awareness day, for which we were supposed to wear green or blue. Whew!

There’s also wear jeans day to protest a ruling in Italy that exonerated an accused rapist because the (male) judge said that the alleged victim couldn’t have been raped because she was wearing jeans that would have been too difficult for the accused to remove. There’s wear yellow to fight cancer, or, on a different day, cystic fibrosis and on another day, support immigrants. Wearing orange brings awareness to gun violence, or it could mean you’re a rebellious Scottish protestant if you wear it on St. Patrick’s Day—or maybe a Giant’s fan. Purple can also indicate gay pride or domestic violence awareness or support for epilepsy awareness—it depends on the day.

I work for a school district so we wore pink to support anti-bullying efforts; that cause has also claimed purple and green in other locations. Wearing white is a tip of the hat to suffragettes (or you’re in the medical profession) and wearing black is for melanoma awareness (or you’re in mourning). If you wear green on the right day you’re helping to support runaway prevention, and blue for colon cancer awareness. This year, wearing a red clown nose was added—for child poverty awareness. Nothing says I care about poor children more than spending money on a foam rubber, red nose piece probably made in China. We care, yes we do! How did they come up with that one?

Well, I don’t think we have enough days of wearing specific clothes to support or bring awareness to issues and problems. Let’s make October 12, baldness support day and everyone can wear hats. We can make October 20, ingrown toenail awareness day, with the wearing of blue socks. How about support for the nearsighted with a day where everyone wears glasses whether they need them or not?

How about a day for left handers? We can all wear our clothes with the labels in front. There could be elder awareness day when we all wear clothes that are way out of style—penny loafers, poodle skirts, leisure suits, bell bottoms, thick polyester pants, stockings with seams in the back, shoulder pads. Find a style from your parents’ high school yearbooks and run with it. If you like it, you can do it again for Halloween.

It’s interesting that no one seems to want to use brown for their cause. Let’s give brown meaning and make it the caffeine addiction awareness color. We can wear brown–tan if you take your coffee with cream—and march in front of Starbucks, screaming out the pain of caffeine withdrawal.

And let’s get some new colors working for us. Teal can be worn for Vein Health Day. People who have had their veins worked on can give testimonials at rallies. Silver can be worn for cavity prevention day—in honor of the old silver fillings we used to get. We can have a support day for indecisive people. Let’s make it gray . . . no, mauve . . . no, aquamarine. Oh, you figure it out!

So get out your calendars and colorize your wardrobe, people. We have causes to support! (And Happy Halloween)

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