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Throw out Your Alcohol Sweater & Buy a Real One

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

“What the heck. I might as well just stay in,” I conceded after having lugged nearly my entire closet to a friend’s house the previous Saturday night. It was 55 degrees out, way below my version of “freezing,” and I did not feel like parading about in the usual short shorts and tank top or barely-there dress sported all year-round to participate in SLO night-life.

I had, of course, rejected the other, more practical options of a sweater, vest, turtleneck (my personal nemesis), and/or warm pants with boots that my mom suggested because honestly, who would actually wear that to a party? Excessive clothing screams the opposite of sexy. In fact, it screams, “Sensible, classy, and comfortable!” Hey, wait, what’s wrong with that? Why have girls strayed from the practical? Why does the norm, the overwhelming numbers of conforming ladies who enjoy nighttime frolicking, condone freezing half to death? Our clothing choices reflect what we would rather flaunt: “the goods” rather than be comfy. For many, this decision pertains to the need for sexual attention and approval. Funny enough, when did you last see a guy in tiny shorts or a tank top out at night?

        Why are guys socially permitted to dress appropriately with comfy sweaters, jackets and pants while girls suffer to show off their goose bump-enveloped, untanned skin, and who, as a result, drink up an alcohol sweater, so fuzzy and warm it practically drips Tequila and sparkles like salt? Talk about pressure to drink.

Honestly, I think we should demand that boys take a trek in our shoes, or rather our 6” hot pink, sparkle-radiating, faux-fur platforms, and that they wear the tiny, form-fitting tank tops and perhaps even the practically nonexistent, chafing jean shorts in 50 degree weather.

        In all seriousness, what has become of the self-esteem of Cal Poly’s women? In wearing a tiny resemblance of clothing, not only do we sacrifice comfort and warmth but also a sense of self-respect. How can we uplift this community of not only super-sexy but also incredibly brilliant, quirky and ambitious women who are worthy of much more than mere physical examination and judgement? Perhaps for some, the following schema is culpable: “I am not good enough.”

Women of Cal Poly, you are good enough! You are so far more than good enough that, while you float around in space, the bar of standards and judgement to which we compare ourselves rests a mere few feet above the ground, covered in dust next to your feet.

        Physical praise and attention has always baffled me. Yes, any kind of flattery evokes the typical, temporary warmth and fuzziness, but beyond fitness and embellishments, the physical is relatively uncontrollable. We are victims of age and stress. What’s inside, the mental, is the true masterpiece of humanity. The mental is that which we cultivate and harvest, that which requires effort and changes everyday with each perception of each sense, every choice, and thought. This includes a love for finger-painting, a foot obsession, the need to repeat the word “literally” when it’s not applicable, writing cheesy love poems… all the strings that hold us together which are invisible from the outside. That which is mental is our ticket into Cal Poly: what creates and maintains connections with others, what continues to grow long after the physical declines. Why do we value such trivial matters as physical appearance to the point of exclusion of comfort and self-worth?

        Placing such emphasis on sex appeal, on the physical, downplays the real treasure, like flaunting the black coat of an avocado instead of the beautiful green inside. Please forgive me for invoking the following cliché of which we’ve all heard over a gazillion times: “Beauty is on the inside.” But it’s true! It’s so true! You know that moment when you want so desperately to convince someone of your thoughts that words become inadequate and you simply must throw a fit? I want to jump up and down, do a happy dance and scream, “TURTLENECK PARTY, LET’S CELEBRATE INNER BEAUTY!”

What our mothers told us is 100% true! Beauty is on the inside! Fortunately, all of the annoying, way over-iterated inner beauty clichés are drilled into our minds with so many nails that it would take a million hammers to remove them all.

       So, for your next nighttime frolic, reconsider your outfit. Reconsider the message condoned by itsy-bitsy, almost-clothing.

On a side note, thank society for modern materialism- there is an excess of beautiful and sexy winter clothing styles conducive to both comfort and nighttime frolicking!

Hannah is a sophomore at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. Besides writing, she loves running, Thai food and making ridiculously unaffordable collections on Wanelo. Hannah is obsessed with The Walking Dead, old Disney movies, Ed Sheeran and wasting time on Photoshop. She'd like to point out that she can't sing or dance, but will, because that's when it's the most fun, especially when the songs are from "Les Miserables." Follow her on Twitter @joslin_hannah and Instagram @hannahmichele8