Re: Jewelry in Uniform
Robert Gerhard (RAGerhard@AOL.COM)
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 11:00:34 -0400
In a message dated 97-09-23, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
<< I had a good friend who started to wear an earring way back when it was
much more the exceptional behavior. I told him at one point that it was a
good thing I had gotten to know him before he started wearing it because
otherwise I might not have taken the time to get to know him. I know that
the prejudice is mine and is my problem, but that doesn't stop the impact
it can have on the Scout's relationships with those around him. >>
Today, however, the presence of earrings does not have the stigma it did many
years ago, when I got my first piercing. Then, as now, I did not wear my
earrings when in uniform, but purely for personal reasons. (I just don't see
them as part of the uniform.) I mentioned this to my Unit Commish once and
she asked why not...after all, she wore them with her uniform. This really
took me by surprise because she was a fairly conservative woman somewhat
older than myself. It taught me the lesson I keep trying to teach others:
Don't let looks deceive you.
I had also mentioned that I often felt uncomfortable in uniform with my (at
that time) very long hair. And it was my fellow Scouters who assured me that
they thought nothing of it and found nothing wrong with it. As Scouts and
Scouters, we should be looking for, exposing and developing the best in
people regardless of their outer appearance.
Perhaps, though, changes in what society accepts is what is at the root of
this arguement. There was a time when long hair, beards, tattoos, shaved
heads and earrings signified certain lifestyles, most of which, admittedly,
had negative impact. These are all, however, common to many different
lifestyles now. They were all, once, signs of rebellion. Us rebels are now
productive members of society - police officers, office workers, yes, even
Scouters (which many of us were all along). Now kids pierce other things for
shock value, or make statements in other ways. It's all part of a person's
desire to express some aspect of their personality.
IMHO, we should be looking at what the societal norm is and accepting that,
AS LONG AS it does not detract from the uniform. A large necklace is fine -
under the uniform. If it is placed over the uniform, that would be seen as
part of the uniform (as WB beads, for example). Some items seem to be worn
purely for shock value - noserings, eyebrow or lip piercings. Purple hair.
These items clearly make themselves the center of attention rather than the
uniform. Other items - rings, bracelets, earrings - should be fine so long
as they are tasteful. Which, or course, opens a whole new can of worms - who
defines tasteful? All we really need to ask is that they show the uniform
the respect it deserves by not detracting from it (or "enhancing" it).
One more aspect of this subject: Kids with logos "carved" into their hair.
When does that become unacceptable?
As an aside, at a recent Roundtable I looked around the room and discovered
that I had more earrings than anyone in the room. If nothing else, I figured
that was worth a bead...
Cubmaster & Webelos ADL
Pack 83, Ft. Worth, TX
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City