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Dress for Success or Dress to Express?

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If you’re reading this then there is a good chance that you’re broke. And, if you’re broke, there’s quite possibly a rebellious reason why you’re broke. Yes, it is hard to be monetarily successful in these harsh economic times, but I’m sure that if all you really cared about was money then you would’ve taken that boring and robotic path down onto the road to riches for diamond rings a long time ago—word to Biggie.

It would be safe to say that you’re an artistic type, struggling to keep your head above water with a day job that blows more than Kim Kadashian. It would also make sense that you’re not going to work in designer suits and outfits on a daily basis. In fact, if you’re like me, Levi’s is a high end brand name and when you hear the name Barney’s, the first thought in your head is about a purple dinosaur.

When you were young you always heard this phrase from your elders: “Dress for Success.” I’m almost positive that I’d give my left nut to punch the brainwashed and inbred warthog who indoctrinated this bullshit into the lame and lifeless individuals of America. Don’t get me wrong, I understand appearance means a lot to us, because we’re human. It just means we’re the shallowest and most superficial creatures that ever graced the beautiful lands and seas of mother Earth. If you’re different, WE WILL RIDICULE YOU FOR IT.

I’m sure you guys are familiar with the ostensible purpose of corporate America: “We don’t care about you or what you look like; just give us your money.” (I don’t know about you, but that would make for an awesome motto.) Appearance and self-expression doesn’t matter when you’re the customer, however, it is quite troubling that when it comes down to working for this corporate machine you must adapt to the life of a drone. This is where things get sticky. No extreme tattoos or unorthodox piercings. Fair enough. Hey, I have no problems with a guy that looks like a lizard, but if he’s the financial analysis director at a company, I might judge him a little.

Still, there are some employers that will look down on people for their cornrows, dreads, long hair, goatees, beards and mustaches. These are subtle forms of expression. They’re not taken to an extremity and they are socially acceptable. Employees sometimes suffer setbacks in their careers or at the workplace because of this. You might not move up the corporate ladder or you just might be unfairly judged based on your appearance and not what you bring to the table—ultimately stunting your growth.

If you’re choosing the path that leads to the corporations, and you feel the pressure to conform at any point, you have to make a hard decision, in which you’ll have to question what you really want. Do you want to be the company man/woman or do you want to be your own man/woman?

As a writer, I dress to express however the fuck I’m feeling. Unfortunately, I’m not a success yet. So when I go out on those job interviews to help pay the light bill, I’ll have to grit my teeth and throw on a tie as I answer questions about whether or not my beard is religious or not. But until that next job interview, I’m going to keep collecting these unemployment checks, sitting at the beach with a six-pack of Coronas with my scraggly beard and long hair, because you know what? I’m a fucking broke-ass!!!

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Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage

Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage

My father came, my mother saw...and I conquered. I encourage children to do drugs, I buy alcohol for teenagers, and I drink beer with the homeless. In my spare time, I attend art galleries for the FREE booze while rubbing elbows with modish elephants. I also hammer six-inch nails into small penises. Stuart knighted me as Broke-Ass King of New York. You've been warned.

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