So, Let’s Talk About Neck Ties

Let’s talk about neck ties.

Why do people wear them to “look nice” ?

Aren’t they just a little bit silly? Why don’t we tie them around our foreheads and let them hang down the middle of our faces to “look nice”?

Aren’t they just a little bit divisive? Why is a person in a tie more likely to receive respect than a person in a sweat shirt? And whole lot more respect than a person in a sweat shirt who is also wearing a tie?

I used to wear ties frequently.

Went to a Baptist school. Wednesday was chapel day, where we’d go into an auditorium and listen to Bible stuff. Ties with button-up shirts were required on Wednesdays. Not ties with polo shirts, although no one could say why, except, “That’s just the way things are.” Anyway, I used clip-ons.

I’d wear ties on roller skating night too, back in middle school. Because I wanted girls to think I was dashing. So I’d reached a point where maybe I’d received a few compliments. “You look sharp.” “Nice tie.”

I ran with it, or rather skated with it.

Graduated to ties that you actually tie. But I didn’t know how to do it, so I had my mom pre-tie a bunch of them for me, so I could just put them on like a noose.

Into my adult life, I stopped wearing ties for the most part. They seemed pointless and inauthentic. But into my thirties I built up some professional success, and started wearing them again.

That’s when I started feeling the power. The power, you know, of a power tie.

Oh, and by then I taught myself how to tie my own tie finally. On YouTube, of course.

So, where does the power of a power tie come from? Why did people seem to be drawn to me when I dressed in a certain way, and treat me differently than if I were in some other costume?

Part of it is because of society’s perception of what looks presentable and professional, which is honestly completely arbitrary and we should all spend at least a minute reassessing it.

Another reason I felt like a god when I wore a tie (and with a suit sometimes, with matching pants and shiny shoes, omg) is because I gave into the premise that I was some hot shit.

Wearing certain clothes impacted my posture. I’d stand taller in a suit than I would in a hoodie. I’d take up more space with my shoulders. I spoke with more confidence and elegance, and with less hesitation.

People in modern western culture might superficially find ties and suits attractive, but they find confidence, powerful presence, and drive even more attractive.

There are biological and evolutionary reasons to find confidence, presence, and drive attractive.

Finding suits and ties attractive in and of themselves is a phenomenon that has no particularly compelling origin.

Feeling confident and driven in a suit and tie is a mental psyche out, a remnant of socialization. You were taught what looks nice, by other people who were once taught what looks nice.

And if you look into the origin of ties, it wasn’t even about looking nice. It was about displaying status. It was about saying, “I am with this group here.”

And that’s still what it’s about. “I am with this group here; I am with the powerful, successful, well-liked people.”

But it’s just a costume. Anyone can wear it and get a little high from the illusion that it somehow makes them better and more attractive people.

Why am I bringing all this up?

Well, because politicians are known for their suits and ties. And ready or not, loves, I am now a politician.

Honestly, I am to a point where when I see a president in an expensive suit and tie, I find myself wondering if he realizes how silly the whole get-up looks.

It’s about power. It’s about prestige. It’s about reputation. It’s about respect.

But why do we let articles of clothing dictate these things? Seriously.

And is it not hypocritical to own a collection of suits that costs more than a year’s worth of food for a small community?

Why is the clothing more important than feeding people?

Why do we sell our respect to arbitrary status symbols while the world is hungry for change and desperately waiting for a shift in priorities?

On the HICKS/YOU 2020 (#hicksyou2020) campaign trail, don’t expect to see me wearing suits and ties all so often.

And when I do wear them, they’ll be from thrift stores. It’s not because I’m cheap. I’m not. It’s because I’m tired of the artificial madness that our society subscribes to so diligently.

I respect people. All of them. And some of them would feel slighted by my presence if I were to dress down at certain functions. So I’ll compromise, and tie the noose around my neck. It’ll probably be bright orange. Orange is my favorite.

Also, the last time a U.S. president wore a beard was 1893. Why is that, do you think? 2020 seems like a good year to bring back facial hair in the Oval Office. I mean, why not? I’ll keep mine neater than Benjamin Harrison did.

Also published on Medium.