The classic T-shirt is a mainstay of modern wardrobes. Even with all of the other clothing choices we have to make, almost everyone keeps a minimum number of T-shirts on hand. T-shirts are just part of who we are. In light of that, graphic T-shirts take the concept one step further. The graphics and messages we choose to display on our T-shirts tend to be extensions of our personalities. In that sense, they are tools of authenticity.
If you have never looked at T-shirts from a perspective of authenticity, take a few minutes to visit the Plurawl website. Plurawl is a New York Latino apparel brand with a vision of promoting authenticity within the LatinX community. Their LatinX T-shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, and artwork are as authentic as they can be in their imagery and messaging.
Speaking Your Mind
Genuine authenticity has both internal and external components. Internally, being authentic means being true to yourself. It means accepting who you are without reservation while simultaneously letting go of whatever you are not. When you accomplish those two things, you can start concentrating on making sure your thoughts, emotions, and actions are fully aligned with who you are.
It turns out that internal authenticity leads to external action. Instead of just being happy with who you are in your own heart and mind, you embrace that happiness and let it direct how you live. Doing so influences how you interact with other people. It influences where you go, what you do, and even what you say – which brings us back to the idea of graphic T-shirts being a tool of authenticity.
Wearing It on Your Chest
Have you ever heard people talking about wearing their emotions on their sleeves? That is a euphemism for publicly showing your emotions without reservation. In a similar fashion, wearing a graphic T-shirt is like wearing your emotions on your chest. For the record, a graphic T-shirt is one that includes printed graphics and lettering, as opposed to a plain T-shirt.
When you shop for graphic T-shirts, don’t you look for graphics and messages that appeal to you? Of course you do. You look for messages with which you agree. You look for imagery that reflects how you see the world. If you were to wear a T-shirt featuring a message you absolutely despised, your friends would think you crazy.
So how does this relate to authenticity? It is all about being true to yourself. It is about assessing who you are, what you believe, what is important to you, etc.
Up in New York, Plurawl ownership thinks it’s important to promote the LatinX culture, heritage, and messaging. As such, all of their products are designed around that theme. Every T-shirt, poster, coffee mug, and hat references LatinX culture in some way. Does your T-shirt collection do something similar for you?
Being Honest with Yourself
The scary thing about T-shirts is finding yourself in a place of questioning something you have been wearing for years. Maybe you bought a shirt five or six years ago, thinking the message was right up your alley. You have since changed your mind. Now you have to go back and re-examine just how much your thinking has changed over the years. There is a lot of introspection that comes with being authentic.
At any rate, graphic T-shirts are tools for authenticity in the sense that most of us wear t-shirts that reflect images and messages we feel are important. They are an extension of who we are, whether the rest of the world likes it or not.